Men’s golf slips to sixth at Boilermaker Invitational

By Lee Ann Sangalang

Following two rounds of play on Saturday at the Boilermaker Invitational, the Illinois men’s golf team was tied for third place entering the final round on Sunday. Poor shooting in the last round bumped the Illini to a tie for sixth place with Eastern Michigan in the final standings. The team finished at four-under par (860).

The tournament, played on this year’s NCAA Championship course, featured nationally ranked opponents such as No. 4 Charlotte and Big Ten rivals No. 20 Indiana and No. 21 Michigan State.

While Indiana took second place, and Michigan State and host Purdue tied for third ahead of Illinois, the team did come out ahead of Wisconsin, Iowa and Northwestern. Illinois also finished in front of Penn State and Ohio State at the Marshall Invitational on April 5. Illinois’ ability to place in front of five Big Ten teams is crucial for this weekend’s Big Ten Championship tournament in East Lansing, Mich.

“It’s anybody’s race,” Illinois head coach Mike Small said in a press release. “There are about nine teams that could win.”

The team brought a new lineup to the tournament this weekend featuring redshirt sophomores Zach Barlow and Matt Hoffman, freshmen Scott Langley and Chris DeForest and junior Larry Blatt, in hopes of solidifying its lineup for the postseason.

Barlow led the Illini with two-under par (216) and tied for 17th place. Langley shot the lowest first-round score for Illinois tying for second place individually with five-under par (67). DeForest led the Illini in the third round with two-under par (70). Langley’s first round and DeForest’s third round allowed them to tie for 24th place with one-over par (217). Rounding out the Illinois lineup, Hoffman and Blatt tied for 46th place.

“It was a good experience for our guys to be in the final group of a major regional event,” Small said. “We learned a lot about ourselves and had some top teams on the ropes. This is another step in the progression of our program.”