Illinois men’s golf wins Macdonald Cup, breaks three team records

The Illinois men’s golf team followed up its 33-stroke victory at the Wolf Run Intercollegiate with yet another dominant performance this weekend at the Macdonald Cup. The team shot an 807 to win and was led by tournament champion, junior Brian Campbell.

In the first round Saturday morning, the Illini shot a combined 269, which broke the 18-hole team record by three shots.

Later that day the Illini shot a 270, which brought the team to 21-under-par after two rounds. Saturday’s second round broke the 36-hole team record.

Despite rain throughout the final round Sunday, the Illini posted their best score of the tournament, posting more record-breaking scores. The team combined for 268 strokes and this brought it to 33-under for the tournament, which broke the 54-hole team record.

Campbell, sophomore Charlie Danielson, senior Jonathan Hauter and sophomore Thomas Detry finished first, third, fourth and fifth respectively. Sophomore David Kim finished eighth with a 2-under.

“I was impressed with the depth,” head coach Mike Small said. “Our scores that did not count this week were all par or better.”

The Illini came into the tournament expecting a challenge playing at The Course at Yale, which is considered one of the best college courses in the country.

“We got down here early and got used to the course, and the first day we had some rain so the course was a little more wet, which made it more scoreable,” Danielson said.

Small said despite pre-tournament concerns, the course played well for the team.

“The course was pretty there for us … the size of the greens and the speed of the putts, (we) did not have much trouble,” Small said.

A final round 282 at the Olympia Fields Invitational, the best round at the tournament that day, started a wave of momentum for the Illini. Since the Illini have been playing so well it has been hard to improve, especially when wedge shots and putting were strengths throughout the weekend, Small said. He emphasized that pitching and putting will be very important heading to the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational in two weeks to compete against the strongest field in the country.

“It is a tough course — short game will be the key for the next tournament,” Detry said. “Our game overall is pretty good, but we have to keep practicing and keep hitting good balls.”

After back-to-back tournament wins, the No. 17 Illini hope to continue to climb the rankings at Isleworth.

Kieran can be reached at [email protected]