#6 Illini Take on Talented Field at Valspar Invitational
March 21, 2014
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Coming off a victory at the Louisiana Classics two weeks ago - their third win of 2013-14 - the Fighting Illini travel to Palm City, Fla., for The Valspar Invitational at Floridian presented by Insperity on Monday and Tuesday, March 24-25. The par-72, 7,114-yard Floridian Golf Club, which was reconstructed by renowned golf course designer Tom Fazio in 2011, will host four top-10 teams and 10 of top 25 squads in America in what will serve as something of a preview of the NCAA Championships.
"I've heard great things about the golf course," Illinois head coach Mike Small said. "I've never been there, but I've heard they did a wonderful job. It's a demanding golf course and the field is really strong, too, so it's perfect timing for us. We've had four trips this spring where we've gotten out and played some good golf, so the timing of this event is perfect for us to see some top teams at a really hard golf course."
Joining No. 6 Illinois in the field will be co-hosts No. 15 Arkansas and No. 16 Houston, No. 2 Oklahoma State, No. 4 Georgia Tech, No. 10 Texas A&M, No. 17 Florida State, No. 20 USF, No. 22 UCLA and No. 25 Kent State, along with LSU and SMU - which are receiving votes - and Florida, Lamar and Tennessee. All rankings are from the Golf World/Nike Golf Division I Coaches Poll released on Feb. 26.
Brian Campbell and Thomas Detry, who were included among the top 15 in the Team USA and Team Europe rankings, respectively, for the 2014 Palmer Cup squads this week, lead the Illini into the event. Campbell has a team-best 69.83 stroke average and is ranked No. 10 in the latest Golfweek individual rankings, while Detry is ranked No. 49 by Golfweek with a 70.72 average. Sophomore Charlie Danielson's 70.41 season stroke average is sandwiched between the two.
In addition to that trio, sophomore David Kim and senior Jonathan Hauter will round out Illinois' lineup for The Floridian, just as it has in Illinois' six other stroke-play events this season. Kim holds a 72.56 stroke average this season, while Hauter is at 73.61.