Adrien Dumont de Chassart of Illinois
At 9-under after two rounds of the OFCC/Fighting Illini Invitational, Stanford will take a seven-shot lead into the final round but the footsteps behind the Cardinal on Sunday are sure to be loud and persistent.
After opening with a 10-under 270 on Friday, the Cardinal managed to increase its lead from one to seven shots despite turning in a 1-over 281 on Saturday, which turned out to be the second-best team score of the second round, as Olympia Fields flexed its considerable muscle on Saturday.
Arizona State was the only team in red numbers on Saturday, as the Sun Devils jumped three spots into solo second following a brilliant 7-under 273. At 2-under 558, the Sun Devils are seven back of the front-running Cardinal with 18 holes remaining.
Host Illinois, which opened with a 9-under 271 on Friday, slipped back to third at 1-under 559 following an 8-over 288 effort on Saturday.
At 9-under 551, Stanford tied the 36-hole team scoring record (Oklahoma State, 2018) while all four of Stanford's scoring players over the first two days reside inside the top-10, led by Karl Vilips
who is tied for fourth at 4-under 136 (65-71).
Fifth-year senior Ethan Ng fired the Cardinal's best round of the day with a 1-under 69, while junior Michael Thorbjornsen
shot an even-par 70. Barclay Brown
and Vilips were both 1-over on the day, although Vilips rebounded nicely from a triple on the 10th hole, finishing his round with three birdies and five pars over the final eight holes to finish the day inside the top five.
Illinois' Adrien Dumont de Chassart
took over the individual lead after firing a 67 (-3) on the heels of an opening round 65. At 8-under 132, the Belgian will sleep on a two-shot lead over Arizona State's Ryggs Johnston
while his Illini teammate Tommy Kuhl
is three back at 5-under.
Johnston fired the second-best round in the 16-year history of the tournament with a 6-under 64 which moved him and the Sun Devils into solo second on the individual and team leaderboards. The senior from Libby, Mont. eagled his first hole of the day, the par-5, 626-yard 13th, and then finished with a flurry, collecting four birdies in his last six holes to finish 6-under 64.
Only two players, both current professionals, have shot better in the tournament's 16-year history. Rickie Fowler (Oklahoma State, 2007) and Thomas Detry (Illinois, 2015) carded 7-under 63's respectively.
Stanford will look to claim its second OFCC/Fighting Illini team title on Sunday after taking home the trophy in 2011. Three Stanford players have won the individual title on five occasions, including Patrick Rodgers (2011, 2012), Cameron Wilson (2013), and Maverick McNealy (2014, 2015).
ABOUT THE Fighting Illini Invitational
54-hole elite collegiate event hosted at Olympia
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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