Sophomore Thomas Pieters tied for seventh at the Barona Collegiate Cup following his top collegiate 54-hole score.
March 23, 2012
LAKESIDE, Calif. - Sophomore Thomas Pieters earned his fifth top-10 finish of the 2011-12 season by tying for seventh at the Barona Collegiate Cup with a career-low 54-hole total of 206 (-10). Senior Luke Guthrie was among the top 15 at the event, tying for 14th at 211 (-5), while the team finished ninth overall at 1090 (+10) at the play six, count five tournament.
"Thomas played solid and had a great comeback from his last event," head coach Mike Small said. "He had a great finish today, so I was very happy for him. I was pleased with the guys that got under par, and it is always important to get those low eraser scores."
Pieters matched his lowest individual round with a 66 (-6) on Tuesday, which included seven birdies during the final round. The Nijlen, Belgium, native turned in three rounds under par for the second time in his career, as he opened with a 69 and followed it up with a 71. His previous top tournament came during the fall at the Jack Nicklaus Invitational, where he posted a 209 (-7). The 10-under mark tied Guthrie, who shot the same at the D.A. Weibring Invitational, for the best score by an Illini this year and the third lowest in program history.
Guthrie fired an opening round 66 (-6), equaling his lowest under-par round at Illinois. He carded five birdies, an eagle and just one bogey to get off to his best collegiate start at a tournament. After a slow start to the second round, he ended with a 74 before wrapping up the event with a final round 71.
Freshman Brian Campbell tallied a pair of red numbers for the first time in his career at Illinois, shooting a 71 in the first and third round. The Irvine, Calif., native had a 76 in round two and finished tied for 38th at 218 (+2). Redshirt junior Mason Jacobs, who tied for 56th at 223 (+7), finished strong with a final round 71 after starting with rounds of 75 and 77. Freshman Alex Burge (234) and junior Ross Frankenberg (238) also competed in the Illini lineup.
"It was encouraging to get two rounds under par from Brian," Small said. "We have a young team and some of our guys are not playing good golf right now, so we need to get better. We just need to keep moving forward and get ready for next week."
No. 15 San Diego State (1051) won the event by two strokes at -29, edging No. 9 USC (1053) at -27. The Aztecs also had the top individual in J.J. Spaun, who finished three strokes in front of the field at 202 (-14) to capture medalist honors.
The Illini will be back in action in a week when they head to the Augusta State Invitational on March 31-April 1.
Barona Collegiate Cup Final Results
9th of 16 ILLINOIS 358-376-356 = 1090 (+10)
T-7th Thomas Pieters 69-71-66 = 206 (-10) | Scorecard
T-14th Luke Guthrie 66-74-71 = 211 (-5) | Scorecard
T-38th Brian Campbell 71-76-71 = 218 (+2) | Scorecard
T-56th Mason Jacobs 75-77-71 = 223 (+7) | Scorecard
T-92nd Alex Burge 79-78-77 = 234 (+18) | Scorecard
99th Ross Frankenberg 77-80-81 = 238 (+22) | Scorecard
T-63rd Jonathan Hauter 69-79-76 = 224 (+8) | Scorecard *individual