Tom Kearfott rallied in the final round to take the title at Senica's Oak Ridge
31st Illinois State Senior Amateur Championship Sept. 11-13 • Senica's Oak Ridge
Day 3: Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017
CONSERVATIVE APPROACH PAYS DIVIDENDS FOR KEARFOTT IN STATE SENIOR VICTORY
LaSALLE, Ill. - While others struggled with the Senica's Oak Ridge layout in the final round, a closing 73 was good enough to vault Tom Kearfott (El Paso) to the title in the 31st Illinois State Senior Amateur Championship on Wednesday. Kearfott entered the final round a shot back to a trio of 36-hole co-leaders, including two-time State Senior champ Tom Miler (Kewanee), who finished second, three shots behind.
“It's really good to win. I came in today, I didn't know what my expectations were,” Kearfott said, following the victory. “I've had an up-and-down year, but I kind of pulled it together this week and was able to pull out the victory.”
TRIO OF PLAYERS LEAD LOGJAM AT ILLINOIS STATE SENIOR AFTER 36 HOLES
LaSALLE, Ill. - The 2014 State Senior champ Ed Whitaker was one of four golfers under par Tuesday, shooting a 1-under 71 to move to 1-over par through the championship and earn a share of the lead at the 31st Illinois State Senior Amateur Championship. Joining Whitaker atop the leaderboard are two-time State Senior champ Tom Miler and Craig Sopko—all at 1-over 145 through 36 holes at Senica's Oak Ridge.
After both players shot under par Tuesday, Tom Kearfott, who was part of the winning pair at last year's inaugural CDGA Senior Amateur Four-Ball, and Vance Antoniou, last year's CDGA Senior Amateur champ, sit in a tie for fourth, one shot back of the leaders. Antoniou's 2-under 70 was the best round of the day, as he closed the loop with a pair of birdies. First round leader John Finnin slipped to sixth, three shots back, following a second round 79.
Dirk Anderson, among the five players tied for seventh at 5-over par 149, won the Super Senior division, besting Brad Barker by four shots. Both players were among the 40 golfers to make the cut into Wednesday's final round, beginning at 8 a.m. The final group of Miler, Sopko and Whitaker will be on the first tee at 9:57 a.m.
FINNIN SURGES TO THREE-SHOT LEAD THROUGH ONE ROUND
LaSALLE, Ill. - John Finnin was the only player to shoot under par, as he opened up a three-shot lead after the first round of the 31st Illinois State Senior Amateur Championship Monday at Senica's Oak Ridge Golf Club.
Finnin's 3-under 69 consisted of five birdies, including one at the 18th in response to a bogey on 17. The Mokena native enters Tuesday's second round three shots clear of two-time champion Tom Miler, Joel Patten, Craig Sopko and Jim Vaughan, who all carded even-par 72s on Monday.
The field will play another 18-hole round on Tuesday, with the low 35 and ties advancing to Wednesday's 18-hole finale. Additionally, a low super senior (age 65 and older) will be crowned at the conclusion of Tuesday's second round.
SENIORS HEAD TO SENICA'S OAK RIDGE FOR ILLINOIS STATE SENIOR AMATEUR
LEMONT, Ill. - The final state championship of the season, the 31st Illinois State Senior Amateur Championship, takes place Sept. 11-13 at Senica's Oak Ridge Golf in LaSalle. The full field of 78 golfers age 55 and older will play 18 holes on Monday and Tuesday, with the low 35 and ties advancing to the final 18-hole round on Wednesday. In addition to the senior championship, a super senior champion (age 65 and older) will be crowned from the eight eligible qualifiers after Tuesday's second round.
The Illinois State Senior Amateur, conducted annually by the Chicago District Golf Association, was first held in 1987. The Championship is open to Illinois residents age 55 and older. It is a 54-hole event, with the entire field playing 36 holes over the course of two days and the low 35 and ties playing the final 18 on the third day. The winner of the Championship is the recipient of the Earl R. Liff Trophy. Taylorville native Dave Ryan was crowned the event's champion in 2016 for the fourth time. (2016 Recap)