Golf

NCAA Golf Championships and local stars take Rich Harvest Farms by storm

NCAA Golf Championships and local stars take Rich Harvest Farms by storm

 

The NCAA Men’s Golf National Championships are in full swing as teams have flocked from all across the country to compete at the pristine Rich Harvest Farms, in Sugar Hill, Ill.

The Championships, hosted by Northern Illinois, span from May 19-31 and include both individual and team competition for the men’s and women’s divisions.

In its first ever appearance at Rich Harvest Farms, the tournament will have no shortage of local talent.

The University of Illinois will be making its 10th straight NCAA tournament appearance led by Nick Hardy out of Northbrook, Ill. The Illini have had semifinal finishes in the last two years respectively, establishing themselves as an NCAA men’s powerhouse and looking to finally make it to the final round this year.

Other local golfers include:

Doug Ghim, Arlington Heights. -- University of Texas

Trent Wallace, Joliet. -- Illinois State University

Other top contenders at the tournament for team play are headlined by USC, Oklahoma State, and Vanderbilt. While for individual play Will Zalatoris out of Wake Forest leads the way, followed by Chandler Phillips out of Texas A&M and Travis Trace out of North Florida.

The men’s portion of the Championships began today at 3 p.m., but have dealt with delays due to inclement weather.

Last week saw women’s play wrap up on May 24 with Arizona State not only defeating local favorite Northwestern for their eighth national title in team play, but also saw Monica Vaughn take home the sixth individual title for the Sun Devils as well.

Men's play continues tomorrow through May 31 and can be seen on the Golf Channel along with the highlighted times below.

Golf Channel NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage (all times ET)

Monday, May 29

Individual National Championship

4-8 p.m. (Live)

Tuesday, May 30

Quarterfinals, Team Match Play

11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live)

Tuesday, May 30

Semifinals, Team Match Play

4-8 p.m. (Live)

Wednesday, May 31

Team Match Play National Championship

4-8 p.m. (Live)

 

Riding the Metra with five-time major champion Phil Mickelson

Riding the Metra with five-time major champion Phil Mickelson

Five time major champion, Phil Mickelson, was in Chicago on Monday to promote the KPMG Women's PGA championship.

Mickelson took a 45-minute Metra train ride from Millennium Station to Olympia Fields CC, demonstrating how hassle free it is to get to the event.

While on the train, CSN's Pat Boyle interviewed Mickelson. They discussed Phil skipping the US Open, Tiger's dash cam video and how difficult the decision was for Mickelson to part with his longtime caddy, Jim "Bones" Mackay.

Lefty also talked about the revolving door of first time winners at the last 7 majors and what is left on his golf "to do" list.

Fowler sits 3rd at Masters: 'Right where I'm supposed to be'

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USA TODAY

Fowler sits 3rd at Masters: 'Right where I'm supposed to be'

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Rickie Fowler can't think of a much better position to be in at the Masters — or a better time to try to win his first major championship.

Fowler was part of a four-way tie for the lead when the third round started Saturday. He shot a steady 1-under 71 to remain in striking distance, a stroke behind co-leaders Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia.

"It's going to be fun," Fowler said of Sunday's final round. "I'm looking forward to it. This is by far the best I've felt in a major."

The 28-year-old has had some big moments in golf, winning prestigious tournaments like the 2012 Wells Fargo Championship and The Players Championship and Deutsche Bank Championship in 2015. He's had his chances in the four majors, too, particularly in 2014 when he was among the top five at all four majors, including a tie for fifth behind winner Bubba Watson at Augusta National.

This week, Fowler feels even more ready to take that elusive step of becoming a major champion.

A smiling Fowler said he is in a good place physically and mentally not only about his golf game, but about life in general.

"I feel great on the golf course," he said. "It feels like I'm right where I'm supposed to be."

Fowler spent his time in the next-to-last group hitting fairways and greens. He made birdies on the 13th hole — his third of the tournament on the par 5 — and 15th to inch within a shot of the top. He closed with difficult, par-saving 7 footers on the 17th and 18th holes.

Fowler knows he faces a daunting leaderboard Sunday, from Rose and Garcia ahead of him, to 2015 Masters champion Jordan Spieth, who is in a three-way tie for fourth behind him, to 2013 Masters winner Adam Scott, who is seventh at 3 under.

He believes it will be a thinking-man's game Sunday, particularly on the back nine.

"I think it's going to be tough for someone to really run and distance themselves too much, with the possibilities of what you can do on the back nine," he said.

Fowler believes he has prepared every part of his game for this moment. He's worked with teachers Butch and Claude Harmon, trained regularly to stay in shape and concentrated on making the right dietary choices to stay healthy. The end goal is to play championship golf, something he thinks he'll do on Sunday.

"We've put a lot of work in," Fowler said, "and it's nice to see it pay off."