#8 Illini Prepare for Postseason at Boilermaker Invite
April 18, 2014
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The eighth-ranked Fighting Illini wrap up the regular season this weekend at the Boilermaker Invitational, held at Purdue's 7,259-yard, par-72 Kampen Course. The 54-hole tournament will be held at the course designed by renowned golf course architect Pete Dye, who also developed the course bearing his name in French Lick, Ind., where the Big Ten Championships will be held May 2-4.
Illinois will be paired with Purdue and UCLA for Saturday's 36 holes of continuous play starting at 7:45 a.m. CT. Sunday's final round also will start at 7:45 a.m.
"I like playing the Boilermaker Invitational because the course is by the same designer, Pete Dye, as Big Tens," Illini head coach Mike Small said. "It's similar shots, similar looks and similar visuals. It's great for us to go there right before Big Tens because it's a challenging course, especially this time of year. And with the way we think the game of golf should be played, this course is perfect to keep improving at that. It's not an easy golf course; you have to really think your way around it."
Illinois will appear in the Boilermaker Invitational field for the third-straight season and ninth time in the last 11 years. The Illini won the event in 2009 and 2010, and finished third in 2005 and 2013. Luke Guthrie took medalist honors at the 2012 event, while Chris DeForest earned the Boilermaker Invitational individual title in 2010.
This year's Illini squad enters the event as the top-ranked team in the field - No. 8 in the Golf World/Nike Golf Division I Coaches Poll and No. 9 according to Golfstat. They will be joined by UCLA, which is No. 16 in this week's coaches poll, and Kent State, which is receiving votes. The host Boilers, Iowa, Northwestern, Louisville, Ohio State, Indiana, Michigan State, Drake, Toledo, Northern Illinois, Wichita State and Miami (Ohio) round out the field.
Illinois' lineup will remain consistent with the quintet it has fielded in every tournament this season: Brian Campbell, Charlie Danielson, Thomas Detry, Jonathan Hauter and David Kim. Alex Burge will compete as an individual.
With the championship portion of the season a mere two weeks away, the Illini have begun to tighten up their games, both physically and mentally, in preparation.
"I saw some improvement at Augusta and this weekend is big for us to check on that," Small said of his team's approach. "I'm confident that our guys' mindset, their focus and their chemistry is coming into how we want it to be by the end of the year."