EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State men's golf team tees it up for the first time in the 2012-13 season this weekend at the Northern Intercollegiate, hosted by Northern Illinois University at Rich Harvest Farms (7,218 yards, par 71) in Sugar Grove, Ill. Play will begin for MSU at 9:30 a.m. ET on Saturday with 36 holes, concluding on Sunday with the final 18.
"It is always fun to get the year started, and feel the nerves and excitement that comes with the first event," said Spartan head coach Casey Lubahn, who is beginning his second season at the helm of his alma mater. "Our guys have been battling in qualifying the last week and certainly feel prepared for what is coming at them. Rich Harvest Farms is one of the great courses in America and a true test. We will have to play percentage golf and trust each other."
The Spartans' competitive lineup in the opener includes seniors Dave Ellis and Matthew Moseley, junior Carson Castellani, sophomore McCormick Clouser and freshman Mitch Rutledge. Senior Will Morris will also be competing as an individual.
In the field this weekend is Augusta State, Ball State, Central Florida, Indiana, Iowa State, Liberty, Northern Illinois, Purdue, St. Mary's (Calif.) and Virginia. UCF (No. 20) and Virginia (No. 22) are both ranked in the preseason Golf World/Nike Golf Coaches' Poll, while Liberty is receiving votes.
The Spartans took forward strides in Lubahn's first season last year. MSU posted five top-5 finishes, including winning the Georgetown Intercollegiate and placing fourth at the Big Ten Championship. Individually, five different Spartans carded top-10 placements in 2011-12, totaling six top-5 and 13 top-10 showings. Michigan State returns all but one from its competitive lineup from last year, and welcomes in a talented pool of freshmen, including Rutledge, who starts this weekend.