Illini golfers second after Day 1
SUGAR GROVE — Claim the top spot on the team leaderboard.
That’s the challenge Illinois men’s golf coach Mike Small put in front of his Illini before Thursday’s opening round at the 14-team NCAA regional at Rich Harvest Farms course.
“The conditions were very tough, but they got better as the day went on,” Small said after Illinois sits in second place going into Friday’s second round. “We withstood it.”
The top five teams will advance to the NCAA championships, and Illinois carded a 5-over-par 293. Alabama-Birmingham leads the Illini by one shot. Clemson and Kent State are six shots back, tied for third.
“The course is very difficult,” Small said, “but we came here to win. Our mind-set never changes.”
Brian Campbell had the best round on Thursday as he shot a 3-under-par 69. Teammate Charlie Danielson (76) joined him in the top 10 and is tied for sixth.
“Brian hasn’t played the best at times the last couple months, but he’s getting better every day,” Small said. “Charlie gutted it out pretty well. He really held his own.”