Barona Collegiate Cup Up Next for Illinois
March 21, 2012
LAKESIDE, Calif. - After two weeks off from competition, the Illinois men's golf team will return to action at the Barona Collegiate Cup on March 22-23. The 54-hole tournament will feature a play six, count five format at the par-72, 7,088-yard Barona Creek Golf Club. Teams will play 36 holes on Thursday beginning with a shotgun start at 9:30 a.m. CT followed by a final round on Friday starting at 9 a.m. CT.
"This is a strong event, but as always our goal is to win," head coach Mike Small said. "This will be the first time we have had this format with play six, count five, so it will give us a good chance to gauge our depth. We want to get better every day, and each tournament gives us a barometer to show how that is going. We subscribe to the theory that you practice hard and focused then go to the tournament relaxed and ready to compete."
No. 15 San Diego State will host a competitive 16-team field, which includes four squads ranked in the Golf World/Nike Golf Coaches' Top-25 Poll. Illinois will square off against No. 8 Georgia Tech, No. 9 USC, the No. 15 Aztecs, and No. 23 Kent State along with Arizona, Central Connecticut, Hawaii, Loyola Marymount, North Texas, Northwestern, Pacific, Pepperdine, St. Mary's, TCU and Utah.
Senior Luke Guthrie, who was named Big Ten Golfer of the Week following his top-five finish at the Louisiana Classics, will lead the Illini lineup out west. Sophomore Thomas Pieters will compete at the squad's spring break tournament along with redshirt junior Mason Jacobs, junior Ross Frankenberg and freshmen Brian Campbell and Alex Burge, who will make his Illini debut.
SDSU is the defending champion of the event, while the Illini will play in the tournament for the first time. Live scoring will be available on golfstat.com for both days of the Barona Collegiate Cup, and full results and a recap of the tournament can be found on fightingillini.com.
Two regular season events, the Augusta State Invitational (March 31-April 1) and the Boilermaker Invitational (April 21-22), remain on the Illini schedule after this weekend before postseason competition begins at the Big Ten Championships at the end of April.