Illini men’s golf team beats Illinois State in Tinervan Cup

By Dan Bernstein

Throughout his tenure at Illinois, the Illini men’s golf team head Coach Mike Small has always preached one thing to his golfers: win championships. 

After a runner-up finish in last year’s NCAA Championships, the Illini return five of their six starters from last season and look to make another run at a national title. 

While golf season may seem distant for local Champaign-Urbana golfers, the No. 6-ranked Illinois men’s golf team began its 2014 spring season by traveling to Placida, Fla., to compete in the annual Tinervin Cup against in-state competition Illinois State. 

The tournament consisted of a Ryder Cup-style format as the golfers competed in three four-ball matches in the morning and six singles matches in the afternoon at the 7,038-yard, par-71 Coral Creek Club.

The Illini have never lost to the Redbirds in the battle for the Tinervin Cup and Saturday proved to be more of the same as the Illini captured the trophy once again for the 11th straight year. The Orange and Blue got contributions from all six of their starters, as they retained the cup by a 6-3 score.

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The morning four-ball matches got the Illini off to a good start as the duo of Brian Campbell and Thomas Detry defeated Illinois State’s Parker Freiburg and Jordan Fahel. The Illini’s Charlie Danielson and David Kim then took care of the Redbirds’ Wils Hawn and Kyle Meihofer, followed by Illinois’ Jonathon Hauter and Alex Burge’s win over Gintilella and Josh Edison. Burge was forced to forfeit his afternoon singles match after suffering a wrist injury.

“It was a productive weekend to get out and compete and gauge where our games are right now,” Small said in a press release. “Everybody showed some good things today but we also were able to find some areas of our games that we can work on.”

In the five contested singles matches, the Illini won three of them as Campbell, Detry and Kim all recorded wins. After a promising start to the spring season, the Illini will have a couple weeks without competition before traveling back to Florida to compete in the Big Ten Match Play Championships.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and @yaboybernie11.