Feagles, Illini earn win after almost year-long hiatus
February 16, 2021
Michael Feagles led from start to finish in a dominant win for both the senior and the Illini at the Mobile Bay Intercollegiate early this week.
Four Illini finished in the top 10 with sophomore Jerry Ji placing second and juniors Tommy Kuhl and Adrien Dumont de Chassart placing third and ninth, respectively. Dominant might even be an understatement.
“I know those four guys can play,” said coach Mike Small. “If you ask them, they probably haven’t seen the results they wanted to see last year. So, I think they have a little chip on their shoulder.”
As a team, the Illini’s worst round was better than any other school’s best round. Their final score of 827(-27) was 17 strokes ahead of second-place Indiana.
“It was inspiring,” Small said. “Michael’s a good front runner and when he gets going, when he finds his rhythm, he’s a good as anybody.”
Feagles is in his fifth year at Illinois after the spring season during his senior year was cut short and the NCAA offered players an extra year of eligibility.
He came out hot on the first day of the tournament, recording a birdie on the very first hole. He finished the tournament with 18 total birdies and only two bogeys.
Ji, who finished second, was the model of consistency. He scored a par on each of the first 17 holes and ended the round with a birdie.
In round two he was able to move up from 19th to 13th on the leaderboard and on the last day he jumped up to second after tallying six birdies in the final round.
Kuhl was ahead of Ji in the first two rounds but was eclipsed by the sophomore after bogeying four times in the final round. He tied for third with Clay Merchant of Indiana.
Coach Small said he was excited to be back on the course after an 11-month wait.
“This is what I chose to do for my living, I chose to coach,” said Small. “When I can’t have a stake and be with them arm-in-arm when they’re trying to chase their dreams, part of me is not whole.”
The Illini head to Baton Rouge next weekend for the LSU invitational.