EAST MANATEE -- For the fourth consecutive year, the Illinois men’s golf team entered the Big Ten Match Play Championship as the No. 1 seed.
On Friday, Minnesota made sure the Illini will go home empty-handed for the fourth straight year.
The Golden Gophers defeated No. 23 Illinois in the quarterfinals of the 12-team at The Concession Golf Course. The East Manatee course is hosting the tournament for the first time.
Defending champion Northwestern, Purdue and Ohio State also advanced to the semifinals, which begin at 7:30 a.m. today at The Concession. The winners will meet in the title match at 12:30 p.m. Admission is free.
Minnesota, the eight seed, got past ninth-seeded Michigan 4-1-1 in the opening round to earn the right to face Illinois, which had a bye.
The Illini just needed an all-square on the final match on the course, Minnesota’s Erik Van Rooyen against Illinois’ Luke Guthrie.
But Van Rooyen birdied 17 and parred 18 to pull out a 1-up win.
That left the match tied at 3-3, and Minnesota claimed the tiebreaker on number of holes won, thanks to a 5-and-3 victory by Tim Peterzen and a 4-and-3 victory by Tyler Lowenstein.
In the other quarterfinal matches, Purdue downed Nebraska 5-1-0, Northwestern upened Iowa 4-2-0, and Ohio State got by Indiana 3-2-1.
Among players with local ties, William Sjaichudin, a former Bradenton Prep player, won 3-and-1 for Purdue.