MOBILE, Ala. – The No. 20-ranked Fighting Illini men’s golf team holds a three-stroke lead in the team race at the 2024 Hal Williams Collegiate after Day 1 of competition at Magnolia Grove Golf Club.
Play was halted due to darkness Monday evening, with Round 2 scheduled to conclude Tuesday morning, followed by the regularly scheduled third round.
The Illini, back to defend their 2023 team title at the Hal Williams, opened play with a team total of 278 (-6) in Round 1 and were in a tie for third place when play rolled into Round 2. However, the Orange and Blue combined to shoot a team score of 10-under through 14-15 holes before play was halted in the second round, surging into sole possession of the lead at 16-under to take a three-stroke edge over VCU (-13). LSU (-8) is third, followed by Davidson (-7) and Louisiana Tech (-2) to round out the top five entering Tuesday.
Junior Jackson Buchanan leads the Illini lineup in a tie for sixth at 4-under. He opened with an even-par 71 in Round 1. Sophomore Ryan Voois and fifth-year Jerry Ji are just one stroke off Buchanan’s pace in a tie for 11th at 3-under.
Fifth-year Timmy Crawford opened with a team-best 67 (-4) in Round 1 and sits at 2-under in a tie for 16th through 33 holes. Freshman Max Herendeen is tied for 28th with three holes to play in Round 2 at even par.
Senior Piercen Hunt, playing as an individual competitor, sits in a two-way tie atop the player leaderboard. Hunt fired a 3-under 68 in Round 1 and his 4-under mark through 13 holes in Round 2 has pushed him into a tie with VCU’s Ugo Malcor who opened with a Round 1 score of 64 (-7) and is even-par through 14 holes in Round 2.
The Illini’s second individual competitor, fifth-year Tyler Goecke, has also started strong in Mobile, matching Buchanan at 4-under to sit in a tie for sixth, while Illinois’ third indy, freshman Ethan Wilson, is 1-over and sits in a tie for 35th entering Tuesday.
Live scoring for Tuesday is available at SouthAlabama.LeaderboardKing.com.