East Peoria's Tim Sheppard emerged victorious following a three-hole aggregate playoff with Winnetka's Ted Pecora
32nd Illinois State Senior Amateur Championship September 12-14 • Riverside Golf Club (North Riverside)
Day 3: Friday, Sept. 14
SHEPPARD WITHSTANDS CHARGE FROM PECORA, EARNS STATE SENIOR TRIUMPH
NORTH RIVERSIDE, Ill. – Following his 77 in the third and final round of the 32nd Illinois State Senior Amateur Championship Friday at Riverside Golf Club, Tim Sheppard (East Peoria / Lick Creek GC) was candid about his performance.
“That's probably the worst score I have shot in a long time,” Sheppard admitted.
Not words you hear often from an Illinois State champion. Nonetheless, bolstered by a 1-under 70 in Thursday's second round and the rest of the field struggling on a trying track, Sheppard emerged triumphant to hoist the Earl L. Liff Trophy following a three-hole aggregate playoff with Ted Pecora (Winnetka / Bob O'Link GC). Both individuals finished the Championship at 8-over (221), before Sheppard played the three-hole aggregate playoff at even par compared to Pecora's 3-over to claim the title.
The victory was Sheppard's first in an individual championship administered by the CDGA, an accomplishment that carries a lot of weight for the 57-year-old.
“It's very special,” Sheppard said. “I've been wanting to win one of these CDGA events for quite some time. I've been close a couple of times, so I'm very happy to get it done. I wish it would have been in regulation, but I'm just happy to finish it off.”
SHEPPARD SHOOTS LONE SUB-PAR ROUND TO TAKE ILLINOIS STATE SENIOR AM LEAD
NORTH RIVERSIDE, Ill. – With a difficult course facing Illinois State Senior Amateur players once again, East Peoria's Tim Sheppard (East Peoria / Lick Creek GC) was able to maneuver Riverside's tight track and slick greens en route to firing a 1-under 70 in the second round Thursday at Riverside Golf Club. Sitting at 2-over for the Championship, Sheppard leads by four strokes with one round to play over Ted Pecora (Winnetka / Bob O'Link GC) at 6-over and defending champion Tom Kearfott (El Paso / El Paso GC) at 7-over.
“I put myself in position,” said Sheppard, who carded a 3-over 74 on Wednesday. “I missed three greens today and made three bogeys. My other bogey was a three-putt. Hitting the ball in the air like I do and my distance are definitely a plus. If I'm hitting the ball solid, it plays to my strengths.”
NORTH RIVERSIDE, Ill. – Quick greens and thick rough stymied the Illinois State Senior Amateur field Wednesday at Riverside Golf Club, as a trio of golfers lead at 3-over following the opening round. Daniel Brassil (Chicago / Beverly CC), Cory Scott (Galesburg / Soangetaha CC) and Tim Sheppard (East Peoria / Lick Creek GC) all vaulted to the top of the leaderboard with 74s.
“The greens are tough,” Brassil admitted following his round, which was highlighted by a birdie on the par-5 15th. “They're small and they're undulated. If you get above them, you're in trouble.”
Scott, with his son Jake on the bag less than a month after they advanced to the quarterfinals of the CDGA Amateur Four-Ball Championship at Mistwood Golf Club, went out in 34. However, he started his back nine with three consecutive bogeys en route to a finishing 40.
“If you don't drive it straight, the rough is strong, and the ball isn't going to stop if you're hitting it out of the rough,” Scott said. “You're going to have your down-hillers, and that's where I made my mistake on the back side.”
Sheppard similarly struggled with the flat stick, as he was unable to capitalize on an excellent ball-striking day.
“I missed two greens and two fairways and shot 74,” Sheppard said astonishingly. “I had two terrible doubles and had a couple three putts. Next thing you know, you shoot 74. I hit the ball really good today, but I didn't get a lot out of it. It's the first day. We'll see if we can't get a little better tomorrow.”
The entire field will play 18 more holes on Thursday, with the low 35 and ties advancing to Friday's final round. A low super senior, age 65 and older, will be crowned at the conclusion of play on Thursday.
ILLINOIS' TOP SENIORS READY FOR STATE SENIOR AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP AT RIVERSIDE
Championship Information-->LEMONT,Ill. – The 32nd Illinois State Senior Amateur Championship wraps up the 2018 state championship slate at Riverside Golf Club in North Riverside from Sept. 12-14. A field of 81 players age 55 and older will vie for the Earl L. Liff Trophy by playing 18 holes on both Wednesday and Thursday, with the low 35 and ties playing the final 18 holes on Friday. A super senior champion (age 65 and older) will also be crowned following play on Thursday.
A total of 204 players registered for the Championship, with 25 players exempt and 56 players advancing through three qualifiers administered in August. Registration was open to any Illinois resident with a current official USGA Handicap Index® not exceeding 10.4 and who has reached his 55th birthday on or before the start of the event.
The Illinois State Senior Amateur Championship, 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, which was claimed by Tom Kearfott in 2017. (2017 Recap)