Illini Battle Through Long Day at NCAA Championships
May 24, 2014
HUTCHINSON, Kan. - The University of Illinois men's golf team is tied for 14th with nine total holes left to play in the second round, as play was suspended because of darkness at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday. The Fighting Illini posted a 5-over-par 285 in round one and were 1-under-par when play ended for the night at the 2014 NCAA Championships at the par-70, 6,941-yard Prairie Dunes Country Club. Conditions were favorable, with warm temperatures but very light wind, but Illinois struggled on the greens in both rounds.
The Orange and Blue will finish their second round at 7 a.m. Sunday then will be done for the day. Teams that finished their suspended round from Friday's rain-soaked day on Saturday morning will attempt to play 36 holes on Sunday, while the teams - like Illinois - that played nearly two rounds today will sit and watch the leaderboard move.
"For the most part, we played a lot of good golf but the ball would not go in the hole," Illinois head coach Mike Small said. "We didn't make many putts. Brian and Charlie struggled on the greens all day, as did Jonathan. But we hit a lot of good shots and played hard, we just didn't make a lot of putts, so we had too many big numbers. That combination puts us in the middle of the pack.
"We hit the ball over the greens too many times, which really led to a lot of big numbers. We've got to keep the hole in front of us because you can't miss these greens long. We hit some approach shots in spots where it was difficult to make a good number."
Sophomore Charlie Danielson currently leads the way for the Illini at even par, with two holes remaining in his second round. He stands tied for 39th. Sophomore Thomas Detry is tied for 69th after rebounding from a rocky morning round with a strong afternoon. He fired a 6-over 76 in round one but currently is -4 through 15 holes in round two, to stand +2 overall.
Brian Campbell posted an even-par 70 in round one but is 3-over through 15 holes of round two, good for a tie for 86th place. Senior Jonathan Hauter also is at +3 overall after a 3-over 73 in round one and holding at even par through 17 holes in round two. Junior Alex Burge posted a counting 2-over 72 in the morning but stumbled down the stretch of round two, double-bogeying two of his final three holes to finish with a 77 for a total of +9. Burge was the only Illini to finish his second round.
We're playing well enough to where we need to come out tomorrow and make some putts and get three or four shots under par in the morning," Small said. "Just keep the hole in front of us and make some putts. Three guys have to play the par-5 (No. 17) and 18 is still in front of us. So we have a chance to make up some ground, we just need to take advantage of it."