The 2016 U.S. Open concluded on Sunday afternoon with Dustin Johnson (-4) edging out
John Groce Jim Furyk (-1) on the back nine of Oakmont Country Club. I watched a grand total of zero holes this weekend, but Johnson was one of only four golfers to finish the tournament with an under-par score so it seems he was a fairly deserving winner.
Fighting Illini golfers Nick Hardy and Charlie Danielson were invited to participate in the event as amateurs and, though some poor weather plagued their rounds, they still put up some nice numbers.
Play hard fellas! You make Illini Nation proud because of who you are and how you go about your business.#proudcoach https://t.co/kkYTllW8FI— Mike Small (@MikeSmall4) June 15, 2016
Hardy went +10 during the first two days while recording scores of 77 and 73. He had an average driving distance of 284.74 yards while landing in the fairway at a 46.30% clip. Hardy was slightly more accurate when targeting the green (52.78% GIR), and he recorded a total of 5 birdies on 1.72 putts per hole.
Danielson got off to a great start by birding his first hole, but it unfortunately all went downhill from there. He shot a +19 for the weekend after shooting 78 and 81 during the first two days. Danielson hit exactly 50% of the greens in regulation, but his 1.94 putting average prevented him from taking advantage of those opportunities. But on the bright side, he had a fairly respectable 289-yard driving average!
So congratulations to Nick and Charlie for representing the Illini at this prestigious event. For those wondering, this year's low-amateur was Jon Rahm (Spain); he made the cut and finished T-23 at +7.
Illinois Fighting Illini News
- John Groce to Illinois: Onward and Upward (Pantagraph)
Onward and upward implies forgetting what happened in the past, and that's not quite true, Groce said. He has reviewed the debilitating string of injuries that hit last season's team before the season ever began and doubled down on strength and conditioning efforts.
- No. 46 Illini player of 2016: CB Ahmari Hayes (The News-Gazette)
The 6-foot-3, 185-pound Hayes could give Illinois something it doesn't have right now at the cornerback spot and hasn't had for some time: size. Illinois is bound to mostly play zone coverage in Lovie Smith's defense, but if the Illini want to mix in the occasional man, Hayes could actually find himself bigger than some wideouts he is assigned to cover.
- Lovie Smith, Illinois gearing up for recruiting battle against Mizzou (TCR)
Tony Adams received his first scholarship offer from Illinois after impressing the coaches at a local satellite camp. It didn't take long for the Tigers to amp up their pursuit, as Barry Odom's staff made their offer official the very next day. While this recruitment may not be the most important battle in the history of college football, I think it definitely carries a hidden significance for both sides.
- Tales of the Tape: Scouting Reports for Illinois' O-Line targets (TCR)
Looking for more on Illini football recruiting? Check out these scouting reports for Alijah Vera-Tucker, Larry Boyd, Gabe Houy, and Bryce Bailey to see what Lovie Smith is looking for in offensive lineman.
- Know an Xbox One owner? Click here to buy an Illinois-themed controller (TCR)
Microsoft unveiled a new customization options for their Xbox One controllers last week, and we've created templates for every Big Ten team. Perfect for that special Illinois fan in your life. Or you can just get the ugly Indiana version for your neighbor's annoying kid.