LAUDERDALE, Minn. – Sophomore Larry Nuger became the first Big Ten men's golf medalist from Illinois in six years, sharing the honors Sunday with Michigan's Michael Harris and helping the Illini move on in the postseason.
Nuger, who trailed Harris by 1 stroke heading into the fourth round, shot a 1-under-par 70 to draw even at 6-under 278 on the Les Bolstad Golf Course.
The last UI medalist was Jamie Fairbanks in 1993. Nuger and D.A. Points became the first Illinois multiple winners in a season since Steve Stricker and Don Edwards in 1986-87.
The Illini, who started the day in third place, remained there with their best round of the tournament, a 283. Points, Tim Riley and Ed Parga each shot 71s, and Mark Henderson added a 73.
"I'm extremely happy with our team's performance," head coach Ed Beard said of the Illini, who qualified for the NCAA Central Regionals next weekend in Columbus, Ohio. "We remained consistent throughout the tournament, and Nuger's performance was exceptional.
"Larry set the tone with two rounds under 70 on Friday, and the guys carried that through to Sunday for a great overall team effort."
The UI, which had not finished higher than fourth in the Big Ten since 1990 and was sixth last year, finished 18 strokes behind 15th-ranked Northwestern and 15 behind No. 10 Minnesota.
Points tied for 12th with a 287 total. Riley was 28th at 294, Parga tied for 29th at 295 and Henderson tied for 33rd at 297.