Illini men’s golfers succeed in fall amateur events

Junior+Adrien+Dumont+de+Chassart+watches+his+ball+fly+through+the+air+after+a+swing+during+competition.

Photo Courtesy of Fighting Illini Athletics

Junior Adrien Dumont de Chassart watches his ball fly through the air after a swing during competition.

By Christian Jones, Contributing Writer

The Illinois men’s golf team has been busy this fall despite not competing as a team due to COVID-19 shutdowns. Instead, the golfers have played in amateur events hosted by nearby universities.

Juniors Tommy Kuhl and Adrien Dumont de Chassart recorded wins in back-to-back weekends for the Illini in October.

Kuhl finished 5-over-par with a total score of 218 after three rounds at the Golfweek Hoosier Amateur in Bloomington, Indiana.

“Just going out and playing my game, I had a good mindset going into that event and all my events this fall, so that definitely helped,” Kuhl said.

The Hoosier Amateur was Kuhl’s first win in three events this fall. Dumont de Chassart and sophomore Jerry Ji backed up Kuhl finishing 11th and 13th, respectively.

The following weekend Dumont de Chassart won the Golfweek Purdue Amateur in West Lafayette, Indiana, finishing 9-under-par with a total score of 207 after three rounds.

“It felt good to go out there and play in some tournaments even though the field wasn’t that strong,” Dumont de Chassart said. “But a win is a win, right?”

Dumont de Chassart narrowly beat out fellow Illini sophomore Nico Lang. Lang finished just four strokes behind Dumont de Chassart, tying for second in the tournament. Kuhl and senior Michael Feagles finished tied for seventh.

The Illini have impressed this fall after enduring the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Just seven months ago Dumont de Chassart did not know when he would return home to Belgium or if he would be allowed to return to Illinois this fall.

“We thought that we were gonna go back home, but we wouldn’t have been allowed to come back for the fall semester,” Dumont de Chassart said. “That’s why we waited for two months and a half, and then we had the green light to go back.”

During the nearly three-month wait for word from the NCAA, Dumont de Chassart and Ji stayed with Kuhl and his parents at their home in Peoria, Ill.

“My parents wanted to have them, they loved having them,” Kuhl said. “It would’ve been hard for them living on campus during those times, because all the facilities were shut down.”

Kuhl and Dumont de Chassart are close friends and have been since they became roommates their freshman year at Illinois, according to Kuhl. The pair have golfed together for seven years now after first meeting in high school on the European junior circuit. The three golfers became even closer this summer.

“It was a lot of fun throughout those a little over two months,” Kuhl said. “We got better, we pushed each other, kept each other accountable to a schedule, it was a good time.”

@JonesChristianT

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