Thomas Pieters led Illinois with a 72.00 stroke average during the fall.
Nov. 27, 2012
El Paso, Texas -
Illinois junior Thomas Pieters placed fourth at the Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic held at the El Paso Country Club in El Paso, Texas, over the weekend.. The prestigious tournament is held each year and open to NCAA Division I first-team All-Americans and the Division II and Division III Players of the Year.
Pieters, the 2012 NCAA champion, improved each round, culminating in a final round 65 at the 6,817-yard, par-71 course. Pieters shot under par in all three rounds of the 54-hole event, firing rounds of 70 and 67 in the first two rounds and finishing at 11-under par 202.
Kevin Penner of UNLV won the event at -14, followed by Sebastian Callelen of Arkansas at -13, Cory Whitsett of Alabama at -12, Pieters (-11) and Kent State's Corey Conners at -10.
After beginning the year with two victories and ending the fall with a solid fifth-place finish in the 15-team Isleworth Invitational, Illinois finished the fall ranked 19th in the Golf World/Nike Coaches Poll. The Illini are the highest-ranked Big Ten team and the highest of the non-southern or western schools.
California received all 21 first-place votes and is the top-ranked team, followed by Texas, Alabama, Florida, and UCLA.
Illinois opens the spring season on Jan. 26 vs. Illinois State in the Tinervin Cup in Placida, Fla.