Illini Head East for Macdonald Cup
Oct. 3, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Illinois men's golf team, ranked No. 17 in the latest GolfWorld/Nike Golf Division I coaches' poll and No. 7 in the latest Golfstat rankings, travels to one of the country's top collegiate golf courses for this weekend's Macdonald Cup. Held at The Course at Yale, the tournament is a 54-hole event on Saturday and Sunday, with 36 holes being contested Saturday.
Ranked the top collegiate course in the United States by Golfweek in 2010, The Course at Yale is recognized as one of the finest examples of early American golf course design. Featuring deeply bunkered greens and narrow, rolling fairways, The Course has a penalizing character and two holes - the 432-yard par-4 fourth and 238-yard par-3 ninth - have been ranked among the 100 most difficult holes in the nation.
"A lot of national teams get to go to this tournament and it's on a great golf course," Illinois head coach Mike Small said. "We want to expose our guys to different things. Not only different fields and different parts of the country, but different golf courses and this field's going to be tricky. There are some good teams there, some good east-coast teams, but also the golf course is going to present some issues to us because it's a different type of golf course. It's a traditional, old-standing course. It's going to be fun for us to go and see how we handle that and deal with whatever is presented to us there."
The Illini rebounded from a rough opening tournament at Olympia Fields with a tournament victory at the Wolf Run Intercollegiate two weeks ago, lapping the field for a 33-shot victory. Sophomore Thomas Detry recorded his first collegiate win with a three-stroke margin over Brian Campbell, David Kim placed third and Charlie Danielson's final-round 67 vaulted him into a fourth-place finish. Illinois broke the tournament record with its total team score of 844, which also stands as the 10th-best team score in school history.
"We had some ups and downs (at Olympia Fields) but that's how you learn and get better, and we rebounded for a great last round there. And then, obviously, Wolf Run, the last event, we played consistent - really solid, consistent golf - and won by 30-some shots and shot consistently every day. It was a total team effort so things are positive until now, but as we know, every day is a new day and every tournament is a new tournament, so we've got to bring it again this next week."
After such an impressive showing at a difficult Wolf Run course, Small is keeping the lineup steady for the Macdonald Cup. Detry, Campbell, Danielson, Kim and Jonathan Hauter will look to carry the team's early-season momentum against a field of Yale, Brown, Central Connecticut, Connecticut, Cornell, Dartmouth, Fairfield, Fordham, Hartford, Penn, Rhode Island and St. Edwards. Yale received four votes in the most recent GolfWorld/Nike Golf coaches' poll, the only team in the field besides the Illini to be listed in the rankings. The Bulldogs also are No. 46 in the most recent Golfstat rankings.
Saturday's 36 holes begin with a shotgun start at 6:30 a.m. CT and continuous play throughout the day. Sunday's final round will begin at 8 a.m. CT. No live scoring will be available for the tournament but complete results will be available on FightingIllini.com after the completion of play each day.