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Bradley golf 12th at regionals; Illinois second to qualify for nationals

Journal Star, Peoria, Ill. — Journal Star, Peoria, Ill.

May 17--The Bradley men's golf team finished 12th and Illinois placed second at their respective NCAA regionals on Wednesday.

The Braves ended their season at the Bryan Regional in Texas by putting up a 301 team score for a three-day total of 901. Drake Bushong led Bradley after shooting 2-over-par 74 at The Traditions Golf Club to tie for 28th place at 220. BU counted 75s from Michael Mounce and Zach Jewell, and Ethan Brue shot 77 to place 49th place at 8-over 224.

Host Texas A&M shot 279 to win the 13-team tournament with an 837 team total. Clemson (287-846) was second. Chandler Phillips shot 69 on his home course to win medalist at 11-under 205. Aggies teammate Brandon Smith (70-206) was second along with Clemson's Doc Redman (69-206).

Meanwhile, at the Columbus Regional, Illinois counted four scores at the Scarlet Course at Ohio State University Golf Club for a 290 and 852 team total. That was eight shots behind regional winner Oklahoma State (285-844).

Nick Hardy, who was in a four-way tied for the indivdual lead after the second round with Illini teammate Michael Feagles and a pair of the Cowboys, shot 1-over 72 to tie for fourth at 2-under 211. Feagles shot 75 to tie for 10th with the Illini's Dylan Meyer (73) at 214. Bryan Baumgarten shot 70 to place ninth for the Big Ten champions.

"It was a job well done," said Illini coach Mike Small after his team qualified for its 11th straight national tournament. "We came here to qualify for nationals and that's what we did. We did it pretty comfortably all week, but we would've like to have pulled out a win. We were in position with nine holes left to play and we just didn't close it out.

"I think it is a credit to our players and to the mindset of the program that they were disappointed today. Even though we came here to qualify for the national championship, our team competes to win. We are excited to advance and move forward, but I credit our players for their winning mindset."

Michigan senior Kyle Mueller fired a 66 to seize medalist at 5-under 208. He was two strokes ahead of Oklahoma State's second co-leaders Matthew Wolff and Zach Bacou, who carded 71s for the Cowboys.

"The golf course definitely fits my game," Mueller, who qualified for regionals after winning the Big Ten tournament, told The Detroit News. "It's a big-boy course. You have to hit it long and straight, and if you miss it, you better be able to hit it out of thick rough."

Mounce tied for 61st for Bradley with a three-day total of 228 and Jewell was T-63 a stroke back. The Missouri Valley Conference champions were four shots behind Georgia (292-897) and three ahead of San Francisco (300-904) in the 13-team tournament in Texas.

The top five teams from the five regionals advance to the NCAA national tournament next week at Karsten Creek Golf Club at Stillwater, Okla.

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