Macdonald Cup: Men’s golf takes first
October 3, 2018
No. 12-ranked Illinois traveled to New Haven, Connecticut, over the weekend to compete in the Macdonald Cup and took home first place in the tournament. The last time the Illini competed this fall, they placed sixth in the OFCC/Fighting Illini Invitational.
The Illini were eager to compete after placing below expectation at their last outing.
“While there (were) a lot of good teams there, that wasn’t what we were looking for,” said junior Bryan Baumgarten. “We wanted to start building momentum … we came in with one goal: to come out with a team victory.”
The Illini got out to a solid first-round start, outpacing Yale and scoring 8-under-par for a score of 272. After the first round, they never looked back. They posted 9-under-par in the second round to outpace the second-place Bulldogs by two, increasing their total lead to three strokes. The Illini sealed the result in the third round. Despite shooting 2-over-par, they ended the tournament with a total of 825, scoring 15-under-par.
Head coach Mike Small was pleased with his players.
“We drove it better last week than we have in the previous tournament, which was good,” Small said. “Our short game needs to get a little better, and we just need to get settled in some tournament golf and get used to playing.”
Illinois was led by Baumgarten and freshman Adrien Dumont de Chassart, who competed as an individual. The two were tied for second in the tournament, and both scored 8-under-par.
Baumgarten was the leading Illini for most of the first two rounds and most notably scored an eagle on the 16th hole in the second round to make up for two bogeys in that same round on the 6th and 13th holes. Baumgarten scored nine birdies and an eagle throughout his three rounds.
Dumont de Chassart climbed from seventh place after the second round to second place by the end of the tournament, putting up seven birdies in the third round for a score of 5-under-par.
All seven of the Illini who competed were in the top 22, with four of them scoring in the top 10. Junior Michael Feagles finished tied for ninth with a score of 2-under-par, and junior Giovanni Tadiotto finished tied for sixth with a score of 3-under-par.
“I like to think all of them are emerging as leaders,” Small said.
The Illini are ready to stick to what has made them successful in the past.
“We need to stay with who we are; the culture and the environment that we have established in this program needs to come front and center,” Small said. “The guys need to show up with confidence every tournament and some conviction with what they are going and some eagerness to compete for Illinois.”