AUGUSTA, Mich. (WJMN) — The Northern Michigan University men’s golf team completed the Davenport Panther Invitational this past weekend and took a huge tournament win, marking the first GLIAC event win for the men’s team since they won during the 2015 fall season.

The ‘Cats dominated the field both days, shooting a total of 579 (295, 284, +11) and beating the second-place team by 11 strokes. NMU’s second day 284 is the best 18-hole team score in program history, and the team’s 36-hole team score is second best in team history.

Russel Sprecher led the way for the Wildcats over the weekend, having himself a weekend for the books. His bogey-free round of 62 set an NMU individual score for 18 holes, surpassing the 66 mark set by Martin Eliasson in the 2015 GLIAC North Championship. Sprecher also tied the NMU record for individual 36-hole scoring, a mark he reached in the 2023 GLIAC Championship in the Winter season.

Davenport University remained in the second place spot with a total of 590 (+22), tying with the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

The full results can be found on GolfStat, here.

Round One

  • Erin Yun and Arthur Ylitalo paved the way for the ‘Cats today, with two scores of 73 (+2), both Yun and Ylitalo shot -1 on the back nine, securing their top-five positions. Collectively, they made three birdies in round one.
  • Tyler Annala followed close behind, also holding a top 10 position. Annala shot a 74 (+3) and is tied for T8 with seven other competitors. He was able to make two birdies on the back nine for an even-par 35.
  • Russel Sprecher came in with the fourth team score in round one, shooting a 75 (+4), and followed right behind his teammates in T16. Sprecher made three birdies in his last four holes, helping him surpass many players on the leaderboard.
  • Walter Ylitalo also shot a great round of 76 (+5), coming in directly behind his teammates, Ylitalo was grinding all over the course, making four birdies and an eagle on his first hole, a par four!
  • Brady Badker got his first look at the links this season as he competed in the individual competition. Badker shot a respectable 80 (+9) and is T38.

Round Two

  • Russel Sprecher was victorious in his 36-hole grind over the weekend, shooting a 137 (75, 62) for a total of -5, beating the second-place player by four strokes. Despite sitting T16 after day one, he made a major jump on the leaderboard after knocking 13 strokes off in his second round. Sprecher shot a bogey-free 18 holes, with seven birdies and one eagle on a par four.
  • Eric Yun scored a top-10 finish, shooting a 147 (73, 74, +5). Yun finished T8, making three birdies in his last four holes of play, helping him secure that top 10 position.
  • Walter Ylitalo came in with Northern’s third-team score, shooting 149 (76, 73, +7). He knocked three strokes off in his second round, helping him move seven spots up the leaderboard. Ylitalo shot an even par back nine, going bogey-free.
  • Tyler Annala tallied the forth team score for the Wildcats, he finished T11 alongside Ylitalo. Annala shot a 149 (74, 75, +7), also shooting an even par on the back nine. Annala made four birdies over the course of his two rounds.
  • A third member of the ‘Cats finished T11, Arthur Ylitalo. He helped his team by shooting a 149 (73, 76, +7). Ylitalo made two birdies in his last three holes of play.
  • Brady Badker finished T47 while competing individually, he shot a 163 (80, 83, +21) with one birdie in his second round.

Up Next
The Wildcats will conclude its fall season next week in another 36-hole event from Monday, October 23 to Tuesday, October 24. The Whistling Straits Intercollegiate event will be held at the previous USA Ryder Cup location, Whistling Straits Golf Club in Sheboygan, WI.