Illini place seventh at Crooked Sticks Collegiate

Varun+Chopra+golfs+at+the+Olympia+Field+Country+Club%2FFighting+Illini+Invitational+at+Olympia+Fields+on+Sept.+16.+

Photo Courtesy of Illini Athletics

Varun Chopra golfs at the Olympia Field Country Club/Fighting Illini Invitational at Olympia Fields on Sept. 16.

By Rich Eberwein, Staff Writer

The men’s golf team finished out the Crooked Sticks Collegiate in seventh place among 14 teams with a total score of 24-over par.  The tournament was hosted by Indiana and saw Georgia take first place with a total team score of just 3-over par, while Vanderbilt (+4), Northwestern (+15), Marquette (+15) and Ohio State (+17) rounded out the top five. 

The Illini had high expectations going into Crooked Sticks with plenty of rest and a top-five finish in their last outing.

“This was a tough week, and this is not how we look to close out a tournament,” said head coach Mike Small. “There was not a lot of consistency among our lineup, with each of our players having stretches that hurt them, and as a result, our team could not get traction on this challenging, yet fair golf course.”

Conditions were less than favorable in Carmel, with gusts of wind hitting up to 25 mph on the 7567-yard par-71 course as teams had to play 36 holes on Monday and 18 holes in round three on Tuesday.

The upside of the tournament was the top 20 finishes from senior Michael Feagles and freshman Jerry Ji, who finished 13th and 19th respectively.  Feagles’ best round was on Tuesday where he shot an even-par at 71 with four birdies. Ji also shot a 71 in round one of the tournament on Monday. The rest of the team finished spread out between sophomore Tommy Kuhl’s 28th place and Bryan Baumgarten’s 40th place. 

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Sophomore Adrien Dumont de Chassart ended in between with a 32nd place finish, tying junior Brendan O’Reilly who represented Illinois as an individual and shot a 76 in round three on Tuesday.  Sophomore Noah Gillard also competed in the individual field and tied for 40th place with a great performance in round three where he collected five birdies for a one-over-par effort. 

Illinois won’t have much time to catch its breath as it heads to Isleworth Country Club for the Tavistock Collegiate Invitational in Orange County, Florida this weekend.  The 54-hole event starts at 8 a.m. on Sunday and will conclude Tuesday. Started in 2003 and known as one of the more prestigious college men’s golf tournaments, the Tavistock Collegiate will be co-hosted by the University of Central Florida and West Virginia University. The challenging tournament will host elite golf schools from around the country to compete on the 7,544-yard, par 72 country club designed by golf legend Arnold Palmer. 

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