Men’s golf returns from busy break in Florida contest

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Ryan Ash

The exterior of the J.G. Demirjian Indoor Golf Facility on St Marys Rd on Dec. 3

By Rich Eberwein, Staff Writer

The men’s golf team returns to action on Feb. 1, and the players have been keeping their skills sharp during winter break with several athletes competing in offseason tournaments.  

Junior Varun Chopra, sophomore Luke Armbrust and sophomore Tommy Kuhl competed in the Saguaro Amateur, which concluded on Saturday in Maricopa, Arizona. Kuhl finished tied for 20th place while Chopra and Armbrust finished tied for 30th and 44th, respectively.

In Litchfield Park, Arizona, seniors Bryan Baumgarten and Michael Feagles finished in the top 30 of 83 players in the Patriot All American, with Baumgarten shooting even par and Feagles +1 over the three-day event. 

Luke Armbrust was active again when he traveled to the Orlando Amateur with Noah Gillard. Armbrust finished 21 over while Gillard shot two under par. Brendan O’Reilly was the lone Illinois competitor in the New Years Invitational, where he took an impressive 16th place at St. Petersburg Country Club. 

Sophomore Adrien Dumont de Chassart was accompanied by senior Giovanni Tadiotto across the Atlantic to play in the Copa Andalucia in Spain. Chassart took second place while Tadiotto grabbed fourth for two outstanding top-five finishes.  

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    The team recently received a monetary bolster to the tune of a $2 million donation to be used for an addition to the already state of the art Demirjian golf practice facility. The upgrade will include several new hitting bays and a putting studio with analysis equipment for the team to further improve their short game.  

    Head coach Mike Small hopes to start the team off strong in 2020 after a decade of dominance that brought home nine Big Ten Championships, 10 NCAA final appearances and two NCAA Individual Champions including Scott Langley in 2010 and Thomas Pieters in 2012. The Illini will kick off the spring season in Placida, Florida, on Feb. 1; their first official tournament since the Cypress Point Classic at the end of October. 

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