Illinois finishes 11th in Fighting Illini Invitational, freshmen make debuts


Photo Courtesy of Illinois Men's Golf Facebook Page

Sophomore Piercen Hunt follows through on his swing after hitting the ball at the 15th annual OFCC/Fighting Illini Invitational on Sunday. The team finished in 11th with a debut from freshman Dylan Keating and TJ Barger.

By Andre Thomas, Staff Writer

Illinois has already had one competition in the month of September, and this past weekend the Illini took a short trip to Olympia Fields for the 15th annual OFCC/Fighting Illini Invitational. The three-day weekend concluded with Illinois placing 11th out of 15 teams, while the No. 1 Oklahoma State took home the tournament title.

Illinois had a total of 292 strokes for the first round behind Big Ten schools Purdue and Indiana. The upperclassmen were trying their best to keep Illinois in the game, with senior Adrien Dumont de Chassart tied for 22nd place after shooting 2-over-par on day one. But he wasn’t the only one, as juniors Jerry Ji and Nico Lang were tied for 32nd place after the first round of play.

The second day was somewhat better for Illinois behind the performances from every grade level. Dumont de Chassart and Ji both had solid days for the Illini although the team remained in 11th place. But the real comeback of the weekend was sophomore Piercen Hunt, who had a very tough start the day before.

Hunt has been busy this summer, as the Wisconsin native placed third in the Wisconsin State Open and won the 120th Wisconsin State Amateur Championship. Although it’s only the second invitational this year, Hunt has some big shoes to fill with Dumont de Chassart, Luke Armbrust and Tommy Kuhl being seniors, which means he will have to keep up the key performances. 

The Illini had multiple freshmen make their season debut this weekend, opening eyes for head coach Mike Small. Freshman Dylan Keating and TJ Barger both performed well individually with top 75 finishes.

Illinois concluded its tournament with 865 strokes (25 strokes over par) in total, though the Illini finished off their third round better than the first. Illinois will look for a better turnout in two weeks when they travel to Fayetteville, Arkansas for the three-day Blessings Collegiate Invitational on Oct. 4-6.



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