As it turns out, home course advantage can be important in golf. The Purdue men’s golfers, ranked 38th nationally coming into the West Lafayette regional, were playing at home against a tough field of challengers. Florida and Illinois entered as top 10 teams, while UNLV, Auburn, South Carolina, and Colorado were ranked ahead of Purdue.
The unforgiving Kampen course was also compounded by strong winds the last two days of the regional, with gusts up to 40 mph this afternoon. That made for a hectic affair as 13 teams battled for five places in the NCAA Championships in sugar Grove, Illinois in two weeks.
Purdue entered today in a third place tie at 3 over par with Auburn and Florida, but barely hung on to advance today in fifth place. As a team Purdue was +15 on the day int he tough conditions, but others fared far worse. UNLV took first place, followed by Auburn, New Mexico, and Illinois. No one was better than the +6 Illinois had as a team.
Overall Purdue was three strokes ahead of both Augusta and St. Mary’s for the final transfer spot. Purdue was tied with Florida for much of the day, but the fifth ranked Gators melted down over the final few holes. and were +24 before the final few golfers finished.
Here is an example of how bad it was:
Individually, Jarle Volden was Purdue’s best finisher with a +2 over the three rounds. He led Purdue with a -2 70 on Tuesday. Timmy Hildebrand was +6 for Purdue, while senior Austin Eoff had a +7.
I am not any sort of golfer, but I know the Kampen course is a tough one and the wind was rough today. There were not a lot of under par scores today and only six golfers overall were under par. Still, Purdue is headed back to the NCAA Championships.