Illini hosts the 16th Annual OFCC/Fighting Illini Invitational
OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill. – The Fighting Illini Men’s Golf Team, ranked No. 11 in the season’s first GCAA Coaches Top-25 Poll, opens the 2022-23 season as the host team of the 16th OFCC/Fighting Illini Invitational at Olympia Fields Country Club in Olympia Fields, Ill, Friday-Sunday.
The OFCC/Fighting Illini Invitational will be contested on the Olympia Fields Country Club North Course in Olympia Fields, Illinois, once again providing a demanding but fair test for a field that includes some of the best players and programs in the country. The course will feature a 7,310 yard Par 70 course.
Over the years, the famed club has hosted several premier events, having hosted the US Amateur (2015), two US Opens (1928, 2003), two PGA Championships (1925, 1961), a US Senior Open (1997 ), plus five Western Opens (1920, 1927, 1933, 1968, 1971) and the 2020 BMW Championship.
The 54-hole tournament will take place over three days with 18 holes scheduled for each day of competition. Tee times for Rounds 1 and 2, Friday and Saturday, respectively, begin at 8:00 a.m. CT. Tee times for Sunday’s final round are set for 7:30 a.m. CT.
The 2022 OFCC/Fighting Illini Invitational field is comprised of some of the most successful collegiate golf programs in the nation:
- Eleven of this year’s 15 teams in the field are ranked or receive votes in the first GCAA Top 25 Coaches poll released Sept. 9. No. 5 Arizona State, No. 7 Oklahoma State, No. 9 Texas, No. 10 Pepperdine, No. 15 Stanford, No. 18 Florida State, No. 25 Arizona and Alabama, which receives votes.
- Teams from the 2022 OFCC/Fighting Illini Invitational field combined to represent 14 of 20 berths in the last 10 NCAA Championship match play finals, including each of the last four national title winners: Texas (2022), Pepperdine (2021 ), Stanford (2019) and Oklahoma State (2018)
- The field combined to total 11 berths in the 2022 NCAA Regionals last May, with nine programs advancing to stroke play at the NCAA Championship and five of the eight programs closing the season in match play in vying for the championship trophy at Grayhawk.
FIGHT THE ILLINI RANGE
No. 1: Jackson Buchanan
No. 2: Pierce hunting
No. 3: Tommy Kuhl
Number 4: Adrien Dumont de Chassart
No. 5: Mathis Besard
Individual: Nico Lang
Individual: Jerry Ji
ILLINI AT THE OFCC / FIGHTING ILLINI INVITATIONAL
Orange and Blue have won the team title at the OFCC/Fighting Illini Invitational a record three times (2008, 2014 and 2016). Two Illini golfers have also won medal honors at the event, with Zach Barlow and Dylan Meyer each tied for top honors in 2008 and 2014, respectively.
Four of the five Illini lineup members and the two individual Illini competitors in the field this weekend have already competed in the OFCC/Fighting Illini Invitational.
- Fifth year seniors Adrien Dumont de Chassart and Tommy Kuhl will each participate in the event for the third time. Dumont de Chassart achieved his best result in the event last year in 12e place, while Kuhl’s best result in the event came as an individual competitor in his debut campaign (T42 in 2018).
- Mathis Besardgraduate transferred from Southern Illinois, finished fifth in team qualifying and will debut at Olympia Fields.
- Second year Jackson Buchanan and junior Pierce hunting, the Illini’s top two qualifiers, are each playing in the OFCC/Fighting Illini Invitational for the second time. Hunt tied for 42n/a last year when Buchanan was playing indy and finishing 73rd.
- Seniors Jerry Ji and Nico Lang will each compete as individuals this year. Ji makes his third OFCC appearance where he led Illini with a 10e-final place last year. Lang tied for 78e last year, its first event in the Illini lineup.
MORE STORY ON OFCC / FIGHTING ILLINI INVITATION
Besides Illinois’ three tag team titles, Oklahoma State (2007 and 2018) is the only other program to have won multiple OFCC/Fighting Illini Invitational championships. Other 2022 entrants who have previously won the event include: Arizona State (2009), Florida (2010), Stanford (2011), Alabama (2013), Florida State (2015), Baylor (2019), and defending champion North Carolina (2021).
Stanford has produced a record five tournament medals from three golfers: Patrick Rodgers (2011 and 2012), Cameron Wilson (2013) and Maverick McNealy (2014 and 2015). Oklahoma State golfers have won four individual titles: Rickie Fowler (2007), Trent Whitekiller (2009), Peter Uihlein (2010) and Matthew Wolff (2018). Alabama is tied with Illinois with two medalists: Robby Shelton (2013) and Davis Riley (2017). Other program medalists participating in the 2022 event are: Niklas Lemke of Arizona State (2006), Alex Martini of Indiana (2008), Cooper Dossey of Baylor (2019) and Austin Greaser of North Carolina who returns after winning last year’s event by two strokes.
OFCC/Fighting Illini Invitational live scores will be available on Golfstat.com. A recap and results will be posted on FightingIllini.com after each day of play.
The Illini travel to Grand Haven, Michigan to compete in the Michigan State/GCAA Folds of Honor Collegiate at American Dunes Golf Club Sept. 26-28. This new event will feature a field of 18 programs, with proceeds benefiting Folds of Honor, a non-profit organization that provides scholarships to spouses and children of military personnel who have fallen or become disabled while serving in the United States Armed Forces, and the GCAA Presidential Scholarship Fund.
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