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Portz Leads NKU Golf Team to Top 4 Finish

A near record-setting final round helped the Northern Kentucky men's golf team shatter the previous 54-hole record and climb the Joe Feaganes Marshall Invitational leaderboard en route to a fourth-place team finish.

Rounds of 283 and 287 put NKU at 2-over par and in eighth-place heading into the final round. The Norse responded with a 7-under par 277, which missed NKU's single-round mark by a mere two strokes. Northern Kentucky's 54-hole total of 847 lopped 10-strokes off of the previous mark of 857 established at the Wasioto Winds Fall Kick-Off in 2011.

A glowing performance from Clayton Portz guided the Norse to their record-breaking total. Portz followed rounds of 70-69 on Monday with a 6-under par 65 Tuesday for a 54-hole total of 204. The senior topped his own school record of 205, set last season at the TSU Big Blue Intercollegiate. He now owns three of NKU's top four scoring marks.

At 9-under for the tournament, Portz climbed from a share of 10th into fourth place. He was four-shots out of first, which Belmont's Ashton Von Horne claimed at 13-under.
 
"The guys played great," said head coach Daryl Landrum. "Clayton's 65 started the charge and the rest of the team finished with solid performances."

Logan Gamm and Matt Wetherill also broke par on the day, shooting 1-under apiece. Jackson Frame carded the final countable score at 1-over. Jacob Poore, playing as an individual, matched Frame's 1-over, while Jacob Brinker carded a round of 9-over.

Gamm earned a share of 28th (+1) and Wetherill finished one shot back in a tie for 36th. Poore and Frame tied for 41st and 69th, respectively, in the 96-player field. Brinker closed in 80th.

Belmont held on to win the event at 18-under after Bowling Green made up 10 strokes in the final round and fell one shot shy. Wichita State closed three strokes ahead of the Norse in third.

NKU finished ahead of some of the top teams in the region and Horizon League, including Youngstown State, Dayton, Wright State, Eastern Kentucky, Morehead State, Cleveland State and West Virginia.

The Norse will be back in action next week at the Leo Keenan Invitational sponsored by St. Bonaventure in St. Bonaventure, New York.

Staff report/Photo via NKU Athletics