Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Because of newNCAA limitations on total days of tourney play, many observers thought fewer good midwestern players would stay near home and that the warm weather schools had a new and powerful recruiting advantage. It may have come as a surprise when Luke Guthrie committed to University of Illinois. It would not have surprised many to See Luke at Florida, Georgia or Wake Forest.

Moreover, University of Illinois has not exactly been golf nirvana for the last 20 years. The program has been marked with disgruntled transfers in and out, prima donnas and beefing about scholarship allocation. In addition to that, if a player is committed to playing in the Big Ten, he can play on better courses @ Michigan, Purdue or Ohio State. Bad weather throughout the Big Ten, but better courses.

But let's look at what Luke is getting. His coach is an accomplished tournament player. If playing for money is Luke's ultimate goal, he couldn't be in better hands. Coach Small is from Central Illinois bleeds orange. He will download all he knows about individual tournament play to Luke and Luke will make it more likely the Illini can effectively compete for a conference championship. Another positive is Luke will play many meets in crappy weather. Why is this positive? Because that's what tour players have to do. There is no tougher cold wind --not Scotland, not Pebble, Not West Texas--than the UI golf complex in savoy. When Luke completes his time at Illinois, he'll be an even better bad weather player than he is now.

Only downside I can see is that he won't play on much bermuda grass, which is a skill in and of itself. That's OK. Everybody's gotta be from somewhere.

All in all a good trade. A Quincy boy recruited by a coach who once won the Junior Masters, Right here in Q-town. You can look it up!

Godspeed Luke! Keep working hard.


At 2:24 PM, August 30, 2007, Blogger THE ORACLE GROUP... said...

You know Umr: why would Mike Small train a kid that could probably give him a whoopin now. Luke might beat him out of a spot in the Open or another tournaent. Look for Small to sabotage Luke if he gets too good.

At 5:02 PM, August 30, 2007, Blogger UMRBlog said...

Appreciate the thought but, above all, Small bleeds orange. Secondly, Small is without doubt the second best tournament player residing in Illinois and the only thing likely to change that is the passage of time. He knows exactly how good he is.

Now, if he were faced with helping D.A. Points, that might be different.

Luke is a nice kid. Oh, and he's always muttering "If I could just putt like Oracle, I'd never ask for another thing!"


At 7:07 PM, August 30, 2007, Blogger Rocky Cola said...

My neice and nephew are both on scholarships at Mizzou, do I know how cool that is for friends and family to see it happen.
I always wonder if schools located in California, FLA or Texas have any advantages because they play in warm weather year round, like baseball as well....I did some checking, interesting stuff. And look at some of the names on the Division 1 list...

At 8:38 PM, August 30, 2007, Blogger UMRBlog said...

Mizzou is noted or being demanding on its "minor sport" athletes. Lot of midwest golfers would rather go to Stetson, Troy St. or UT/San Antonio. If they're gonna suffer, they're gonna do it on good courses and in relatively moderate weather.

Neat Link.

At 2:19 PM, September 01, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Golf or no golf ... Luke Guthrie is the nicest kid you could ever meet.

At 8:58 PM, September 10, 2007, Blogger Bill said...

Oh, when I was at the Western Illinois game my daughter drove me by Stone Creek golf course which is where the U of I team plays its matches now - better than the complex at Savoy where I played when I worked at the Big U. Not much better weather in Kansas where our other local star went and she likes it there, her parents said the other day. And the all weather practice facility where you can hit through a weather barrier in the winter will be nice.

Bill from Camp Point


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