Illinois men’s golf to compete in regional tournament

Senior Jonathan Hauter and assistant coach Justin Fetcho celebrate at the Big Ten Championships. The Illini will be a No. 2 seed at regionals. 

By Dan Bernstein

After finishing the 2013-14 regular season with wins at Wolf Run, the Macdonald Cup, the Tinervan Cup and the Louisiana Classics, the Illinois men’s golf team placed second at the Big Ten Championships and earned a spot in an NCAA regional golf tournament.

Following five stright Big Ten championships, the second-place finish was a disappointment for the Illini. But the team now has a chance to focus on the NCAAs, where it finished second behind Alabama a year ago.

The No. 8 Illini will not have to travel far. They will be playing in the regional hosted by Northern Illinois at Rich Harvest Farms, in Sugar Grove, Ill., between May 15-17.

The 7,100-yard, par-72 course was rated No. 58 on Golf Digest’s list of top-100 Greatest Golf Courses in 2011-12 and has played host to the LPGA Solheim Cup.

The regional will host some of the best college golfers in the country. No. 6 California, No. 16 Alabama-Birmingham, No. 25 Southern California and No. 28 UNLV will also be competing in the 14-team field.

The Illini, led by sophomores Charlie Danielson and Thomas Detry, junior Brian Campbell and senior Jonathan Hauter, are the No. 2 seed at the tournament, only behind the Pac-12’s California Golden Bears.

After earning medalist honors at the Big Ten Championships last weekend, Danielson looks to lead the Illini to a top-five spot at regionals to move on to the the NCAA Championships. Illinois has made it to six straight NCAA championships and is one of only six teams that can boast that feat.

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