Oregon golf falls to Illinois in last tournament of fall season

In their final tournament of the fall, the Oregon men’s golf team was defeated by the Illinois Fighting Illini 3-2 in the match play championship at East Lake Cup in Atlanta, Georgia, on Wednesday.

Senior Wyndham Clark, ranked No. 1 in the Men’s Collegiate Individual Rankings, led the Ducks by defeating Dylan Meyer, ranked third, 1UP. In match play, the player with the best score on the hole wins the hole, the player with the most holes won, wins the match point for their team.

Oregon sophomore Ryan Gronlund also defeated his Illini opponent, Michael Feagles. Duck senior Nigel Lett was defeated 2&1 while sophomore Edwin Yi and senior Sulman Raza each were defeated 5&4 to give the Illini the one-point advantage and tournament win.

“We gave it our best; we didn’t have our best stuff unfortunately,” Oregon head coach Casey Martin said. “To play a team like Illinois, you’ve got to be really good.”

Clark led the Ducks after day one with a 1-under par while Lett finished with a 2-over par.  As a team, the Ducks finished fourth with a 7-over par. Gronlund and Raza finished tied for 12th at 3-over par. Yi was tied for 17th at 5-over par. “We found out what we need to work on,” Gronlund said. “I think all of us need to drive the ball a little bit better, but it was great just to get some pressure tests and see where we hold up and where we might want to improve.”

The results of day one set up the team pairings for match play on day two and three of the East Lake Cup. The Ducks’ fourth-place finish meant that they faced No. 1 seed Vanderbilt on day two. The Ducks defeated the Commodores 3-2 to advance to the championship match against Illinois. Clark, Gronlund and Yi defeated their Commodore opponents, while Lett and Raza were defeated by Patrick Martin and Matthias Schwab of Vanderbilt.

“It’s just a great exposure for our team and for our guys to get used to playing in front of cameras, playing on TV and getting used to playing match play,” Clark said.

Oregon completed their fall schedule with the East Lake Cup. The team’s next competition will be at the Arizona Intercollegiate on Jan. 23-24.

“We just need to get a little bit better and hopefully we will in the spring,” Martin said.

Follow Zak Laster on Twitter: @zlast3445

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Zak Laster

Zak Laster

Zak Laster is a sports writer for the Daily Emerald. He covers volleyball, women's basketball, golf and baseball. He can be reached at [email protected]