Illinois men’s golf to Compete at USF Invitational

By Dan Bernstein

Every year, Illinois student athletes put their non-sports-related talents on display in the talent show formatted Jock Jams competition at Huff Hall. Although most teams perform dances, raps, or made up skits, the golf team decided to try out something different this year.

Although most wouldn’t dream of seeing collegiate golfers take the runway to perform a rendition of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, but the Jock Jams competition is capable of anything, and that’s what the Illinois men’s golf team decided to perform Tuesday. Although the team placed third for its efforts, the golf team fashion show was entertaining, to say the least. All seven golfers participated in the event, showing off not only their farmers-tanned skin, but their feminine outfits that ranged from tight booty-shorts to tank-tops to Victoria’s Secret’s famous “angel wings.”

“We just wanted to put on a show for the audience,” Sophomore Charlie Danielson said. “We’re all competitors, and we hate to lose. Our whole team has that mindset with whatever we do.”

Although Jock Jams is only a talent show that raises money for charities, the effort and preparation displayed by the Illinois men’s golf team was impressive. The competitive mindset is the mentality that head coach Mike Small wants all of his golfers to attain.

“We compete at everything we do,” Small said. “If they’re going to go dress up as women, then go dress up as women better than anybody.”

Although his golfers will not be dressing up as women this upcoming weekend at Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club in Tampa, Fla., this is the mentality his team will carry with it while competing in the three-day USF Invitational Tournament starting Sunday.

“In every little thing you do in life, you want to do it to the best of your ability,” jnior Brian Campbell said. “It’s a good habit to build and becomes almost automatic.”

The 17-team event will showcase some of the top talent in the country. The No. 6-ranked Illini are the highest ranked team in the field, but No. 19 Florida State, No. 24 Auburn and No. 28 South Florida will also be competing in the event, along with Big Ten foes Ohio State, Wisconsin and Purdue.

Although many of these teams have the ability to practice outside year-round, the Illini are at a disadvantage because of the cold weather in Champaign.

“It is a disadvantage in a warm-weather sport, but we don’t talk about it or make a big deal out of it,” Small said. “It is the same disadvantage of last year when we finished second in the country. We play with the conditions we have.”

The Illini will not have to worry about cold-weather conditions this weekend in Tampa.

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