Illinois wins fifth straight at Wolf Run

By Lauren Mroz

The Illini men’s golf team added to a five-year win streak at the Wolf Run Intercollegiate this weekend, securing top finishes on both the team and individual leaderboards. The tournament was hosted by Wolf Run Golf Club in Zionsville, Indiana. This was the team’s second consecutive win for Illinois after last weekend’s first-place finish at the Olympia Field Country Club Fighting Illini Invitational.

“We came to play. I’m very proud of the team for that,” head coach Mike Small said. “Sometimes after a big national win like (last week), you have a letdown, and there was no letdown this week.

“Our leadership was very good. Our veteran players really showed up, and I commend them.”

The Illini finished 30 strokes ahead of second-place Florida. Senior Brian Campbell took the individual top spot at 4-under-par, while juniors Charlie Danielson (1-under) and Thomas Detry (5-over) were not far behind in second and fourth places.

“Brian, Charlie and Thomas all came to play,” said Small. “They understand that every week is a new week. They didn’t have a hangover. They didn’t let our team have a hangover.”

Small thought his veteran players set the tone for the Illini.

“Just like last week, they emphasized to our younger players that you have to bring it again,” Small said. “You can’t live in the past, and you can’t think about the future. You have to take care of what you’re doing now, and that’s what these boys showed us.”

Play was halted during the second round Saturday due to inclement weather conditions. Play resumed Sunday morning with the Illini leading the field by 10 strokes.

“I don’t think the delay did too much,” Campbell said. “I just tried to stay focused on every shot I had. I think it was a nice break.

“I just got myself refocused to get going on Sunday.”

Campbell credits experience for the team’s success on the Wolf Run course.

“I think we just know the course very well and we are very good at playing when it is difficult conditions,” he said. “Especially this week, it was very windy and we tailored our games to deal with that, face adversity and embrace it.”

The Fighting Illini’s next meet is the Sagamore Preview on Oct. 13 and 14 in Indianapolis.

“(A win there) will only add to the momentum that (the team) has built during the first two tournaments,” Campbell said. “That will hopefully carry on throughout the season and allow us to keep getting better until the end of the season when it really matters.”

Lauren can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @MrozLauren.