ILLINOIS WINS THE B1G TEN, NU SECOND

 THE 2017 NCAA MEN’S AND WOMEN’S GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPS, from May 19-31 at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove. The Women play from May 19-24 and the Men from May 26-31, well priced tickets on sale now at NCAA.com/tickets. Parking is FREE.  _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by Rory Spears, Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy and to the NCAA Golf Championships at Rich Harvest Farms.

The Fighting Illini have done it again, make it three straight B1G Ten titles for the men’s golf team.

The 2017 Big Ten title makes it eight wins in just nine years. Something that Coach Mike Small told Golfers on Golf “never gets old.”

The winning score of of 11 under par 829 sets a new Big Ten record, breaking the old record of 838 set by Illinois last year. Junior Dylan Meyer shot a final round one under par 69, to finish the championship at 5 under par, and win the individual title by 1 shot.

Illinois Junior Dylan Meyer the 2017 Big Ten Champion

Meyer set the tone for the Illini with his opening round 7 under par 63, a personal best and a Big Ten record.

On Friday it was Juniors Meyer and Nick Hardy (-3 67) that got Illinois going, and had the Illini up 13 shots after one round. The lead became 20 shots over Purdue and Northwestern after round 2, when the underclassman stepped up to carry the team.

Edoardo Lipparelli’s 4 under par 66 lead the way, with Freshman Michael Feagles coming at at 69. The juniors Meyer and Hardy were back in the 60’s on Sunday to wrap up the championship. Northwestern was second, but 16 shots back of Illinois at 845.

Click here to hear our interview with Illinois Coach Mike Small from Baltimore, after winning the Big Ten title.

“Winning the Big Ten Conference Championship is a major goal on our schedule,” head coach Mike Small said. “To do it again with a different team, gives us a good sense of accomplishment. It continues to give us momentum heading into the NCAA’s.”

Small has now won eight Big Ten titles as the coach of the Illini, and one as player in (1988). Small called a 16 shot win in the Big Ten Championship as “significant”.

The championship was played on the Baltimore Country Club’s East Course known as Five Farms. The course was designed by AW Tillinghast and underwent a restoration by architect Keith Foster in 2014. The yardage was 7,181 and the par was played at 70.

Illinois will be awarded a spot in a regional this Thursday during the selection show. There are six regionals. If Illinois is in the Top 6, ranked teams, they get to go to the regional closest to their school. In this case the Purdue University Kampen Course. Regional play will be held from May 15-17.

Mike Small will throw out the first pitch along with Luke Donald on Thursday at Wrigley Field, after the regional announcements.

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About Rory Spears

Rory spent over 8 years growing up working at Rob Roy Golf Club in Prospect Hts.IL, then two years at Chevy Chase in Wheeling. He has covered golf in Chicago since 1986. Rory was one of the initial members of WSCR all-sports radio Chicago and covered golf there for 5 seasons, before moving on to work for ESPN/Sportsticker and ESPN Radio. In addition to hosting Golfers on Golf Radio on WNDZ Am 750 Chicago, he writes for both Chicagoland Golf and the Chicago District (CDGA) Magazine. Rory has played over 460 courses in 37 states, and rates golf courses. He does golf course management and communications consulting, in the golf industry.