Illinois head coach Mike Small announced the signing of Luke Guthrie and Mason Jacobs.
Nov. 14, 2007
Champaign, Ill. - Illinois golf coach Mike Small announced the signing of two of the top players in state history Wednesday. Two-time state large division champion and the nation's seventh-ranked junior player Luke Guthrie of Quincy High School, and three-time state champion Mason Jacobs of Massac County High School in Metropolis signed national letters of intent to play for Illinois.
Guthrie is ranked seventh in the Polo American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) national rankings, including fifth in the Class of 2008. The National Junior Golf Scoreboard ranks Guthrie 21st overall and 15th in the '08 class while Golfweek lists him 13th overall and 11th in the class.
Guthrie has been named the Callaway Golf PGA Junior Series Player of the Year in 2005, '06 and '07 and earned AJGA First Team All-America honors in 2007. Guthrie placed third at the 32nd Westfield Junior PGA, an event won by current freshman Chris DeForest this season, and placed third at the tour's stop at Stone Creek Golf Club in Urbana.
Guthrie won this year's Class 3A state tournament by five strokes after firing a 5-under-par 67 in the second round. Quincy finished second as a team. Guthrie had a 69.8 scoring average during the high school season this year and a 68.6 stroke average as a junior.
Quincy, coached by Doug Bruner, has won the regional title and Western Big Six Conference crown all four years Guthrie has competed, placing third as a team at the state finals in 2006 followed by the Blue Devils second-place finish this year.
Guthrie, meanwhile, placed third in the Class AA state finals as a sophomore before winning the AA title in '06 and the 3A crown this year. He was a Junior Ryder Club Team member prior to his freshman year in 2004.
Jacobs became the IHSA's first three-time state champion this year after defending his title for the second time. He won the Class A title in 2005 and '06 and claimed the Class 2A crown this season. Jacobs had rounds of 70 and 67 to claim this year's crown by four strokes over his closest competitor. Massac County, coached by J.R. Conkle, placed second as a team. That marked the third straight season that Patriots have placed in the top two at state, winning the title in 2006.
Individually, Jacobs' round of 66 at the 2005 state meet at Prairie Vista set a Class A single-round record, while his 137 total at that meet is also a record. His 67 single-round and 137 two-round totals this year are Class 2A state records. Jacobs also holds the marks for best rounds at both the Southern Illinois River-to-River Ohio Division Conference meet (65) and Patriot High School Invitational (66).
Jacobs has been honored as the Southern Illinois Male Golfer of the Year three times and was named to the All-South Golf team four times. He won the conference meet three times, the Patriot High School Invitational twice, the Okawville High School Invitational twice and the IHSA regional and sectional tournaments twice as well.
"The signing of Luke and Mason is undoubtedly a huge statement for Illinois Golf and we are extremely excited to bring them into the Illini family," said Small, whose team is receiving votes in the latest top 25 poll. "Both players have had incredible success on the national and state levels and we feel that they form one of the top incoming classes in the nation. They are two very talented and competitive young players that will play a prominent role in the future of Illinois Golf."