Men’s golf team starts season in Ohio

By Nathan Grimm

The Fighting Illini Men’s Golf team kicks off their official season today at the Inverness Intercollegiate Invitational in Toledo, Ohio.

The two-day tournament will be the first challenge of the young season for the Illini. Included in the field are the Florida Gators, a team that placed runner-up in the 2006 NCAA Championships, and the Georgia Bulldogs, who finished sixth. Other teams in the field include Texas A&M;, Coastal Carolina and UNLV, all teams that finished ranked in the top 20 of the NCAA Championships.

Leading the Illini will be seniors Kyle Hosick and Patrick Nagle, the team’s only two seniors. Hosick, who finished last year as the only Illini golfer to compete in all 11 of the team’s tournaments, was the team’s top finisher at the event in 2005.

Nagle holds a career stroke average of 73.19, which is good enough to place him second in the school’s history. Nagle led the 2005 Illini with a 73.61 stroke average on his way to earning second-team All-Big Ten honors.

The Illini finished tied for seventh at the event last year. The Gators will be attempting to defend their victory in last year’s Inverness Invitational.