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Small's Illini in contention at Big Tens
FRENCH LICK, Ind. (UI Release) – No. 8 Illinois stands tied for second, just one shot behind Purdue, after 36 holes at the Big Ten Championships on Friday. Teams battled cold, windy conditions throughout the long day and scores reflected it on the hilly par-72, 7,152-yard Pete Dye Course, as Ohio State’s 6-over-par in the second round was the day’s best team score and only six players carded rounds under par. Purdue leads at 18-over-par, while Illinois and Minnesota are at +19. The Buckeyes are in fourth at +20 overall.
Brian Campbell is third individually at 1-over-par after rounds of 72-73, two shots behind leader Jose Mendez of Minnesota. Charlie Danielson stands seventh at +3 following his day of 71-76. The Illini posted a 9-over first round and trailed Minnesota by two shots after the day’s first 18 holes, but Purdue used an 8-over-par 296 in the afternoon to grab a share of the lead with the Gophers.
“It was a tough test today,” Illini coach Mike Small said. “I was very happy with the guys’ intensity and their excitement to play today. I think they were a little nervous to start out – a little over-anxious maybe – and they settled down a little bit as the day went on. Like I said, the effort was great but our execution wasn’t as good as it needs to be. Our focus wasn’t as narrow as it needs to be. We got into some generalities of thinking about the shots and if we narrow that down, we’ll play better tomorrow.”
The Illini didn’t count a score higher than 75 in the second round, as Jonathan Hauter, Thomas Detry and David Kim each chipped in 75s in the afternoon. Hauter and Detry are tied for 22nd overall at +8 after each firing 5-over-par 77s in the morning round. Kim stands tied for 31st after rounds of 78-75 left him at +9.
In the morning round, Campbell struggled to find consistency early on, turning at +1 and going to 2-over after a bogey at the par-4 10th. But he caught fire from there, making four birdies across his next four holes to get as deep as -2 with two holes left. But a double-bogey into the teeth of the wind at the par-4 17th left him with an even-par 72. In the afternoon, Campbell made the turn at -2 thanks to an eagle at the par-5 7th. He carried that through the par-3 13th but bogeys at 14, 15 and 18 gave him a 73.
Danielson started the day with consecutive birdies but recovered with birdies at the par-5 3rd and par-5 7th to turn at even par. A birdie at No. 10 made him the first Illini below par on the day, but he gave it back with a bogey at the par-5 14th. A birdie on No. 15 gave him a 1-under-par 71, though. In round two, Danielson birdied the difficult par-4 1st hole and made five straight pars to stand 1-under through six. But he went double bogey-bogey-bogey to close out the front nine at +3. Birdies on 10 and 14 were outweighed by bogeys at Nos. 13, 15 and 16, and Danielson ended with a non-counting 76 in the afternoon.
Hauter had a bit of a rough front nine in the first round, bogeying Nos. 5 and 9, and double-bogeying No. 6 to turn at +4. He bogeyed No. 11 but recovered with a birdie at 14. A bogey on No. 17 left him with a 77, though. In the afternoon, he opened with a double-bogey and bogeyed 5 and 6 to stand +4 with 12 holes left. He righted the ship, though, making seven straight pars before birdying the 14th and playing even the rest of the way for his 75.
Detry struggled on the front side in the morning round, making bogeys on Nos. 3, 6, 8 and 9 with no birdies. He eventually birdied the par-4 11th but gave it back with a bogey on the par-3 13th. He got back to +3 with a birdie on the 14th but a double-bogey at 18 left him with a 77. In the afternoon, Detry turned at +2 after three bogeys and a birdie. He birdied the par-4 11th but bogeyed Nos. 13 and 15 to finish at 75.
Kim had a challenging first round, as a double-bogey and bogey on holes 8 and 9 left him at +3 at the turn. He added three more bogeys on the back side to finish with a non-counting 78. He recovered in the afternoon, though, making two birdies and five bogeys for a 75.