Men's Golf Finishes in Sixth at Illini Spring Classic
April 17, 2011
URBANA, Ill. - The Penn State men's golf team resumed play at the Illini Spring Classic at the Stone Creek Golf Club on Sunday after poor weather conditions forced officials to suspend play early in the second round Saturday. The Nittany Lions came back to fire a 292 team total in the second and final round, awarding them a sixth place finish with a 603 (311-292) tournament total.
"Today we resumed yesterday's round at plus seven," said Coach Nye. "We finished the last fourteen holes better than any other team in the field at minus three."
Improvements were drastic in the second round as the Nittany Lions posted a 292, 19-strokes less than the first-round total of 311. The 27-over par 603 finish placed Penn State 20 strokes behind first place Akron. Only three Big Ten foes trumped Penn State's score including Illinois (593), Northwestern (600) and Indiana (601).
"These guys all played with great heart today after a real tough day yesterday," said Coach Nye. "It was as good as we have played all year and they did this when we needed it most."
Senior T.J. Howe (Osceola, Pa.) played a big role in the team's improvements. The talented senior posted a final round of 68, improving play by 16 strokes between rounds. His two-round total of 152 (84-68) consisted of a hole-in-one and five birdies. Howe finished tied for 31
Senior Tommy McDonagh (East Norwalk, Conn.) finished on top for the Nittany Lions with a 3-over par total of 147 (74-73). McDonagh tied for seventh with six birdies. Sophomores Anthony DeGol (Hollidaysburg, Pa.) and Jay Woodward (Bridgeport, W.Va.) tied for 31 with fellow teammate T.J. Howe posting scores of 76-76 (152) and 77-75 (152), respectively. Sophomore Ernesto Marin (Miami, Fla.) improved by six strokes in the second round tallying a tournament-total of 192 (84-78). Marin concluded play tied for 67.
The Nittany Lions will have two weeks to prepare for the Big Ten Championships set to take place in West Lafayette, Ind. The last time the Lions met up with all Big Ten foes was at the start of the spring season at Big Ten Match Play in Coral Springs, Fla. Penn State has competed against all Big Ten teams throughout the spring and will look forward to squaring up against the tough competition to begin post-season play.