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    Illinois tied for seventh at Olympia Fields
    Freshman David Kim continues to impress after an opening round 72. He is tied ninth, four strokes out of the lead.

    Freshman David Kim continues to impress after an opening round 72. He is tied ninth, four strokes out of the lead.

    Sept. 30, 2012

    Olympia Fields, Ill. -

    Photo Gallery | Small Interview | Kim Interview | Complete Day 1 ResultsGet Acrobat Reader |

    Illinois is tied for seventh out of 14 teams after the first round of the 2012 Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational. The Illini posted a team score of 295 (+15) and are just four strokes behind fourth-place No. 21 Duke in a field that includes six ranked teams.

    The highest-ranked team in the field, No. 8 Arkansas, lived up to its ranking, shooting a first round 283 (+3). That's five strokes in front of Northwestern (288) and six better than third-place Auburn (289). Northwestern's Nicholas Losole was the only player to break par, firing a two-under par 68 to lead the field individually by two strokes over six players.

    "It was a solid start," Illinois head coach Mike Small said. "I think the golf course was the winner today. Our 15-over par is not what you want in a perfect scheme of things, but we'll take it. The golf course was in perfect condition. The wind came up more than we anticipated. If teams conserved shots around the greens and did not compound their problems, they played well. That's what we'll focus on tomorrow."

    Freshman David Kim played the first two tournaments as an individual, but with two of the Illini's regulars, Thomas Pieters and Thomas Detry in Turkey for the World Amateur Team Championship, Kim, along with sophomore Alex Burge, got his first shot at making the line-up. Kim made the most of it, shooting a two-over par 72 to end the first day in a tie for ninth at +2. He played his final 12 holes at even par and had eight pars and a birdie on his back nine on the 7,080-yard par 70 Olympia Fields South Course.

    "I struggled hitting the ball, but I got up and down pretty much everywhere," Kim said. "I battled hard and finished strong. The conditions were tough. The greens were fast. I'm learning a lot, but pretty much just want to go out there and have fun."

    Burge, meanwhile, hung around the top 10 most of the day, birdieing three of his first seven holes, and is tied for 28th after a first-round 74. Fellow sophomore Brian Campbell is tied with Burge while freshman Charlie Danielson (75) and senior Mason Jacobs (77) are tied for 38th and 52nd, respectively.

    "Tomorrow is the day you have to put yourself in position," Small said. "We still feel like we can make a move, but we have to work on a few things and come out ready to play."

    Teams tee of at 8 a.m. each of the next two days. Follow the action at golfstatresults.com .

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