Illini Golf Earns Share of Regional Title at Noblesville

Noblesville, Ind. (via - Illinois Men's Golf will advance to the NCAA Championships for the eighth consecutive season with Saturday's win at the 2015 NCAA Noblesville Regional. After battling tight scores through the second and third rounds, the Illini finished tied for the top spot with a third round tally 7-under par. Senior Brian Campbell marks the third medalist in Illinois history as his 7-under par third round performance earned him medalist honors at the regional and matched a Sagamore Club Course record.

The tournament title marks the eighth win of the season for the Illini, also marking the most wins in a season for an Illinois team in school history.

"In reality this is a qualifier, but we have learned over the years that if you try to win, it's going to be easier to qualify," head coach Mike Small said of the Regional. "We have established that mindset in our program for a long time now, that we come to each tournament to win. It's no different here, at the end we were just trying to win a tournament. Now we struggled a little bit coming in, but Brian birdieing the last hole for a 65 goes a long way towards winning the tournament."

The top five teams remained close throughout the tournament, all trading the lead throughout the final round. It came down to the final five holes of the tournament as the Illini began to pull ahead thanks to late birdies from all five players, but then SMU pulled within one stroke as the two teams approached the last three holes of play. It all came down to the final hole, and thanks to Campbell's birdie putt, the Illini secured a share of the regional title for the third year in a row. Illinois closed the tournament 4-under par overall, tied with SMU, while UNLV took third with a score 1-under par. Illinois, SMU, UNLV, UCLA and Oregon will all advance to the NCAA National Championships.

Campbell came out to play tough in his final round of the tournament. He recorded four birdies on the front nine and continued his success after the turn with a birdie on hole 10. The senior ended up with a bogey on the 11th hole, but quickly recovered with two more birdies, back-to-back on the 13th and 14th holes. Campbell finished with a birdie putt on the final hole to secure his medalist honors and part of the team title. His third-round 65 marks his lowest of the season and the lowest by any player at the Sagamore Club.

"It feels really good to win the title," Campbell said of his performance. "I just got the job done all week. I didn't really play great. We played this course in the fall so I knew how to get around it in a good way. I really putted well and I felt really good."

Charlie Danielson continued his tough play from round two, the junior closed the Regional with an 11th place finish individually. Danielson shot 1-over par on the front nine as he earned an eagle on the second hole right out of the gates, but followed it up with a double bogey on the next hole. Danielson recovered with a birdie on the sixth hole, but ended the front nine with back-to-back bogeys. Danielson picked up the pace on the back nine as he recorded back-to-back birdies on the 11th and 12th holes, and added one more to his total on the 15th hole. He closed play on a high note as he birdied his final hole for a 2-under par third round tally. Danielson was even through the tournament.

After posting bogeying three holes on the front nine, freshman Nick Hardy recovered nicely with three birdies on the back nine. A few bogeys at the end of the round gave Hardy a tough time, and he finished the back nine at even par. Hardy shot 71-74-75=220 to tie for 21st in the field.

After coming into the round with a total score 7-over par, junior Thomas Detry kicked off the final round with four birdies on the front nine. A bogey on the seventh hole, gave him a tally 3-under par before the turn, and Detry added two more bogeys to start the back nine. He quickly negated them with two birdies on the 12th and 16th holes. Detry finished play with a third round tally of 71, his best performance of the regional. He closed the tournament 6 over par for a 27th place finish individually.

Freshman Dylan Meyer closed regional play with a third round tally 3-over par. The Indiana native started the round with a bogey, but posted three birdies to recover nicely. Despite adding two more bogeys to his total on the front nine, Meyer was sitting 1-under par before the turn. A few late bogeys in the round put him 4-over for the back nine. Meyer finished the tournament with a total score 8-over par to place 33rd.

The 2015 NCAA Championship will be held in Bradenton, Fla. The competition begins with a 54-hole stroke play competition starting on May 29. The top eight teams after the third round of stroke play will advance to the match play portion of the championship, while the top 40 individuals will compete in a final round of stroke play to crown an individual national champion from the field of 156 participants (30 teams plus six individuals). Players will be paired according to standing order.

The Golf Channel will provide live coverage of the final three days of the championships, starting with the final round of stroke play competition on June 1 from 4-7 p.m. ET. The network will then air coverage of the match play quarterfinals live on June 2 from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and semifinals from 3:30-7 p.m. Coverage of the championship match is set for 3-7 p.m. on June 3.

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