LEMONT – It was a perfect Thursday morning. The sun was bright, and the air was unseasonably crisp the day after the Fourth of July.
Ten minutes before his tee time, Steve Sticker heads to the putting green, stopping along the way to sign autographs and talk with friends who made their way to Cog Hill to watch the former Illinois golf star tackle Dubsdread and the Western Open.
LEMONT – Mike Small is realistic about his stay at the Advil Western Open, but that doesn't mean he won't have a goal.
"I still want to stay competitive," said the Illinois men's golf coach, who qualified for this weekend's PGA Tour event that starts today at Cog Hill's Dubsdread course in southwest suburban Chicago.
Northwestern standout Elizabeth Burden of Lake Bluff, daughter of former Illini Joe Burden, defeated Quincy's Pam Holcombe 5 and 3 to win the Illinois Women's State Amateur title Friday at the Country Club of Peoria.
SAVOY – A year after being resurrected, the UI Women's Open is looking for a healthy infusion of new blood.
"We're thrilled to have it," said Mike Wallner, director of golf for the University of Illinois Courses. "Now we just need to work on getting more people (to enter). ... We're open to anything to get the women to play."
Elizabeth Burden, daughter of former Illini Joe Burden, reached the finals in the championship flight of the Illinois Women's State Amateur Championship at the Country Club of Peoria.
SAVOY – It's called the UI Open, and on Sunday, it belonged to the Illini in fact as well as name.
Chris Dobrovolny sank a short putt on 18 to seal a tournament he led virtually from the start, holding off a hard charge from Illinois teammate Geoff Lound to win the 48th Open at the UI Orange Course.
SAVOY – Chris Dobrovolny wasn't surprised, neccessarily, when he saw Geoff Lound, his teammate at Illinois, listed as The News-Gazette's pick to win this weekend's UI Open. But neither was he going to let pass the opportunity to give his fellow Illini a little good-natured smack talk about it.
Former Illinois golfer Renee Heiken failed to make the cut for the final round of the Futures Charity Classic in Decatur after shooting a 6-over-par 78 on Saturday.
URBANA – Who says the Northwestern men's golf team is Luke Donald and four no-names?
"Everybody," Wildcats redshirt sophomore Chris Thayer said. "Next year it's going to be five no-names. And that's fine. Bring it on.
"I hate to say it, but we didn't need him today."
URBANA – It was progress. Just not what Mike Small and his Illinois men's golf team had in mind entering the Big Ten tournament.
"They didn't have the success they anticipated or hoped for," Small said after the Illini finished 10th Sunday at Stone Creek Golf Club.