Strong performance at Robert Kepler Intercollegiate leaves Illinois men’s golf exiting regular season in championship form


Photo courtesy of Dannie Mattie/Illinois Athletics

Junior Adrien Dumont de Chassart swings his club during the NCAA Championship on May 31. Dumont de Chassart alongside Tommy Kuhl gave performances that led Illinois to a title win two weeks ago at the Boilermaker Invitational.

By Matthew Sinele, Contributing Writer

The Illinois men’s golf team took to the greens in Columbus, Ohio, this weekend to compete in the Robert Kepler Intercollegiate where they secured their third team title of the season. They entered this weekend fresh off another title win at the Boilermaker Invitational just two weeks ago.

The first day of the tournament saw the Illini with white hot clubs. They ended the first round in second place, sitting just three strokes back of Ohio State on their home course.

In the second round, the team was a bit more shaky through their first seven holes, shooting a combined +8. However, Illinois wasn’t only able to rally back in their next 11 holes, they caught fire shooting their lowest combined round on the season, pushing the team to a 7 stroke lead to end the day.

Day two marked the start of round three, and yet another impressive pace was set by the Illini as they extended their lead to 18 strokes through the first 12 holes. This separation was enough to seal the championship for the team despite a rougher stretch endured on the back 6 of this round. The team shot 834 on the tournament, finishing 30 shots under par and eclipsing their closest opponent, Ohio State, by 13 shots. 

Every team is looking to their best guy to instill confidence in them, but for Illinois that came in the form of dual-leadership from Seniors Tommy Kuhl and Adrien Dumont de Chassart.

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    Kuhl shot 69 and 70 in the first two rounds and closed out Sunday with a 70 while Dumont de Chassart put up 70, 67 and finished the third round 71. This was enough to tie the two for third overall with eight shots under par.

    The rest of the lineup followed closely behind with sophomore Piercen Hunt finishing sixth, at a 211 total, and junior Jerry Ji and freshman Jackson Buchanan tied for the eighth spot, shooting 212 total.

    What is extremely exciting about this tournament is that every player performed at or near the best that they had all season long.

    Buchanan tied his season low through 54 holes, and the other four were all within six strokes of their best on the season. Being able to come into Columbus, play at this high of a level, take a lead and continue to build on it is a major confidence booster for the Illini heading into the postseason.

    The Big Ten Championship is next up on the docket for Illinois, and they’re getting hot at the ideal time to take home their seventh straight. If Illinois can continue to come out of the gates hot and hold onto leads the way they have recently, this is a force to be reckoned with over the next month, and the Illinois fanbase is waiting in anticipation for what’s next.

    Action at the Big Ten Championships begins this Friday in French Lick, Ind., and goes until Sunday as the Illini look for their seventh straight championship win.


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