No. 6 Illinois outlasts LSU to win Louisiana Classics by six strokes
LAFAYETTE, La. -- Sixth-ranked Illinois held off a final-round charge by LSU to win the 29th annual Louisiana Classics by six strokes at the par-72, 7,098-yard Oakbourne Country Club on Tuesday. It marks the Illini's third tournament title this season, is the second consecutive year Illinois has won the Louisiana Classics and third time in the past four seasons. The Illini's team score of 840 tied for the sixth-lowest in school history.
Sophomores Charlie Danielson and Thomas Detry both fired rounds under par (69 and 70, respectively) and tied for second (7-under), while junior Brian Campbell finished tied for sixth (4-under) after carding a 77. Senior Jonathan Hauter tied for 13th (even after a final-round 74 and David Kim tied for 20th (3-over) following a 79 on Tuesday. Junior Alex Burge, playing as an individual, tied for 25th (4-over) following a 74 in the final round.
"It's a good day because we won," Illini head coach Mike Small said. "You never argue about a win. They're hard to get and we'll take it. But we wish today would have been better. We didn't start off well and LSU played really good golf. It got a little dicey in the middle of the round. To our credit, we played the last four or five holes pretty solid and kept them at arm's length."
"Those guys played solid golf today," Small said of Danielson and Detry. "They didn't start the best but they really fought. Charlie made two great par saves from outside 100 yards. As a team we didn't play very well, but those two guys and Hauter were the reason we held on. All in all it was a positive day, but there are some things we've got to do better next time."
Danielson started off on the wrong foot with a bogey on his first hole, the par-4 second, but rebounded with a birdie on No. 3. After three consecutive pars, he rolled in back-to-back birdies to get to 2-under but a bogey on 9 left him at 1-under at the turn. He kept battling, though, notching birdies on Nos. 11 and 15, and carding eight pars to finish out his 3-under-par 69.
Detry was the steadiest Illini on the day, notching a birdie on the par-5 7th to make the turn at -1. He added another on the 11th but bogeyed No. 16. A birdie on the par-3 17th and a par on No. 18 finished out his 2-under-par round. Hauter, despite his final score of 2-over-par 74, was extremely solid on the day, with only a double-bogey on his third hole - the par-4 fifth - standing between him and a flawless round. Aside from that miscue, he carded 17 pars.
Campbell faced a rocky final round after his strong play on Monday, carding four bogeys and a double-bogey against only one birdie, on the par-5 seventh. And Kim scuffled, making six bogeys and a double-bogey compared with a lone birdie. After a birdie on his first hole - the par-3 15th - Burge made consecutive bogeys to head to No. 1 at 1-over. But he got it back with birdies on Nos. 3 and 4, and another on No. 7 to get as deep as 2-under. Bogeys on 8, 9 and 10 were his undoing, though, and he added another on No. 14, his final hole, to finish at 2-over on the day.