Illinois, DeForest claim Spring Break titles
Illinois successfully defended its title Sunday at the FAU Spring Break Championship, claiming an 18-shot victory at the Gleneagles Golf Club Prestine Course in Delray Beach, Fla.
The Illini jumped to a six-shot lead over Notre Dame in the first round, posting a 2-under 282. Illinois, No. 10 in Golfweek’s rankings, posted its lowest score in Round 2, a 5-under 279, before putting the finishing touches on its wire-to-wire win with a 281 in Round 3. At 10-under 842, Illinois was the only team in the field to shoot below par.
Iowa improved from its opening 11-over 295, but couldn’t catch Illinois after consecutive rounds below par to close the tournament. The Hawkeyes finished second at 8-over 860.
Rounding out the top 5 were Penn State (862), Eastern Michigan (865) and tournament host Florida Atlantic (866).
Illinois junior Chris DeForest won the individual title at 8-under 205. DeForest’s final-round 70 included 15 pars and two birdies, and he had an eagle in each of the first two rounds. It was the second title of his college career.
“I was struggling with my game coming into the week, to be honest with you,” DeForest said. “I just kept working hard and gave myself an opportunity to shoot low scores. My focus is really on helping our team win, and knowing that I have teammates there to back me up really takes the pressure off.”
Three players tied for second at 4-under 209, including Eastern Michigan senior Cam Burke, Notre Dame senior Doug Fortner and Iowa sophomore Barrett Kelpin. Illinois senior Zach Barlow and junior Scott Langley tied for fifth another shot back.
–Information from the University of Illinois used in this report.