Illini to Play at Rich Harvest Farms in NCAA Regional
May 5, 2014
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois learned Monday morning that it will be the No. 2 seed in the NCAA Regional at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois, marking the seventh-straight season that the Fighting Illini have qualified for the NCAA tournament. The Illini will compete in the 54-hole event on May 15-17, with the top five teams and top individual not on one of those teams qualifying for NCAA Championships at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kansas, May 23-28. Admission to the NCAA Regional is free.
Illinois' No. 2 seed equals the highest in program history in the current regional format - which began in 2009 - as Illinois also was the No. 2 seed at Wolf Run in 2011.
California, which the Fighting Illini took down in the semifinal match of the 2013 NCAA Championships, is the top seed in the Sugar Grove Regional, with No. 3 Southern California, No. 4 UAB and No. 5 UNLV rounding out the top five seeds. No. 6 Clemson, No. 7 Kent State, No. 8 Purdue, No. 9 Mississippi State, No. 10 Cal State Fullerton, No. 11 New Mexico State, No. 12 Jacksonville State, No. 13 Cleveland State and No. 14 St. Peter's also will take part in the regional hosted by Northern Illinois. Michigan's Chris O'Neill is one of five individuals selected to Sugar Grove, along with Niall Platt (Notre Dame), Danny Pizetoski (Richmond), Juan Veloza (Towson) and Rob van de Vin (IUPUI).
The Illini are one of six Big Ten schools selected to NCAA Regionals, along with Purdue, Minnesota (Raleigh, North Carolina), Iowa (Columbia, Missouri), Ohio State (Columbia) and Northwestern (San Antonio, Texas). The Sugar Grove Regional is one of the three 14-team regionals, while the other three regional fields have 13 teams.
Illinois is ranked No. 8 in the latest Golf World/Nike Golf Division I Coaches Poll, while Cal is No. 4, UAB is No. 18 and USC is No. 20. Clemson and UNLV were receiving votes. The Illini are 10-1 this season head-to-head against other teams in the regional field.
In 2013, the Fighting Illini won the Fayetteville Regional - the first regional title in school history - to advance to the NCAA Championships, where they qualified for match play by finishing fifth after 54 holes of stroke play. Illinois then went on to upset defending NCAA champion Texas in the quarterfinals and toppled No. 1 California in a playoff in the semifinal match before falling to Alabama in the NCAA championship match, making the Illini the national runner-up and marking the best finish in program history.
Rich Harvest Farms Regional - Sugar Grove, Illinois