Greg Nye’s Penn State men’s team opened the spring portion of the season with a runnerup finish in the Big Ten Match Play, which concluded Saturday at the Hammock Beach Resort’s Conservatory Course in Palm Coast Fla.
It took a 35-foot bomb on the final green by Northwestern’s Everton Hawkins, a freshman from Irvine, Calif, to finally finish off Penn State’s Alec Bard, a freshman from New Hartford, N.Y. and lift the Wildcats, ranked 39th by Golfstat, to the victory.
Penn State, ranked 57th, got a 4 and 2 win from Ryan Dornes, a sophomore who starred scholastically at Manheim Township, over Sam Triplett, a junior from Scottsdale, Ariz. J.D. Hughes, a sophomore from Carlisle, battled Andrew Whalen, a redshirt senior from Ephrata, Wash., to a tie over the 7,183-yard, par-72 Conservatory Course layout.
Northwestern’s Connor Richardson, a graduate student from West Palm Beach, Fla., rolled to a 5 and 4 victory over Christian Elliott, a senior from Canada, and Dylan Wu, a junior from Medford, Ore. cruised to a 7and 5 victory over Charles Huntzinger, a sophomore from Duluth, Ga.
Penn State, coming off a season in which the Nittany Lions earned a berth in the NCAA regionals, got past Iowa in the semifinals with wins from Huntzinger, Bard and Dornes. In the quarterfinals, Penn State knocked off Purdue with Huntzinger, Cole Miller, a sophomore out of Northwestern Lehigh who won the Pennsylvania Amateur at Moselem Springs Golf Club last summer, and Hughes taking their matches.