Illinois, who the last three Big Ten titles, will be looking for its fourth straight NCAA finals appearance
May 9, 2011
Champaign, Ill. - After making trips to both coasts the past couple of years, Illinois will be staying close to home at a course the Illini are familiar with for the NCAA Regional this season.
Illinois earned the No. 2 seed at the NCAA Regional at Wolf Run Golf Club in Zionsville, Ind., which will be held May 19-21. The top five teams at each of the six regionals advance to the NCAA Championship, which will held May 31-June 5 at Stillwater, Okla.
Illinois, who won its third straight Big Ten title, is one of four teams from the conference at the venue, joining third-seeded Iowa, seventh-seeded Indiana and ninth-seeded Michigan. Alabama earned the No. 1 seed. The rest of the field includes No. 4 Stanford, No. 5 Wake Forest, No. 6 Tennessee, No. 8 Florida State, No. 10 Charlotte, No. 11 Memphis, No. 12 Wichita State, No. 13 Missouri-Kansas City and No. 14 Sacred Heart.
Illinois has traditionally started its season at Wolf Run, winning the Wolf Run Invitational last two seasons, while finishing second in 2008-09. The Illini won this season's event held Sept. 11-12 by 21 strokes with senior Scott Langley and junior Luke Guthrie tying for third individually, shooting even par at the 7,195-yard, par 71 course. Sophomore Mason Jacobs tied for 11th at +6 with freshman Thomas Pieters tied for 15th at +8 and senior Chris DeForest tying for 28th at +11. Langley has three top 10s in his career at Wolf Run, tying for second in 2009-10 and tying for ninth in 2008-09. Guthrie was also tied for seventh in 2009-10.
Illinois is one of seven Big Ten teams to make up the 81 overall teams at the six NCAA Regionals, joining the three other conference members at Wolf Run, plus Ohio State, the No. 5 seed at San Diego, Northwestern, the No. 9 seed in Erie, Colo., and Purdue, the No. 9 seed in Tucson, Ariz.
The Illini are ranked 11th in the Golf World/Nike Coaches poll. Other ranked teams at the Wolf Run Regional include No. 3 Alabama, No. 13 Iowa, No. 21 Stanford and No. 23 Tennessee.
Illinois will be looking for its fourth straight trip to the NCAA finals, one of just 11 schools to advance each of the last three seasons.