Illinois was up or all square in three of the five matches coming down the stretch, but Alabama senior Scott Strohmeyer won holes 14-16 to defeat Illini sophomore Brian Campbell 3 and 2, and give Alabama a 4-1 team victory. Junior Thomas Pieters was the Illini’s lone victory, as he was ahead 1-up when the Tide clinched the deciding team points.
Sixth-seeded Illinois fired a one-over-par 289, the best round of the day, to win the NCAA Fayetteville Regional by three strokes over host and second-seeded Arkansas at the par-72, 7,251-yard Blessings Golf Club on Saturday. It marks the first regional title in school history and extends the Illini’s streak of consecutive appearances in the NCAA Championships to six straight seasons.
Northwestern and Purdue were named Co-Big Ten Women’s Golf Champions on Sunday at the Donald Ross Course at French Lick Resort. Illinois won the Big Ten Men’s Golf Championships on Sunday, shooting an 11-over 1,163 to clinch its fifth-straight and 12th overall conference title.
This might rub some Illinois fans wrong. Illinois alum and PGA star Steve Stricker attended Saturday afternoon’s Illinois-Wisconsin game in, of all things, a Wisconsin hat. BTN cameras even caught him cheering for the Badgers at one point.
Illinois sophomore Thomas Pieters fired an even-par 71 on Thursday at Riviera Country Club to win the 2012 NCAA Championship by three shots with a 54-hole total of 208 (-5). Pieters becomes the second Illini golfer to claim the individual NCAA title in the last three years, joining 2010 champion Scott Langley, who was the first in school history.
Five Big Ten men’s golf teams entered the weekend with NCAA Championships aspirations, but Illinois and Iowa were the only ones to advance in regional action. Illinois and Iowa are off to the Championships at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif., while Indiana, Northwestern and Purdue missed out in their respective regionals. Read about all the teams in this post.