Despite winning Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Illinois golfer Michael Feagles didn't seem quite ready for postseason play. The Illini freshman from Arizona shot 7-over (T-23rd) at the low-scoring Big Ten Tournament and 19-over (71st) at the high-scoring NCAA Regional.
But Feagles must've calmed his jitters because he looked mighty comfortable in the first round of the NCAA Championships.
Feagles made five birdies, hit an eagle on Hole 2 and made four bogeys in Round 1 to shoot a team-best 3-under 69 in the first round of the NCAA Championships to pace the Illini to a great start in the first round of stroke play at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove. Feagles is tied for eighth overall individually.
After a late finish Friday due to a weather delay and an early rise on Saturday to complete the round, Illinois finished its first round in the top-five at 6-under par.
The Illini stayed on the course Saturday morning to start round two of stroke play. The top-15 teams after Sunday's third round of stroke play advance to the fourth and final round of stroke play on Monday. The top-8 teams after Monday advance to match play.
Sophomore Edoardo Lipparelli made four birdies on the back nine to finish his first round with a 2-under 70, tied for seventh overall. Junior Dylan Meyer shot a 1-under 71, and junior Nick Hardy made three birdies on his last five holes to finish with an even 72.
Freshman Giovanni Tadiotto bounced back from a quadruple bogey on Hole 17 with a 33 on his final nine, but his score of 2-over did not count since his other four teammates shot better. The NCAA takes each five-man team's top-four scores during stroke play.
Vanderbilt was the clubhouse leader after one round at 10-under par.