Illini Second Heading into NCAA Regional Final Round
May 16, 2014
SUGAR GROVE, Ill. - Junior Brian Campbell opened up a six-shot lead over the field, while No. 9 and second-seeded Illinois remained one shot behind leader UAB after Friday's second round of the NCAA Sugar Grove Regional at the par-72, 7,151-yard Rich Harvest Farms course. The Fighting Illini also have an 11-shot cushion over sixth-place Purdue heading into Saturday's final round, which Illinois is scheduled to tee off No. 1 at 8:45 a.m. alongside the Blazers and third-place Clemson. The top five teams and top individual not on a qualifying team advance to next week's NCAA Championships at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kansas.
Campbell is the only player under par in the 75-player field, standing at 5-under for the tournament and six shots ahead of a group of eight players at +1. UAB and the Illini both notched rounds of 4-over-par 292, leaving the Blazers at +8 and Illinois at +9 for the tournament. Clemson is six shots behind the Orange and Blue at +15, top-seeded California is at +17 and Southern California is at +18. Purdue is three shots behind the Trojans at +21 but has an 11-shot margin over a seventh-place tie between Jacksonville State and Kent State.
Campbell posted a 2-under-par 70, with a rare quadruple-bogey the lone blemish on his round that included six birdies and 11 pars. Sophomore Thomas Detry battled through an up-and-down back nine to post a 72, moving him into a tie for 14th overall. Junior Alex Burge and senior Jonathan Hauter each notched 3-over-par 75s, with Hauter moving into a tie for 21st and Burge jumping 10 spots to a tie for 37th. Sophomore Charlie Danielson recorded a 78, dropping into a tie for 26th at +7 overall.
"For the most part, all the guys played solid," Illinois head coach Mike Small said of his team's round. "Charlie didn't have his best today, but we know he'll be there for us tomorrow. We all stayed in the ballgame and didn't get too far off the beaten path. But Brian Campbell showed why he's the Big Ten Player of the Year. He's carrying us and that's what we needed. And somebody else will come out and shoot that low score for us tomorrow.
"That was very positive for Alex (Burge) to get off to the start he did and get on top of it," Small said of the birdie-birdie start by the junior from Bloomington, Illinois. "Brian did the same thing. This is a course where it's important to start well but you have to stay the course, too. If you get sideways a little bit, you start trying to fit shots in tight spaces to make up for the previous hole and that's where it explodes on you. We didn't let bad holes really get away from us."
Campbell started hot, birdying his first two holes. An uncharacteristic quadruple bogey after he hit two balls into the water at the par-4 4th hole dropped Campbell to +2 on the day, but he battled back with birdies on the par-4 6th and par-5 7th holes to make the turn at even par. He played a consistent back nine, making seven pars and birdying the par-4 12th and par-5 17th for his 70, the second-best score of the day.
Detry posted a smooth front nine, with a birdie at No. 7 the only mark on his card. After four pars to start the back nine, he bogeyed the par-4 14th but got it back with a birdie at No. 15. He double-bogeyed the par-3 16th but an eagle at No. 17 righted the ship. A par putt lipped out on No. 18, though, and Detry finished with an even-par 72.
Hauter got off to a bit of a rocky start with bogeys on three of his first five holes, but he righted the ship with four consecutive pars to make the turn at +3. A birdie at the par-4 10th brought him back to +2 and he made seven pars in a row before bogeying the difficult par-4 18th, finishing at +3.
Burge started well with consecutive bogeys, but gave them back with a bogey at the par-4 4th and a double-bogey at the par-3 5th holes. The junior steadied himself for a while, making seven consecutive pars, before bogeying the par-3 13th and doubling No. 14. He got two shots back with an eagle at No. 17 but a bogey at the 18th left him with a 3-over-par 75.
Danielson posted a rocky round on Friday, making bogeys at Nos. 3 and 4 before notching his only birdie of the round at the par-5 7th. A bogey at the ninth hole meant he turned at +2. After three pars, Danielson bogeyed the 13th and 14th holes, then double-bogeyed No. 18 for a 78.