NCAA Golf News

Buchanan Leads, Illini Fifth After Day 1 at Augusta Haskins Award Invitational

Buchanan Leads, Illini Fifth After Day 1 at Augusta Haskins Award Invitational

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Fighting Illini junior Jackson Buchanan carded Saturday’s lowest individual score in Round 2 at Forest Hills Golf Club, surging into position as the 36-hole leader in the individual race and pacing the 17th-ranked Illini who sit in fifth place as a team with 18 holes to play at the Augusta Haskins Award Invitational.

Buchanan, a native of Dacula, Ga., followed his opening 70 (-2) with a 66 (-6) in Round 2 to build a three-stroke lead, and his performance keeps the Illini in the hunt among the group of teams chasing top-ranked North Carolina entering Round 3. Buchanan is in search of back-to-back victories, coming off his third-career win in the Illini’s last outing, March 25-26 at the Duck Invitational in Eugene, Ore.  

“We were up and down to throughout the day once again,” head coach Mike Small said. “There wasn’t a lot of consistency. At times we showed really good play, and we had other stretches where it was not sharp. We’re still fighting the urge to check-in and check-out of rounds and that will bite us in the post-season if we don’t get ahold of it. One way that a team can get out of that funk is to have one player get really hot, and Jackson did that today. He was 8-under after 12 holes in Round 2 and finished 6-under for the round which is leading the tournament. He saved us this afternoon to keep us in the mix.

“Tomorrow, we need to show the ability to shorten the stretches of loose play. We’ve tended to have bad stretches hang around too long, individually and as a team.”

Overall, three Illini have posted top-25 scores through 36 holes. Behind Buchanan, freshman Max Herendeen is in a tie for 17th at 144 (E) and sophomore Ryan Voois is tied for 21st at 145 (+1). Both Herendeen and Voois shot 74 (+2) in Round 1 before Herendeen shaved four strokes for a 2-under 70 and Voois improved by three shots with a 71 (-1), in Round 2.

Fifth-year Tyler Goecke rounded out the scoring for the Illini in each of Saturday’ s rounds, also posting a 74 in Round 1 and closed with a 75 for a two-round tally of 149 (+5) in 46th. Freshman Ethan Wilson (75-77–152) is tied for 50th in the 78-player field.

Illinois (574) is 2-under as a…


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