The intrasquad battle for the individual title between the Illinois pair of Edoardo Lipparelli and Dylan Meyer is about the only drama left after round 2 of the Big Ten Championship Saturday at Baltimore Country Club’s Five Farms East Course.
Lipparelli, a sophomore from Italy, and Meyer, a junior from Evansville, Ind., are 1-2, respectively, in the individual standings and have the Fighting Illini well on their way to a third straight Big Ten title and their eighth championship in the last nine years.
Lipparelli followed up an opening-round 69 with a 4-under 66, the low round of the day over the 7,181-yard, par-70 Five Farms layout, to catch and pass Meyer in the individual chase with a 5-under 135 total. Meyer had opened the tournament with a course-record and Big Ten Championship-record 7-under 63 Friday, but was 10 shots worse in the second round with a 3-over 73. But at 4-under 136, he trails his teammate by only one heading into Sunday’s final round at 4-under 136.
After opening up with an 11-under 269 Friday, Illinois, No. 9 in the latest Golfstat rankings, cooled off a little with a 1-under 279, still the only team with a sub-par round, and leads by 20 shots at 12-under 548. No. 38 Purdue carded a second straight 284 while No. 32 Northwestern added a 2-over 282 to its opening-round 286 and to share second place at 8-over 568.
Wisconsin, perhaps a tad underrated at 125th, carded a 4-over 284 to move into fourth place at 12-over 572, No. 60 Ohio State carded a 292 and is fifth at 15-over 575 and Penn State posted a 290 and is alone in sixth at 17-over 577.
Illinois had two others players among the top seven as Nick Hardy, a junior from Northbrook, Ill., and Giovanni Tadiotto, a freshman from Belgium, are in a group of six players tied for seventh at 1-over 141. Hardy was in third place after opening with a 3-under 67 Friday, but fell back with a 74. Tadiotto added a 1-over 71 to his even-par opening round of 70.
Michael Feagles, a freshman from Scottsdale, Ariz., is tied for 24th at 4-over 144, but he came up big for the team with his 1-under 69 in Saturday’s second round.
Northwestern’s Ryan Lumsden, a sophomore from England, is alone in third place after a second straight 69 left him two shots behind Meyer at 2-under 138. Indiana’s Jake Brown, a redshirt sophomore from Carmel, Ind., is in fourth place after adding a 1-under 69 to an opening-round 70 that left him at 1-under 139.
Penn State junior Cole Miller, a former Northwestern Lehigh standout and the reigning Pennsylvania Amateur champion, fired a second straight even-par 70 and is tied for fifth with Ohio State’s Will Grimmer, a sophomore from Cincinnati, at even-par 140. Grimmer added a 1-over 71 to his opening-round 69.
Miller was backed up by Charles Huntzinger, a sophomore from Duluth, Ga. who joined the group tied for seventh at 1-over 141 after adding an even-par 70 to his opening-round 71. Sophomore JD Hughes, a Carlisle product, is tied for 33rd at 6-over 146 after a second straight 73.
Ryan Davis, a freshman from Berkeley Heights, N.J. who has really had a strong spring, finally had a freshman moment with an 83 and is tied for 64th at 151. Christian Elliott, a senior from Canada, picked up his teammate a little with a 77 and is alone in 67th at 157.
One more interesting name in that group tied for seventh at 141 is Michigan sophomore Nick Carlson, the hero of last summer’s U.S. Amateur at Oakland Hills Country Club in suburban Detroit. A native Michigander from Hamilton, Carlson matched par at Five Farms with a 70 after opening with a 71.
With Wolverine fans out in force, Carlson reached the semifinals of the U.S. Amateur only to fall to eventual champion Curtis Luck in an epic 21-hole match. Somehow Carlson’s U.S. Amateur exploits do not appear on his page on the Michigan website. I know it’s not football, but it was a national championship and the kid did Michigan and the Big Ten proud.