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Illinois Continues Dominance at Big 10 Championship
The Illinois Men's Golf Team (Illinois Athletics photo)
The Illinois Men's Golf Team (Illinois Athletics photo)

BALTIMORE, MD (April 29, 2018) - No. 12 Fighting Illini men's golf battled windy conditions at Baltimore Country Club (Par 70, 7,181-yards) on Sunday to win its fourth consecutive Big Ten Championship title. The only team to finish under par for the tournament, Illinois shot 7-over par on Sunday for a 4-under par total tally, finishing 15 strokes ahead of runner-up Ohio State (+11). The title marks the 16th Big Ten Men's Golf Championship in program history, and the ninth title in the last 10 seasons.

One of just two players to finish under par in the tournament, senior Nick Hardy closed the tournament at 6-under par to earn Big Ten Medalist honors. Hardy marks the eighth consecutive Big Ten Championship medalist from Illinois, and he is the fourth Illini to win multiple individual conference titles in his career. Hardy previously earned Big Ten Co-Medalist honors as a freshman in 2015. The Orange and Blue are the only team in Big Ten history to garner eight consecutive individual medalists.

"I'm so proud of the guys for handling the adversity that was thrown at them this week, and for finishing off the tournament strongly on such a difficult day," head coach Mike Small said. "Contending for Big Ten Championships is a priority for this program and I'm so proud of the guys for accepting the expectation. It was a huge week for Nick {Hardy}, he showed maturity and patience throughout the week and positive things came his way in the end."

Hardy fired a 3-under par final round 67 in windy, cold conditions on Sunday to pull ahead of Penn State's Cole Miller (-4 overall), who finished in second overall two behind Hardy. He used consecutive birdies on the front nine to negate an early bogey. Hardy closed the round strongly with two more birdies in the last three holes. He was one of just two players to shoot under par on Sunday. Hardy's individual title on Sunday marks his first of the season. He has now finished among the top 10 individuals in 10 tournaments this year.

Hardy's victory earned him a spot on the All-Championship team, and he was joined by sophomores Michael Feagles and Bryan Baumgarten, who tied for fifth individually at 2-over par.

Baumgarten closed play with a 1-over par final round 71. He shot even on the front nine and used a birdie on the 15th hole to negate two late bogeys. Feagles shot 4-over par on Sunday, and earned his highest individual finish of the season.

Senior Dylan Meyer tied for eighth individually with a total score 3-over par. Meyer finished among the top 10 individuals at Big Tens in each of his four years at Illinois, including earning medalist honors in 2017.

Sophomore Giovanni Tadiotto tied for 22nd individually with a total score 7-over par. He has earned six finishes among the top 25 this year.

Illinois has won 16 Big Ten Men's Golf Championships in school history, with nine of those coming under head coach Mike Small. Small has the unique distinction of winning nine Big Ten titles as a coach and one as a player (1988). Illinois is the first school to win nine Big Ten titles in 10 years since Ohio State won 11 titles in 12 years from 1976-1987.

Thanks to the University of Illinois for this report.

SECOND ROUND RECAP

Illinois has won three in a row and eight of the last nine Big 10 Championships and on Saturday they took over the lead as they look for yet another conference title. A win on Sunday would mark their 16th overall in program history.

Playing at Baltimore Country Club the 13th ranked Illini turned in a 12-under second round to inch past Ohio State and into the lead. Illinois will begin the final round 11-under, just in front of Ohio State, the only other team under-par at 10-under.

Illinois currently has all five members of the their lineup inside the top-10 led by Nick Hardy and his rounds of 69-68 that put him at 3-under and in a share of third.

Penn State's Cole Miller will carry the lead into the final round of the individual pursuit. Miller is 7-under and three shots clear of Will Voetsch of Ohio State who is 4-under.

Miller opened in 2-under 68 on Friday, then turned in an impressive 5-under 65 during Saturday's second round. Miller birdied seven-times on Saturday, including four-times as part of a bogey-free 4-under 31 on the front nine. His only bogeys were penciled in on the 11th and 18th holes.

Results For Big Ten Men's Golf Championship
1ILNick HardyNorthbrook, IL80069-68-67=204
2PACole MillerNew Tripoli, PA50068-65-73=206
3ORDylan WuMedford, OR40069-68-73=210
4OHWill GrimmerCincinnati, OH40070-69-72=211
T5NCDavid KocherCharlotte, NC40069-68-75=212

View full results for Big Ten Men's Golf Championship

ABOUT THE Big Ten Championship

54 hole men's collegiate championship of the Big Ten Conference. Team (best four scores out of five players each round) and individual competitions.

View Complete Tournament Information

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