BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — For a 17th time in program history and a ninth consecutive year, the Illinois Wesleyan men’s golf team are the CCIW champions. Now they prepare to head to the NCAA Championships in search of a second straight national title.
“We’re ready to go. We’ve been waiting two years, we’ve been the defending champions since the last time it was played in 2019,” IWU golf coach Jim Ott said. “So to get out there and get a chance to defend our title is really exciting for the guys.”
The Titans have plenty of motivation from a core group of players that return from the 2019 championship team, plus newcomers who are hungry to earn their first national title.
“Going in to it with a little bit of a chip on our shoulder saying we didn’t have a chance to repeat last year, let’s take advantage of this year,” IWU senior Rob Wuethrich said. “I think it is something we can feed off of. Not make it as much of a target on our back, but let’s put the target on other people’s backs.”
And for seniors like Wuethrich and Andrew Abel, it’s one final chance to add on to Illinois Wesleyan’s legacy on the national stage and create lasting memories.
“Stay relaxed, stick to your routine, your process. That’s the most important thing,” Abel said. “My grandpa always used to tell me, have fun. It’s just golf. Just pretend you’re out there playing with your grandpa or your dad and good things will happen.”
“These kids want to compete. They don’t want their season to end with a conference championship,” Ott added. “This is a big reason the top players in the state and even the country come to Illinois Wesleyan, for this opportunity.”