8th-place finish ends Gators' men's golf hopes

Cole Miller wins regional golf title; PSU advances to NCAA championships

Cole Miller wins regional golf title; PSU advances to NCAA championships

Small was hired as the head men's golf coach at IL in 2000 and won his first Big Ten Coach of the Year award in 2002 en route to leading the Fighting Illini to the NCAA Championships and placing 18th.

Conversely, fifth-ranked Florida, the No. 1 seed in the Regional, stumbled on Wednesday, shooting a closing 24-over 312 to fall from third to eighth place and fail to advance to nationals.

The hopes that the Illini were going to advance to their 10 straight NCAA tournament were looking bleak after a rough front nine that had the team at +3 for the day.

"His leadership last night after the round and the way he spoke to the media and the way he handled practice after the round and the way he went out and played today was, I told the team, that was inspirational to see that and to take them on his shoulders and do what he did", Small said. IL stayed on property for three hours after they finished round two practicing.

The Illini will now travel two and a half hours north to play in the national championship held at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois. Matt Gilchrest of Auburn and Shintaro Ban of UNLV tied for third at 2-under-par.

"The Illini golf way is just finding a way to get it done no matter what, no matter the conditions", IL junior Nick Hardy said.

"Jake hit the ball very well this week", head coach Christian Newton said. "The wind was howling today, with gusts around 30 (mph), which made all shots so hard regardless of what direction you were going". After going 3 over on the first two holes, he made six consecutive pars before a bogey on 9. After starting the day with a par on the 607-yard, par-5 10th, he bogeyed the par-4 11th.

WHAT'S NEXT Wednesday's final round is set for tee times for the first and 10th hole beginning at 10 a.m. CT. Baylor is in the final group off the first tee and is paired with Stanford and Pepperdine. Shattuck was 1-over at the turn, but finished his round with three birdies and six pars on the back-nine. Doeden parred his last four holes.

"Trent faced some adversity finishing his opening nine, but he stayed patient and in the game, which showed his maturity", Kralis said. On Wednesday, Baylor, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas produced top 5 finishes in Regionals to advance to the finals. He kept his composure all week, and I'm proud of his effort.

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