Illinois' head coach Mike Small qualifies for U.S. Senior Open
24 May 2023
by Jim Young of AmateurGolf.com
Mike Small (Illinois Athletics photo)
It's been a busy week for Illinois men's golf coach Mike Small.
Before Small and his second-ranked Illini traveled to Scottsdale, Ariz. for the NCAA Men's Golf Championships which get underway on Friday at Grayhawk Golf Club, the longtime Illinois head coach secured his spot in the 2023 U.S. Senior Open Championship by carding a 1-under 71 to tie for medalist honors and earn one of two qualifying spots at Flossmoor (Ill.) Country Club.
Small and Miguel Angel Martin of Madrid, Spain, finished atop the 75-player field in a tight race that saw eight other competitors finish within two strokes of the cutline.
This will be Small's third U.S. Open Senior Championship, after qualifying for spots in the major championship in 2016 and 2017. The 2023 U.S. Senior Open Championship is set for June 29-July 2, at SentryWorld in Stevens Point, Wis.
The 12-time Big Ten Coach of the Year still has plenty of game, obviously.
Since 2000, he has won the PGA of America National Championship on three occasions and is a three-time PGA Professional National Player of the Year. A 13-time Illinois PGA Champion, Small has won the Illinois Open Championship four times and has participated in 13 major championships. He has made the cut in 15 of 34 PGA TOUR events since he began coaching at Illinois, and has appeared in several PGA TOUR Champions events, earning three top-10 finishes. He was also named the 2017 OMEGA Senior PGA Professional Player of the Year.