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Four Illini Start Strong at the US Amateur

Alex Burge, Charlie Danielson, Thomas Detry, and Nick Hardy are in position to make a move after Day 1 of the US Amateur.

Tracy Wilcox - Golfweek

After the opening round of play at the 115th US Amateur at Olympia Fields, all four Illini players are in position to make a run at the round of 64.  Here's where the Fighting Illini stand after their opening round:

With one more qualifying round to go till the Match Play rounds of 64 begin, Nick Hardy and Alex Burge find themselves inside the Top 64 players.  Hardy's day was quite eventful, as he started his round with 2 bogeys and 3 birdies to get to red figures.  He would battle another 4 hole stretch of alternating birdies and bogeys with back to back birdies late to grab an early Top 10 finish.  In the afternoon wave, Alex Burge followed 3 bogeys with 3 birdies in a 10 hole stretch to start his day.  The roller-coaster start would even out though, as he would make it back to the clubhouse with 8 consecutive pars to finish his day at even par.  He finishes the day tied for 30th.

On the other side of the golf course (there are two courses at Olympia Fields), All-American Thomas Detry opened with a birdie on the 618 yard 1st.  From there, he would find a few bogeys on the front nine before finding his rhythm and 8 pars in a row.  Unfortunately, a bogey on the last hole bumped him out of a tie for 49th, and JUST outside of the cut line at T-78.  His Illini teammate and fellow All-American Charlie Danielson struggled early, shooting a 5-over 40 on his front nine.  But some steady play on the back left him in a good spot for tomorrow, as he's only 3 shots away from making Wednesday's match play rounds.  "I just need to make a few more putts and we'll be there," Danielson said after the round.

We asked him what he was listening to on the practice green, and the answer was simple.  "Rap.  Newer stuff like Wiz and Kid Cudi."  If that's what it takes to knock a few strokes off a round, we're up for anything!

There's good reason to be optimistic tomorrow, as the Illini have had great success just south of Chicago.  They were winners of last season's Fighting Illini Invitational at this very venue, and have traditionally played well here year after year. You can follow tomorrow's action here, as the USGA will update scoring every 9 holes.  TCR will also be on-site for the week, following the Illini as they make their run towards the weekend!

Here are some of the sights from Day 1:

Play well tomorrow guys, and GO ILLINI!!!