Illinois goes wire-to-wire at Fighting Illini Invitational
OLYMPIA FIELDS, IL (September 18, 2016) --
struggling as a unit on Sunday, host Illinois finished
wire-to-wire run an won the Fighting Illini
Invitational for the third time. Illinois
started the day with a 21-stroke lead and after
play 5-over they were 13 shots in front of the pack
Olympia Fields Country Club.
"This is a big win for us," said Illinois head coach
Mike Small. "We're a young team, we're learning as
we go, evidenced by today. The tournament was won
yesterday, we played great the first two days and
put up a big lead. To win this event three times in 11
years speaks a lot for these kids and this program.
Again, this is just one little step in the process of a
long year. It's going to be a long season but this is a
The 3rd ranked Illini ended up with three players in
top-15 and they were led by junior Dylan Meyer who
was tied for second. The 2016 All-Big Ten first
was tied for the lead to begin the round before falling
back to 1-under with a final round 3-over 73.
Classmate Nick Hardy shot a 1-over 71 during the
round and ended the weekend tied for fourth at
par. Hardy, the 2015 Big Ten Freshman of the Year,
posted rounds of 68-71-71.
Illinois also received a strong performance from
freshman Bryan Baumgarten who finished 4-over
tied for 15th.
The medalist race was won by Texas A&M junior
Cameron Champ, the first collegiate victory of his
career. A highly touted freshman, Champ closed with
1-under 69 to finish 5-under and ahead by four-
"I'm so proud of Cam," Texas A&M head coach J.T.
Higgins said, "That is as good of a win as you're
going to get during the regular season. He was
competing against some of the best players in
college golf and came away with a three-shot
victory. To shoot five-under par on a course that
hosts major championships just shows the kind of
golf he's capable of playing and the player he has
After beginning the finally round tied with Meyers,
Champ was able to create some separation with a
birdie, three bogey day. His birdies came on Nos. 1,
Along with Meyers, Ki Taek Lee of Arizona State
second at 1-under. Hardy, Gavin Hall of Texas and
Bauchou were all even-par and tied for fourth.
Team Standings Top Five:
Illinois Golf Team
(Illinois Athletics Photo)
1. No. 3 Illinois (+5)
2. No. 4 Oklahoma State (+18)
3. Texas A&M (+24)
4. North Carolina (+25)
5. No. 18 Florida State (+27)
-Illinois and Texas A&M Athletics contributed to