University of Illinois Golf Coach Mike Small Continues to Make History

MIKE_SMALL_PGA_2013One of top performers in Illinois golf history added another notch to his belt recently as University of Illinois head coach golf Mike Small claimed his tenth Illinois PGA Championship title. Small outlasted a strong field by shooting a 4-under 209 at Olympia Fields, where in 2010 he tied the course record with a 62. In addition to ten Illinois PGA Championships, Small also has won the Illinois Open four times. Small is now exempt to compete in the PGA Professional National Championship which will be held in June 2014.

Earlier this summer, Coach Small led the University of Illinois men’s golf team to a second-place finish in the NCAA National Championship. The Fighting Illini lost to the Alabama Crimson Tide in the NCAA Championship match at Capital City Club in Atlanta, Georgia.

As a coach, Small has guided the Illini to multiple Big Ten championships and has coached two NCAA individual champions in Scott Langley (2010) and Thomas Pieters (2012). He also guided the 2012 Big Ten Player of the Year Luke Guthrie, who was the third Big Ten Player of the Year Small has coached, joining Scott Langley (2010) and James Lepp (2003).

Small was born in Aurora and grew up in Danville. He was a four-time letter winner at Danville High School and later played college golf at the University of Illinois where he was a member of the 1988 Big Ten Championship team. At Illinois, he was a teammate of PGA Tour member Steve Stricker.

Mike Small is also soon to become the youngest member of the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame. He joins two-time Senior PGA champion Jay Haas and PGA club professional Bob Harris as inductees in the 15th class of the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame. The three will be honored at a ceremony October 25 at the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame exhibit located at The Glen Club in Glenview.



Walter Lis

Walter Lis is the managing editor of Chicago Golf Report. Launched in 2010, Chicago Golf Report is the most visited website on Chicago golf and is one of the top ten most popular local golf websites in the country. We are a digital-only news and information resource covering everything golf in Chicago and its suburbs, providing the latest news about local golf facilities, golf events, golf instruction and even golf business.

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