NCAA Golf News

Illini Battle to Maintain Lead Heading Into Final Round at Stanford Regional

Illini Battle to Maintain Lead Heading Into Final Round at Stanford Regional

STANFORD, Calif. –  The No. 18-ranked and third-seeded Fighting Illini men’s golf team followed up Monday’s sensational start at the NCAA Stanford Regional with another round of solid team golf on Tuesday at Stanford Golf Course. The Orange and Blue fought through some challenging stretches to card a 10-under 270, and the team heads into Wednesday’s finale with a one-shot lead.

More importantly, the Fighting Illini at 533 (-27) have built a 20-shot edge over host and fifth-seeded Stanford (553, -7) which sits in sixth place. The top five teams, at the conclusion of Round 3 will advance to the 2024 NCAA Championship, May 24-29, at Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, Calif.

Freshman Max Herendeen maintains his individual lead after showing off his ability to battle back from early adversity in Round 2. After shooting a 7-under 63 with just one bogey and eight birdies on Monday, Herendeen birdied No. 1 for the second consecutive day and appeared to be poised for a similar result. However, following bogeys on Nos. 2, 3, 4, and 6, the Big Ten Freshman of the Year found himself at 3-over and slipping down the individual leaderboard.  

Herendeen answered the call from that point forward, shooting 6-under over the next 11 holes – with four birdies and an eagle – to retake his position at the top of the standings. A bogey on 18 moved back into a three-way tie for first with Florida State’s Luke Clanton and Texas A&M’s Phichaksn Maichon with a 36-hole score of 131 (-9).

The experience of senior Piercen Hunt and fifth-year senior Tyler Goecke also shined through in Round 2 for the Illini.  

Hunt, who is playing in his third straight NCAA Regional for the Orange and Blue, bounced back in a big way from his opening 73 (+3). He posted a 5-under on the front nine and offset a pair of bogeys on the back with two more birdies after the turn to finish with a season-low-tying 65 (-5). Hunt’s performance moved him 29 spots up the leaderboard where he sits in 24th with a 36-hole total of 138 (-2).

Goecke, also making his third straight NCAA Regional start but his first as an Illini, entered the day two shots behind Herendeen in a tie for second…


Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at University of Illinois Athletics…