Men’s golf finishes fall season

By Frank Vanderwall

Despite failing to shoot a single round under par, Illinois closed out the fall season with its most consistent outing of the year.

Illinois tied for third place at the fourth annual Landfall Tradition, hosted by North Carolina-Wilmington at the par 72, 6,992-yard Jack Nicklaus Course at the Country Club of Landfall. The tournament was played last Friday and Saturday.

The team made some real progress in their play this weekend as they finally found some scoring consistency. In past tournaments, they have struggled to put four low numbers on the board each round and have had to keep some high scores. This weekend the highest score they kept was a 5-over-par 77.

“I think we had more success this week because we were more comfortable,” Junior Kyle Hosick said. “The more you play competitively the more comfortable you are; we held each other up better than we have in the past.”

Leading the way for the Illini was junior Patrick Nagle who finally broke out of his slump. Nagle placed ninth in the tournament and took his first top-ten of the year.

Nagle shot 74-73-73, posting a 4-over-par 220 for the tournament. He finished nine strokes behind Coastal Carolina’s Dustin Johnson, who took medalist honors.

Sophomore Mark Ogren played very well finishing in 19th place. He shot an 8-over-par 224, securing his best tournament as an Illini.

Ogren was followed by Hosick who tied for 30th. Sophomores Danny Zimmerman and Andy Mack placed 33rd and 39th respectively.

“Third is better than fourth or last, and we played pretty good,” Hosick said. “I think we could have played better the first two rounds, but it’s not a bad thing because it shows we don’t have to play our best to compete.”

Illinois did not play at the level they are capable of for an entire tournament all season, yet they have continued to improve, coming closer to their goal of winning events.

In their first tournament of the season Illinois finished in the middle of the pack, and then dropped to the bottom third in their second tournament. However, they finished strong with fourth and third place honors in their final two competitive events.

The young Illini squad has some new faces emerging as premier golfers and is looking forward to coming back next season and winning some tournaments.

“There are a lot of positives we can take from the fall season,” Hosick said. “We really improved as a team throughout the year and we are happy with the way we finished.”

The team starts winter workouts on Wednesday. They will run and lift three times a week during the workout sessions as well as do a lot of putting and hitting practice at their indoor facility in Huff Hall.

“We will spend the winter getting in shape and sharpening our games so we can start off spring the way we want to,” Hosick said.