Two former Illini set for U.S. Open

Two former Illini set for U.S. Open

Two former Illini will tee off today during the 118th U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Colf Club in Southampton, N.Y. Sports editor Matt Daniels offers up a closer look:

Steve Stricker | Age: 51

How he got here: Stricker advanced out of sectional qualifying to make his 21st U.S. Open by compiling a 10-under 133 at Ridgeway Country Club and Colonial Country Club in Memphis, Tenn., on June 4.

Outlook: One of the steadiest golfers in the last decade, Stricker has fared well in his last five U.S. Open appearances, placing in the top 25 each time out since 2011. While he would need to possibly play the best four rounds of a career that has featured 12 wins on the PGA Tour and two wins on the Champions Tour, Stricker has the game, patience and understanding of Shinnecock to stay in contention.

Dylan Meyer | Age: 22

How he got here: The Evansville, Ind., native concluded his stellar college career with Illinois on May 28 by tying for fourth at the NCAA Championships in Stillwater, Okla. But even before then, Meyer advanced out of local U.S. Open qualifying by posting a 68 at Old Warson Country Club in St. Louis on May 7 and then sealed his spot at Shinnecock with a 4-under 136 on June 4 during sectional qualifying at Springfield Country Club in Springfield, Ohio.

Outlook: Simply making it to the weekend would be seen as a good sign for Meyer in his U.S. Open debut. Now a full-time pro with his playing days at Illinois done, Meyer missed the cut in his PGA Tour debut last summer at the John Deere Classic in Silvis, and any positive signs he can accomplish in New York this week could go a long way in helping his confidence out the rest of the summer.

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