No. 3 Illinois men’s golf dominates at Boilermaker Invitational

By Drake Pena

The Illinois men’s golf team had four of its five participating golfers finish in the top five of individual scoring at the Boilermaker Invitational in West Lafayette, Indiana, this weekend. Head coach Mike Small is proud of his players individual performances, but he is even happier with his team as a whole.

“We had a full team effort, and that’s really what we want when we come into a tournament.” Small said, “We want them to shoot well when compared to the other players, but going out there and playing like a team to our full potential is what matters.”

Juniors Thomas Detry and Charlie Danielson tied for first on the individual leaderboard, each shooting a 206, 10-under par. Danielson was two strokes away from matching the course record in his second round, shooting a 65 — only two strokes higher than course record holders Johan Edin, Jorge Campillo and Cain Weber’s mark of 63. Freshman Dylan Meyer and senior Brian Campbell rounded out top four, finishing in third and fourth, respectively, with scores of 207 (-9), and 210 (-6).

The tournament took place at Kampen Course, Purdue’s home course, where Illinois used the weekend to prepare for the postseason, as well as to scout a course that proved difficult for a fairly competitive field.

“I feel like it was a good prep for the golf course,” Small said, “It’s always nice to see fellow Big Ten competitors out there. In golf it doesn’t really matter, they can play bad one day, then great the next. It was more about getting a feel for the course.”

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    As a team, Illinois was dominant. Shooting a combined 829 (-35), Illinois faced no real threat from any of the 14 competitors. Louisville and Northwestern finished second and third, shooting 861 (-3), and 869 (+5), respectively.

    Small said he thinks that his team is hitting its stride at the right time.

    “We have really good players. In golf it really comes and goes, and when you get hot you have to take advantage of that,” Small said, “When we get out there and play our best we can really rock and roll. We built some momentum coming in to the Big Ten and NCAA Championship tournaments.”

    The Illini finished third at the Boilermaker Invitational in 2013 and second in 2014. Small didn’t think about his team’s past performances in the tournament, but he is pleased with the progress his team continues to make throughout the season.

    “We don’t think about last year, and we don’t focus on this year. We try to focus on getting better as players, and as a team.” Small said, “I know we have won the event a few times in the past, and we have also come in second and third a few times, too. I’m just really proud of my guys today.”

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