CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The University of Illinois men’s golf team will be well represented this week at the 122nd U.S. Open with two former Illini, Thomas Pieters and Nick Hardy, joining returning fifth-year senior Adrien Dumont de Chassart, in the field at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., when the event tees off this Thursday.
Pieters, currently the World’s No. 37-ranked golfer, will make his fourth-career start at the U.S. Open and was exempt from qualifying based on his top-60 OWGR ranking as of May 23. The 2012 NCAA individual champion played in his first U.S. Open at Erin Hills in 2017 and was back in the field again in 2019 at Pebble Beach. In 2020 at Winged Foot he posted his best finish with a share of 23rd after opening with a 66 in Round 1.
Hardy, coming off a tie for 35th last week’s PGA Tour stop at the RBC Canadian Open, will also make his fourth appearance at the U.S. Open. He played in the 2015 at Chambers Bay and 2016 at Oakmont following his freshman and sophomore seasons at Illinois, respectively. And after turning pro in 2018, he qualified again for the 2019 event at Pebble Beach. Hardy’s best U.S. Open finish came in his first appearance, where he tied for 52nd, including a closing 68 in his final round at Chambers Bay. He qualified this year as the first alternate out of the Springfield (Ohio) Country Club site where Dumont de Chassart secured one of eight guaranteed spots.
Dumont de Chassart closed his local qualifier at Springfield Country Club with a 4-under 136, including a clutch birdie on No. 18, that capped his day and moved the two-time defending Big Ten Player of the Year out of a would-be playoff and squarely into the field. The Belgian native will make his U.S. Open debut, and is one of 15 amateurs in the 156-player field.
KORN FERRY TOUR
Michael Feagles continues to make his mark on the Korn Ferry Tour where the Scottsdale, Ariz., native is coming off of a tie for 44th at the BMW Charity Pro-Am last week at the Thornblade Club in Greer, S.C.
This week, Feagles is set to compete at the Wichita Open when play begins Thursday at Crestview Country Club in Wichita, Kan. Including last week’s showing at the BMW Charity Pro-Am, Feagles enters the week in search of his ninth made cut overall, and his sixth in his last seven starts dating back to the Simmons Bank Open in early May.
PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS
Illini head coach Mike Small once again teed off with former teammate and friend Steve Stricker at the American Family Insurance Championship at University Ridge Golf Course in Madison, Wis.
Stricker continued his hot streak on the Champions Tour, posting a 9-under 207 to finish in a tie for 11th. Small shot 3-under for the tournament to tie for 42nd.
While Adrien Dumont de Chassart is set to make his U.S. Open debut this week, several of his current Illini teammates are also slated to compete in a pair of strong amateur events.
Rising senior Jerry Ji and graduate transfer Matthis Besard are each competing this week at the 127th Amateur Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club in Lancashire, England, where they will be chasing not only one of the most prestigious titles in amateur golf, but also a spot in the 150th Open at St. Andrews.
Stateside, both returning fifth-year senior Tommy Kuhl and rising junior Piercen Hunt are set to tee off, starting Wednesday, at the 69th Sunnehanna Amateur at Sunnehanna Country Club in Johnstown, Penn.