Boilermaker Invite Serves as Illini's Final Tune-Up
April 18, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - In the final regular-season tune-up for the Fighting Illini, they travel to West Lafayette, Ind., this weekend for the Boilermaker Invitational at the par-72, 7,465-yard Kampen Course. The 54-hole tournament will start with a 7:45 a.m. CT start for 36 holes on Saturday, and will wrap up with another 7:45 a.m. shotgun start for Sunday's final round. The event is only one week ahead of the 2013 Big Ten Championships, which will be held at the award-winning Pete Dye Course in French Lick, Ind., April 26-28.
Illinois' four tournament victories in the 2012-13 season are tied for third-most in the country among teams in the top 30 of the Golfweek/Sagarin ratings, behind only No. 1 California's nine wins and No. 2 Alabama's five wins.
The Illini finished fourth at the 2012 Boilermaker Invitational, with Luke Guthrie winning the tournament at -3. The Kampen Course also holds fond memories for senior Mason Jacobs and junior Thomas Pieters, as they helped the Illini win the 2011 Big Ten Championship there.
"We're looking forward to playing in the north," Illini head coach Mike Small said. "We've been traveling a lot all spring and playing in a lot of good tournaments, but now it's nice to be back in our own backyard, so to speak, to get ready for Big Ten Championships. We're seeing some more Big Ten teams in this tournament and see how we all stack up.
"It's a good golf course and a good tournament to prepare for the postseason. Purdue's a hard golf course. It's not going to take a low number to win the tournament. You've got to guard against the big numbers and there are some treacherous holes you have to watch out for. It's a good test."
No. 19 Kent State is the highest-ranked team in the field and Illinois, at No. 30, is the only other squad in the top 30 of the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings. Also in the tournament are Big Ten foes Indiana, Iowa, Michigan State and the host Boilermakers. Akron, Chicago State, Cleveland State, Creighton, Drake, Eastern Michigan, Louisville, Loyola (Ill.), Miami (Ohio), Northern Illinois and Toledo round out the 18-team field.
Junior Thomas Pieters, who leads the Illini with a 71.48 stroke average, keys the Illinois lineup for the weekend. Senior Mason Jacobs, who has been the Illini's first or second finisher in four of the seven tournaments he has played, also will be in the lineup. They will be joined by sophomores Alex Burge and Brian Campbell, and freshman Thomas Detry.