Junior Thomas Pieters carded a first-round 65 to lead the Desert Shootout after the opening day.
March 21, 2013
GOODYEAR, Ariz. - Junior Thomas Pieters sits atop the leaderboard at the Desert Shootout at 6-under-par after firing a first-round 65 and No. 19 Illinois is tied for sixth as a team after carding a 282 (-1) on the day. Tulsa leads the team standings with a 274 in the first round at the par-71, 7,015-yard Palm Valley Golf Course on Thursday. The second round will start at 9:30 a.m. CT on Friday, with the final round being played Saturday.
"It wasn't a strong day for us, but it was only 18 holes," Illinois head coach Mike Small said. "Thomas busted out a little bit today with a 65, so that was good. For the most part, though, we didn't play strong golf. Luckily, it wasn't anything longer than 18 holes, but we aren't going to read too much into it, and we'll come back tomorrow and show what we're all about. As a coach, this is a good opportunity to keep learning about our team and how we respond to adversity."
While Pieters shined throughout the day, the rest of the Illini struggled to find consistency. Senior Mason Jacobs posted 35s on both the front and back nine for a 1-under-par 70, which puts him in a tie for 20th. Sophomore Brian Campbell shot a 1-over-par 72 thanks to a 37 on the back nine and stands tied for 44th. Sophomore Alex Burge and freshman Charlie Danielson each shot 4-over-par 75s and sit tied for 70th after the first round.
Two Illini are participating in the tournament as individuals and do not count toward the team score. Freshman Thomas Detry also is tied for 20th after firing a 1-under-par 70, and freshman David Kim is tied for 65th after a 3-over-par 74.
1. Tulsa 274 (-10) 2. BYU 275 (-9) T-3. Denver 280 (-4) Colorado State 280 (-4) Southern Utah 280 (-4) T-6. Illinois 282 (-2) Idaho 282 (-2) T-8. Baylor 283 (-1) Wichita State 283 (-1) 10. Nebraska 285 (+1) T-11. Air Force 286 (+2) New Mexico State 286 (+2) Boise State 286 (+2) 14. Kansas State 288 (+4) 15. Kansas 291 (+7) 16. Wyoming 293 (+9) T-6th Illinois 282 (-2) 1. Thomas Pieters 65 (-6) T-20. Mason Jacobs 70 (-1) T-44. Brian Campbell 72 (+1) T-70. Alex Burge 75 (+4) T-70. Charlie Danielson 75 (+4)
*Competing as an individual and does not count toward team score