Illinois Finishes Fifth at Isleworth
Oct. 23, 2012
Windermere, Fla. -
Illinois completed the fall season by placing fifth at the 15-team Isleworth Invitational. The 13th-ranked Illini posted a final-round 12-over par 300 in the third and final round to finish +18 in a tournament that featured eight ranked teams, including the top three teams in the country.
Illinois began the day in second place and at one point moved to within two strokes of the lead, but struggled down the stretch. Top-ranked California won the tournament at +4 followed by No. 17 New Mexico (+6), No. 3 Alabama (+9) and No. 2 Texas (+15).
Despite the fact that the final day didn't go as hoped, Illini coach Mike Small is still encouraged with the overall result.
"To come down here with a young team and finish fifth is a positive," Small said. "Actually, for 50 holes, we played pretty well. Unfortunately, the last four holes really crept up and bit us. In an event like this, good teams are going to come after you the last day. Are we happy with the way we finished? No. But it's all part of the process."
California's Michael Kim completed a wire-to-wire first-place finish to claim medalist honors at -4, one of four players to finish under par. Sophomore Brian Campbell was Illinois' top finisher, tying for 9th at +3 after a final-round 76.
"I was impressed with Brian Campbell coming here and finishing in the top 10 against some of the top teams in the country," Small said. "It was really fun to see. Last year he wasn't in our line-up in the fall, so really this marks one year he has played for us. This performance shows he has some good courage and fight in him."
Freshman Thomas Detry tied for 16th at +4 after shooting 73 in Tuesday's final round. Freshman Charlie Danielson was one stroke behind that group in a tie for 21st at +5 after shooting 75 on the 7,544-yard, par 72 Isleworth Country Club. Freshman David Kim tied for 33rd at +9 after a final round 76 while senior Mason Jacobs tied for 37th at +10 after a final round 77.
"The positives of the fall were a lot of guys played a lot of golf," Small said. "We had three freshmen play almost every event. They learned a lot and proved they have have what it takes to play at this level. We expect them to take this and continue to get better because come spring, we won't consider them young any more."
Illinois begins the spring season on Jan. 26 with the Tinervin Cup in Placida, Fla.