Belgium's Thomas Detry represented the University of Illinois at the USF Invitational Golf Tournament at Lake Jovita, Florida.

Belgian cards five under par for University of Illinois

Bounces back on the back nine.

Dade City, Fla. – Thomas Detry, a sophomore from Illinois University improved his game from Monday at the University of South Florida Invitational.

Monday was the second day of the golf tournament. USF hosts 16 other squads at Lake Jovita’s South Course in the three-day event.

Detry ended the day with a score of 67 while being five under par at Lake Jovita Golf & Country Club.

“I didn’t play very well yesterday so I was kind of mad. This morning I was struggling on my first nine [holes],” said Detry, “I had a really good chance to make birdie, but I didn’t and I wasn’t able to make the shots I wanted to.”

Detry’s back nine was better, and after the second round he is excited to play the final day on Tuesday.

“My short game and putting was better too. I shot a very good score today,” said Detry happily.

Monday was a windy, but sunny day. The 21-year-old from Belgium was just happy to be playing outside.

“We practice indoor back at home Illinois,” Detry said. “Facilities are good, but it’s totally different to come out to play. Indoors you don’t need to worried about weather and that kind of stuff.”

The USF Invitational differs from golf in the traditional sense because it is transformed into a team sport instead of focusing on the individual.

“I feel it’s extra pressure on me because I play for my team and not for myself,” Detry said. “I always have the team on my mind. I always say to myself, ´Damn it, I want to make this putt for my team and try to win this tournament.´ You can’t be selfish, you have to think about the team.”

Because he is used to playing indoors and focusing only on the technique, he almost forgot to enjoy the game.

“My coach just told me after a couple tees that I don’t need to focus on my techinique all the time. He basically said to me just go for it,” said the young Belgian.

Detry has now played and studied for two years in Illinois. He likes living in the United States.

“I don’t feel like I’m not so far away from home, I can skype with my family. I have a girlfriend back home in Belgium. She is coming over in a week-and-a-half; I’m looking forward that.”

But before time with his girlfriend there is the tournament’s last day on Tuesday. Detry and his teammates are in third place behind Florida State and South Florida.