Mark Ogren tied for second at the Marshall Invitational
April 5, 2008
Huntington, W.V. -
Illinois players posted seven of 10 rounds under par en route to a team victory in the 39th Annual Marshall Invitational at the Guyan Club in Huntington, W.V.
The Illini darted to a seven-stroke lead after round one with a tournament record 274 and bettered the 17-team field, which included two Big Ten schools, by that margin. Illinois finished at 14-under par 554 in the 36-hole rain shortened event, defeating conference rivals Penn State (561), who was receiving votes in the latest national rankings, and Ohio State (565), who finished second and third respectively. Marquette (575) and Rhode Island (578) rounded out the top five schools.
The performance is the latest in what is turning out to be a record-setting year for Illinois golf. Illinois' 554 score sets a new school record for 36 holes and the single round of 274 is tied for the fourth-best round in school history. Earlier this season, the Illini set the school 18-hole mark (272) and came one stroke shy of the 54-hole record (837) at the D.A. Weibring Invitational. Chris DeForest's 63 in the final round at the D.A. Weibring event was also the lowest individual round in school history.
"The guys were focused and ready to play," said Illinois head coach Mike Small. "You could tell at Friday's practice round and even when we didn't play yesterday, they were chomping at the bit to get out there. To see seven out of ten scores in red numbers shows that this was a total team effort."
Sophomore Matt Hoffman set the tone for the Illini by firing a four-under par 67, which was good for second place after the first round at the 6,476-yard, course. Hoffman finished tied with junior teammate Jon Krick (69-72) for ninth overall at one-under par 141.
Illinois placed four players in the top ten overall, led by freshman Scott Langley (69-69) senior Mark Ogren (69-69), who tied for second at four-under par 138. Sophomore Zach Barlow (73-70) finished in a tie for 16th in the 90-player field at one-over par 143.
Illinois won its second tournament of the season, giving Illinois two team titles for the first time since 2003 and for the seventh time since 1981. The Illini also repeated Marshall titles from 1998 and 2003.
"Our team played loose, but confident," Small added. "To see us hit more 10 to 15 putts than we have in while was really encouraging."
Penn State's Robert Rohanna won his second straight Marshall title and tied a 36-hole course record by finishing at six-under par 136. Langley and Ogren tied with Kelly Kretz of Marquette for second individually and ahead of a four-way tie for fifth.
Illinois will try to continue its strong play April 12-13 at the Fighting Illini Spring Invitational held at the Stone Creek Golf Club.