Mother Nature wins first round

Mother Nature wins first round

HUTCHINSON, Kan. — They waited. And waited. And waited some more. More than eight hours.

Finally, the people in charge of the NCAA men’s golf tournament decided the weather won. The first round.

Mike Small’s Illini, coming off a dominating performance in the regional, return to Prairie Dunes Country Club for a 7 a.m. tee time Saturday.

The Illini were never able to hit a shot Friday as heavy rains and flooding hit the area.

The top 15 seeds in the tournament, including Illinois, didn’t finish a hole.

Oregon was the early leader, shooting a minus-3 after seven holes. Iowa State and SMU were a shot back, and South Carolina was at minus-1.

Defending national champion and No. 1 seed Alabama will start play Saturday.

The teams will play 54 holes of stroke play. The top eight schools will move into match-play quarterfinals, which are scheduled to start Tuesday.

The top 40 players will play an extra 18 holes Monday to decide the individual national champion.

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