Jeremy Werner // Illini Inquirer

Dylan Meyer's big second round pushes Illini into top three on NCAA leaderboard

Dylan Meyer hits six birdies to catapult up individual leaderboard, help Illini crack the top-3 in team standings after two rounds of stroke play

Dylan Meyer certainly looks healthy again.

When the Illinois junior and Ben Hogan Award finalist -- given to the nation's top collegiate golfer -- struggled to a 28th individual finish at the NCAA Regional, something seemed off. It turns out, something was.

Meyer actually had won the Big Ten Championships medalist honors while battling a then-unknown illness. After the tournament, he learned he had ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. The condition caused Meyer to lose several pounds and kept him off the golf course for two weeks -- a lengthy hiatus for a collegiate golfer. 

Meyer showed Saturday at Rich Harvest Farms that he has his swag back.

He sank six birdies to just one bogey to post a 5-under 67 during the second round of the NCAA Championships, leading the Illini to third place on the team leaderboard (11-under par) after two rounds of stroke play.

Meyer was one of three Illini veterans to finish in the red. Junior Nick Hardy and sophomore Edoardo Lipparelli each made four birdies to three bogeys to end the day with identical 1-under 71s. Lipparelli is 3-under through two rounds and tied for 19th individually. Hardy is 1-under and tied for 41st.

Freshman Michael Feagles, who posted a team-best 3-under 69 in round one, struggled in Saturday's second round, finishing with seven bogeys to three birdies for a four-over 76. But fellow freshman Giovanni Tadiotto picked him up with a solid 2-over 74. The NCAA takes a five-man team's four best scores to accumulate the team score.

The Illini are positioned well heading into Sunday's cut-down day. The field will be cut in half after the third round of stroke play, from 30 to 15. The Illini have a 15-stroke lead on the 16th-place team. Illinois will tee off at 8:13 a.m. Sunday.

The field will then be cut down to eight after the fourth round of stroke play. The Illini have a four-stroke lead on the ninth-place team.

UNLV currently leads the tournament at 14-under, and Oklahoma is in second at 13-under. Scottie Scheffler of Texas is atop the individual leaderboard at 8-under.

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