Illini golf finishes 16th at Classic

By Meghan Montemurro

The Illinois men’s golf team wrapped up the three-day Puerto Rico Classic by finishing in 16th place out of 18 teams. Junior Mark Ogren led the Illini shooting two over par with a total score of 218, good enough for a 27th-place finish overall.

The Puerto Rico Classic featured a strong field with 10 teams ranked in the top 20 nationally, which included the top five teams in the country.

Illinois head coach Mike Small said there were some bright spots in the team’s play, but in the end the Illini didn’t get the job done.

“We didn’t make enough birdies, and we made too many bogeys,” Small said.

If Illinois had been able to limit high stroke counts on holes, Small said the team had the opportunity to finish 10th or 11th.

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While the Illini didn’t finish as high as the team would have liked, Small said there were positives to take away from the Classic.

Ogren’s solid performance during the first two rounds offered a preview for things to come. The team’s second-round performance was an area Small was satisfied with.

“Our goal is to peak and really be strong come April for the Big Ten season and championship meet,” Small said.

Small said one of the team’s goals is to continue to improve both as a team and individually by the end of the season. Next week Illinois will head down to Lafayette, La., for the Louisiana Classic.

“Our goal is to go play well and continue to improve and have a chance to win,” Small said. “But each person has to take upon themselves to take care of their issues this week in practice.”