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GOLF: Three Hawkeyes Shine at Illinois Open
GLENVIEW, Ill. -- Former University of Iowa golfer Brad Hopfinger captured the 65th Illinois Open Championship title on Wednesday, carding a three-round score of 210 (68, 71, 71; -6). Senior Brian Bullington (70, 67, 83; 4) and sophomore Raymond Knoll (74, 69, 83; 10) also competed in the event as amateurs, placing 16th and 32nd respectively. Bullington finished seventh among amateurs in the field.
Hopfinger competed for the Hawkeyes from 2008 to 2011, earning NCAA All-Region honors twice (2010, 2011) and a first team All-Big Ten honor in 2011. The Lake Forest, Illinois, native earned three top-15 finishes in 2009, two top-10 finishes in 2010, and four top-10 finishes in 2011. Hopfinger’s 2011 scoring average of 71.07 was the second-lowest on the team.
In April, Hopfinger earned runner-up honors at the Mundo Maya Open in Merida, Mexico. Hopfinger has participated in four PGA TOUR Canada events this year, earning two top-25 finishes.
Bullington, a native of Frankfort, Illinois, fired a three-round score of 220 ( 4) to tie for 16th place. In his first round, Bullington carded two birdies and 16 pars. He carded eight birdies in his second round prior to a third round 83 ( 11).
Knoll, a native of Naperville, Illinois, carded a 226 ( 10) to tie for 32nd place. The sophomore earned par or better on 33 of his first 36 holes before carding an 83 ( 11) in his final round. Knoll won the Illinois State Amateur Championship on July 18 just a week after making his PGA TOUR debut at the John Deere Classic.
Bullington and Knoll, both PING All-Region honorees, led Iowa to its sixth-straight NCAA Regional appearance this past season. Iowa is 1-of-3 Big Ten teams to appear in six straight NCAA Regionals (Illinois and Northwestern).