FRENCH LICK, Ind. — Brian Campbell and Charlie Danielson have been a part of Illinois’ five consecutive titles at the Big Ten men’s golf tournament.
Campbell, Danielson and the rest of their Illini teammates would like to make it six in a row.
Campbell, a junior, carded a two-round total of 145 and was in third place. Danielson, a sophomore, had a two-round 147 and was in seventh place.
The Illini (595) were tied for second place with Minnesota in the team standings, 1 stroke behind Purdue.
“It was a tough test (Friday),” UI coach Mike Small said. “I was very happy with the guys’ intensity and their excitement to play (Friday). I think they were a little nervous to start out — a little overanxious maybe — and they settled down a little bit as the day went on. Like I said, the effort was great, but our execution wasn’t as good as it needs to be. Our focus wasn’t as narrow as it needs to be. We got into some generalities of thinking about the shots, and if we narrow that down, we’ll play better (Saturday).”
Minnesota’s Jose Mendez led the tournament after totaling 143 at the Pete Dye Course at the French Lick Resort. Purdue’s Philippe Schweizer was second at 144.
The Illini didn’t count a score higher than 75 in the second round. Jonathan Hauter, Thomas Detry and David Kim each posted 75s in the afternoon.
Hauter and Detry were tied for 22nd overall. Kim was tied for 31st.
No head coach, no problem. With coach Terri Sullivan serving the first game of a two-game suspension, the Illini hit three home runs and defeated host Penn State 5-0 in the opener of their Big Ten series Friday night.
Jess Perkins, Allie Bauch and Ruby Rivera each homered for Illinois (21-25, 5-16 Big Ten).
Freshman Brandi Needham (15-14) allowed five hits in the complete-game victory.
Alex Booker tripled to drive in the Illini’s first run. It was Booker’s fourth triple of the season and moved her into a tie with Danielle Vaji (2011) and Erin Jones (2003) for third all time in single-season triples.
“When people got fooled, they came back later in the game, and I think everybody contributed offensively. If someone wasn’t contributing in one way, they turned it around by the end of the game,” Booker said.
Perkins hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning. Bauch and Rivera each hit solo home runs in the seventh.
“Perkins came through clutch with the home run to put us up even more,” Needham said. “And then it was really just making adjustments at the plate. The first time through the order, (Penn State’s Marlaina Laubach) was keeping our balance off, and we weren’t really hitting her very hard, but then we had balls start to drop through, and we got the momentum going.”