Hardy takes runner-up at State Amateur

Published 07/17 2014 09:17PM

Updated 07/17 2014 10:41PM

WHEATON, Ill. - Illinois incoming freshman Nick Hardy shot back-to-back rounds of 66 and 69 Thursday afternoon before losing a four-hole playoff and a chance at an Illinois State Amateur Championship.  Hardy gave Iowa sophomore Ray Knoll all he could handle before Knoll prevailed on the fourth hole of a sudden death playoff.  Hardy (-7) takes runner-up at the State Am.

"I just came with the attitude today of I don't care what my swing is - I'm gonna shoot as low as I can," Hardy said.  "And so that's what helped lift me through the day - and even though I hadn't been hitting it that well, I played pretty well today.  I came pretty close.  I had my chances, but it just didn't happen."

If Hardy would have won, he would have become the first Illini golfer to win the State Am since Zach Barlow and Luke Guthrie went back-to-back in 2008 and 2009.  Eureka's Trevor Gold, who will join the Illinois golf team in 2015, finished T16.  Mattoon's Derek Meinhart took 11th.

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