Illinois goes wire-to-wire at Fighting Illini Invitational
Illinois Golf Team <br>(Illinois Athletics Photo)
Illinois Golf Team
(Illinois Athletics Photo)

OLYMPIA FIELDS, IL (September 18, 2016) -- Despite struggling as a unit on Sunday, host Illinois finished off a 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 finishing play 5-over they were 13 shots in front of the pack at 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 good start."

The 3rd ranked Illini ended up with three players in the top-15 and they were led by junior Dylan Meyer who was tied for second. The 2016 All-Big Ten first teamer 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 final round and ended the weekend tied for fourth at even- 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 and 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 a 1-under 69 to finish 5-under and ahead by four- strokes.

"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 become."

After beginning the finally round tied with Meyers, Champ was able to create some separation with a four birdie, three bogey day. His birdies came on Nos. 1, 3, 7 and 12.

Along with Meyers, Ki Taek Lee of Arizona State share second at 1-under. Hardy, Gavin Hall of Texas and Zach Bauchou were all even-par and tied for fourth.

Team Standings Top Five:

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 this story

Results: Fighting Illini Invitational
1CACameron ChampSacramento, CA80065-71-69=205
T2INDylan MeyerEvansville, IN50069-67-73=209
T2CAKi Taek LeeLos Angeles, CA50067-73-69=209
T4ILNick HardyNorthbrook, IL40068-71-71=210
T4NYGavin HallPittsford, NY40075-68-67=210

View full results for Fighting Illini Invitational

ABOUT THE Fighting Illini Invitational

54-hole elite collegiate event hosted at Olympia Fields Country Club by the University of Illinois. Olympia Fields has hosted the 2015 U.S. Amateur. two U.S. Opens, two PGA Championships, five Western Opens and a U.S. Senior Open.

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