Illini Wrap Up Fall at Prestigious Isleworth Invite
Oct. 18, 2013
The No. 7 Fighting Illini men's golf team wraps up its fall season this weekend at the prestigious Isleworth Collegiate Invitational at the par-72, 7,387-yard Isleworth Golf and Country Club in Windermere, Fla. The 54-hole event will feature 18 holes each day from Sunday through Tuesday.
"This is a fun tournament for us," head coach Mike Small said. "This is one of the best college events in the country and has one of the best fields, and it's on a golf course that has a lot of mystique and coolness to it. A lot of (PGA) Tour players live down at Isleworth and it's a very exclusive community. So it's one of the college events that's in high demand. With this field, it gives us a chance to play against some of the best teams in the country again and finish out our fall and see if we can finish on a good note."
The tournament features four top-10 teams according to the latest GolfWorld/Nike Golf coaches' poll and eight in the top 20. Illinois has won its last two tournaments, by 33 shots at the Wolf Run Intercollegiate and by 20 at The Macdonald Cup. Thomas Detry and Brian Campbell claimed medalist honors at each tournament, respectively, with each serving as his first collegiate victory.
"For us to shoot the scores we shot in the last two events and break some longstanding records in our program was pretty neat," Small said. "But we also realize that this next event is a whole different golf course, a whole different type of golf and a strong field. So we've got to regroup and come back and play. And that's a learning curve that we have to figure out. We've played well, these guys feel good about themselves and they're proud of what they've done, but we're going to see if they can put that behind them and still come out the next time because nobody at Isleworth is going to care what we did last week."
Joining Illinois at Isleworth will be last year's NCAA champion and current No. 1 Alabama, No. 3 California and No. 10 New Mexico account for the top-10 talent. No. 14 Texas, No. 19 UCF, No. 20 Arkansas and No. 24 Vanderbilt also join the fray, as well as Florida State, GRU Augusta, LSU, North Florida, TCU, Texas Tech and UNLV.
This marks the second-straight year and fifth time in the last seven seasons that Illinois has played the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational, with last season's fifth-place finish the squad's best. Like this year, the Illini also won two fall tournaments a season ago, and finished in the top 10 at their own Olympia Fields Country Club/Fighting Illini Invitational.
Illinois will keep its lineup consistent from its past three tournaments this season, sending Campbell, Detry, Charlie Danielson, Jonathan Hauter and David Kim. Detry, who is No. 23 in Golfweek's men's collegiate individual rankings, leads the Illini with a 69.78 stroke average. Campbell, who is ranked No. 25, is at 69.89. Danielson is at 70.89, Kim at 71.89 and Hauter at 72.89.