NCAA Golf News

Illini Finish Second at Big Ten Championship

Illini Finish Second at Big Ten Championship

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 18 Fighting Illini men’s golf team finished second at the 2024 Big Ten Championship on Sunday at Scioto Country Club, snapping the program’s Big Ten-record streak of eight consecutive league titles.  

The Illini carded a team total of 878 (+38), including Sunday’s second-lowest final round of 292 (+12). But the Orange and Blue were unable cut into Northwestern’s lead as the Wildcats closed out the 15-stroke victory in wire-to-wire fashion with a 54-hole total of 863 (+23), led by medalist Daniel Svard.

“Today was representative of the whole week,” head coach Mike Small said. “Hats off to Northwestern. They controlled the narrative and the energy from Day 1. Nobody else played to that level. They had four guys finish in the top 10, that’s just bringing it, and that’s what winners do at this tournament – it has to be a total team effort. They were better from tee to green, better around the greens, and it was just a pretty decisive win. We didn’t have much answer for that. Today was the same as the other two days. We had some good stretches, some good spots – maybe more good spots today – but we still played some loose golf that you shouldn’t have this time of year.”

Junior Jackson Buchanan earned All-Big Ten Championship Team honors for the second straight season, pacing Illinois with a score of 212 (+2) for a runner-up finish. Buchanan made a hard charge for medalist late in Round 3, and following back-to-back birdies on Nos. 14 and 15, he moved into a tie atop the leaderboard. However, a bogey on 16 proved to be the difference as Buchanan carded par on 17 and 18 to finish his round with a 70 (E) and come up one stroke short of Svard’s pace.

“Jackson competed,” Small added. “He didn’t have his best stuff from tee to green this week either – I think all of us struggled striking the ball for whatever reason – but he hit eight greens today and had a chance to win, so he competed well. He made a bogey on 16, which was unfortunate, but he hit two really good shots on the last two holes, just couldn’t make a birdie. Again, you can’t play defense, and the player ahead of him didn’t make any mistakes. Jackson tried to chase him down, but couldn’t quite catch him.”

The Illini’s trio of underclassmen – true freshmen Max Herendeen and Ethan Wilson and sophomore Ryan Voois – rounded out…


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