Courtesy of North Carolina Athletics
The North Carolina Tar Heels made it 2-for-2 on the young season by winning the 15th annual OFCC/Fighting Illini Invitational held at Olympia Fields Country Club outside of Chicago on Sunday.
North Carolina's 54-hole score of 842 (+2) earned the fourth-ranked Tar Heels their second win of the season following their victory at last week's Rod Myers Invitational against a stacked field that included four other top-five teams.
The Tar Heels fended off third-ranked Arizona State for the team title, as the Sun Devils finished four strokes off the pace at 5-over 845.
Stanford moved three spots up the leaderboard into fourth place after the Cardinal turned in the only sub-par round of the day at 1-under 279 for a 14-over 854 finish.
North Carolina's Austin Greaser, runner-up at the this year's U.S. Amateur at Oakmont, took medalist honors with a winning score of 4-under 206 after carding a 1-under 69 in his final round. The junior from Vandalia, Ohio was the only player in the field to shoot under par all three days, carding rounds of 69, 68 and 69 to seal his first collegiate title. It also marks the second consecutive week a Tar Heel has taken medalist honors following Ryan Gerard's victory last week at the Rod Myers.
Greaser earned a two-shot win over a trio of golfers, including Cameron Sisk and David Puig of Arizona State along with J.P Cave of Alabama, all of whom finished at 2-under 208. Cave, who shot the lowest round of the day with a 67, moved seven spots up the leaderboard into a tie for second.
Texas' Cole Hammer briefly held the lead on the final day but a bogey on the 17th followed by a double bogey on the last dropped the Walker Cupper down into a tie for seventh at even par 210.
Carolina was the only team in the field to have three players in the top-10, including Gerard (t-7th) and freshman David Ford (t-10th).
Second Round Recap; Sept. 18
North Carolina moved to the top of the leaderboard Saturday at the Fighting Illini Invitational being held at Olympia Fields Country Club after the Tar Heels managed to card a 2-under 278 on the day on the storied layout.
At 1-over 561, the sixth-ranked Tar Heels hold a three-stroke lead over No. 3 Arizona State, which was also in red figures today at 1-under 279 to move to 4-over 564 at the 36-hole mark.
Baylor was the only other team to card an under par round on Saturday, finishing at 2-under 278 for the day to move into a tie for ninth place at 576.
Defending NCAA champion Pepperdine made the biggest move of the day, climbing six spots into a tie for sixth after shooting a 1-over 281.
First-round leader Oklahoma State slipped to third place after the nation's top-ranked team shot a 7-over 287. At 568, the Cowboys are seven strokes back of North Carolina.
Three players - David Puig of Arizona State, Brian Stark of Oklahoma State and David Ford of North Carolina share the individual lead at 4-under 136.
After opening with a even par round of 70 on Friday, Puig grabbed a share of the lead with a 4-under 66, making six birdies against just two bogeys on Saturday. Stark followed shaved two strokes off his opening round on Friday to turn in a 3-under 67, while Ford shot his second consecutive round of 68.
North Carolina's Austin Greaser, who made his first career ace on the par-3, 13th hole en route to a second round 68, is just one back at 3-under 137. Along with a pair of 68s from Greaser and Ford, the Tar Heels counted a 69 from Ryan Gerard while Peter Fountain and Dougie Ergood finished with 73s.
The final round of the 15th annual OFCC/Fighting Illini Invitational will wrap up on Sunday at Olympia Field.
First Round Recap; Sept. 17
Fresh off a win at the Carmel Cup last weekend at Pebble Beach, top-ranked Oklahoma State is off to a fast start at another historic venue, Olympia Fields Country Club, where the Cowboys hold a one-stroke lead after the first round of the 15th annual OFCC/Fighting Illini Invitational.
Paced by junior Brian Stark's
69, Alan Bratton's squad opened the tradition-rich tournament shooting a 1-over par round of 281, good for a two-stroke lead over sixth-ranked North Carolina and Indiana.
Fifth-ranked Arizona State is four back at 5-over 285, while defending NCAA champion Pepperdine struggled to a 13-over 283 and sits tied for 13th with two rounds remaining. Fifth-ranked Texas, which finished second to Oklahoma at the Maridoe Intercollegiate earlier this week, is tied with Florida and Purdue for fifth-place at 8-over 288.
In addition to Stark's 1-under round of 68, the Cowboys counted rounds by senior Leo Oyo
(70), sophomore Jonas Baumgartner
(71) and senior Eugenio Lopez-Chacara (71), while sophomore Bo Jin
carded a 76 on the par-70, 7,205-yard layout.
Sophomore Drew Salyers
of Indiana and highly-touted freshman David Ford
of North Carolina share the first round lead among the individuals after both turned in 2-under rounds of 68 on Friday.
Salyers, who won the Hoosier Intercollegiate last week at The Pfau Golf Course in Bloomington, Ind., was cruising along at 4-under, but made bogeys on his final two holes and settled for a 68. Ford, who was the No. 1 player in the Rolex AJGA and Golfweek junior rankings in August, offset the only blemish on his card with three birdies.
Maridoe Intercollegiate medalist Cameron Sisk
of Arizona State, opened with a 1-over 71 as did Western Amateur champion Michael Thorbjornsen
The Fighting Illini Invitational will continue on Saturday with second round action from Olympia Fields. Sunday's final round will get underway at 7:30 a.m. CT.