#6 Illini Stumble Against Wolverines in Match Play
Feb. 14, 2014
BRADENTON, Fla. - Illinois sophomore Charlie Danielson scored a 5 & 4 win and junior Brian Campbell earned a 1-up victory, but the top-seeded Illini struggled down the stretch in the other three matches as No. 8 seed Michigan pulled out a 3-2 victory Friday in the Big Ten Match Play quarterfinals at The Concession Golf Club, a par-72, 7,177-yard course.
"We just got beat," Illinois head coach Mike Small said. "They were the more aggressive team today. They came out to get us and we were soft. They got on a roll and put us out. We only made six birdies to win holes today, so we didn't have a lot of offense. In the three matches we lost, we had zero birdies in one and one birdie in the other. And in the third match, we lost four of the last six holes. The bright spots were Charlie (Danielson) and Brian (Campbell). Charlie played solid all day and Brian wasn't hitting it well but competed."
In the No. 5 spot, junior Alex Burge struggled from the start, losing three of the first five holes against Michigan's Bryce Evon and making the turn 3-down. Evon went 4-up after 10 but Burge got one back over the next three holes as he won No. 10, Evon won No. 11 and Burge took No. 14. But after halving No. 15, Evon birdied the par-4 16th to win 4 & 2.
At No. 4, senior Jonathan Hauter took a quick lead, winning holes on Nos. 1 and 4 against Tom Swanson. The Wolverine won No. 7 but Hauter made the turn 2-up after winning the par-4 8th hole with a par. The players halved the next three holes before Swanson birdied No. 12 to win the hole. Swanson took advantage of Hauter's double-bogey on the par-5 13th, but the Illini veteran appeared to right the ship by halving the next two holes to leave the match all-square through 15. But Swanson won the next two holes to clinch the match 2 & 1.
Danielson ran away with his 5 & 4 victory despite being ahead only 1-up at the turn. But the Illini sophomore won No. 10 and he halved No. 11 with Reed Hrynewich. Then Danielson heated up, going par-birdie-birdie compared to the Wolverine's bogey-par-par and take the match.
Sophomore Thomas Detry struggled early against Michigan sophomore Brett McIntosh, as the Wolverine took a 2-up lead after seven holes. Detry seemed to gather himself, halving the next two holes before winning No. 10 to pull within a hole of McIntosh. But the Wolverine went birdie-birdie on the next two holes to go 3-up. Detry won No. 13 but McIntosh won two of the next three holes to take the 4 & 2 victory.
At No. 1, Campbell won holes No. 3 and 6 to pull ahead 2-up but Michigan sophomore Chris O'Neill won 7 and 8 to square up the match. Campbell battled back, though, winning on 9 and 11, before the pair halved the next three matches. Two-up with four holes remaining, Campbell bogeyed the 15th and 17th, letting O'Neill squared up the match heading into 18. But Campbell notched par while O'Neill bogeyed the par-4 18th, giving the Illini junior a 1-up victory.
"We came down here with six players and nobody is going to sit out more than one match," Small said. "They're all going to get a chance to prove themselves. The point of this event is to learn some things about your team and I learned some things. Today served a purpose and we can hopefully learn from our mistakes and rectify them for later in the season."
The Illini will face Minnesota in the consolation semifinals Saturday at 6:30 a.m. CT. The winner will face the winner of Ohio State/Indiana for fifth place at 1 p.m. CT, while the losers of those matches will square off for seventh place at 1:40 p.m. CT.
Michigan 3, Illinois 2