Illinois won’t have an individual national champion in 2023, but it still has a chance to secure a team title.
Jackson Buchanan (-6) fell just one shot shy of Florida’s Fred Biondi on Monday night at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale. The second-place finish is the third-best in program history.
But I’m sure Buchanan would trade in all of that for the next couple of days, as the Illini move on to match play. That means they finished in the top 8 of the 30 teams competing at the NCAA Championships.
Now it’s a bracket format, with the quarterfinals Tuesday morning, semifinals Tuesday afternoon, and championship match on Wednesday. No. 3 Illinois will start with No. 6 Florida State. The winner of that match will face either No. 2 Florida or No. 7 Virginia with a spot in the national championship on the line.
While we call Illinois a #GolfSchool, it should be noted the Illini have never won a team national title. Is this the year?
We’ll just have to wait and see.
Illinois National Titles
In case you were curious, Illinois has claimed 23 national titles in school history.
According to FightingIllini.com:
- 10 – Men’s Gymnastics (1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1950, 1955, 1956, 1958, 1989, 2012)
- 5 – Football (1914, 1919, 1923, 1927, 1951)
- 5 – Outdoor Track & Field (1921, 1927, 1944, 1946, 1947)
- 2 – Men’s Fencing (1956, 1958)
- 1 – Men’s Tennis (2003)
So the most recent was men’s gym in 2012, followed by men’s tennis in 2003 and men’s gym in 1989. Those are the ONLY national titles since men’s gym and fencing in 1958!