Brothers Scott and Tommy Dunsire claimed the 4th CDGA Amateur Four-Ball Championship at Oak Park Country Club
4th CDGA Amateur Four-Ball Championship Juy 29-31 • Oak Park Country Club (River Grove)
Day 3: Wednesday, July 31
DUNSIRE BROTHERS TEAM UP TO TAKE DOWN CUSHING, MANNING IN FOUR-BALL FINAL
RIVER GROVE, Ill. - Naperville natives Scott Dunsire, Jr. and Tommy Dunsire have played hundreds of rounds of golf together, if not thousands. With only three years separating the brothers, competition and friendly rivalry riddled their youth golf days at Medinah Country Club's famed grounds.
On Wednesday at Oak Park Country Club, the duo put their individual battles aside to join forces and take down Mike Cushing (Bloomington / Bloomington CC) and Todd Manning (Pontiac / Pontiac Elks CC) in the Championship Match of the 4th CDGA Amateur Four-Ball Championship, 2 and 1.
“Usually we're playing against each other at home,” said Tommy, 19 and a rising sophomore at Northern Illinois University. “It's kind of nice to play with him and have him alongside.”
“Coming home for summer and playing in tournaments, playing with your friends and him especially, you just let loose and you enjoy yourself, and it makes the game a lot more fun,” said 22-year-old Scott, a recent graduate of Michigan State University who will be joining his brother in the Huskies program for his final season of eligibility in the fall.
The day began for the Dunsires against the tandem of Ricky Costello (Homer Glen / Mistwood GC) and Matt Shipley (Naperville / Mistwood GC) in the Semifinals. Although they went 1 down after the first, Tommy and Scott righted the ship, winning hole Nos. 6, 7 and 8. A red figure on the par-4, 10th increased their lead to a comfortable 3 up, before eventually sealing their trip to the Final Match with a 4-and-3 victory.
Meeting the brothers in the Final was Cushing and Manning. The pair, 44 and 49 respectively, had withstood Tuesday's grueling day of 44 holes combined between their Round of 16 and Quarterfinal matches, both of which went 22 holes. They fell down early to Andrew Abel (Geneva / Cantigny Golf) and EricHatczel (Batavia / Eagle Brook CC) and sat 2 down through 4, before a steady-string of play saw them win hole Nos. 5, 7, 10, 16 and 17 to advance via a 1-up victory.
In the afternoon's battle, the Dunsires birdied No. 1 and eagled the par- 5, 474-yard fourth to take a 2-up advantage. Cushing was able to grab one back for his side with an up-and-down par save on No. 6, before Tommy Dunsire calmly walked in a 20-foot birdie putt on No. 7. Scott answered with a long birdie of his own on No. 9, also from the front portion of the green, to grab a 3-up lead at the turn.
“He [Tommy] played really well on the front, compared to me,” stated Scott with a smirk. “Sprinkled in a few birdies here and there that were helpful and allowed us to keep moving forward.”
The lead grew to 4 up after Tommy drove the green on the par-4, 351-yard 12th and was able to easily two-putt for the birdie. However, like they had in their three previous matches on Tuesday, Cushing and Manning turned up the pressure in the match's final four holes. Sitting 4 down with four holes to play, Cushing proceeded to birdie both Nos. 15 and 16, measuring 531 and 572 yards respectively, to bring him and Manning back within striking distance.
“I want to give congratulations to Mike and Todd,” said Scott. “They were really good today, they came back strong and gave us a little bit of pressure at the end.”
The resurgence came up short, however, after the sides matched with pars on No. 17. The Dunsires, who bogeyed only four holes over the course of the Championship and trailed for only five holes in their last three matches, had captured the hardware they had set out to acquire on Monday, utilizing a keen sense of each other's game.
“Statistically speaking, he's always been more of a straight ball hitter, and I've always had a little more distance,” said Scott. “We had him go first to just get it in play and then I would just let it go and try to hit it far.”
“If he missed a green, he'd hit a really good chip shot and make par, so I had a nice putt for birdie that I could ram in or take some break out, which was really helpful,” added Tommy.
After high finishes by each of the brothers over the course of their recent golf tournaments, today's victory has given them just a taste of what it might be like next fall in Dekalb.
“I think it should be a lot of fun,” said Tommy of the idea of playing alongside his brother again. “Today was a momentum booster.”
“I'm looking forward to that environment next year,” added Scott.
The next event on the CDGA Championship schedule is the Illinois State Mid-Amateur Championship, which will feature the state's top 25-and-older players competing at Stonebridge Country Club Aug. 20-21.
Day 2: Tuesday, July 30
FOUR DUOS ADVANCE TO SEMIFINALS FOLLOWING TWO ROUNDS ON TUESDAY
RIVER GROVE, Ill. - A total of 12 matches trimmed the match-play field of the 4th CDGA Amateur Four-Ball Championship from 16 to four Tuesday at Oak Park Country Club.
Ricky Costello (Homer Glenn / Mistwood GC) and Matt Shipley (Naperville / Mistwood GC), Scott Dunsire, Jr. (Naperville / Medinah CC) and Tommy Dunsire (Naperville / Medinah CC), Andrew Abel (Geneva / Cantigny Golf) and Eric Hatczel (Batavia / Eagle Brook CC) and Mike Cushing (Bloomington / Bloomington CC) and Todd Manning (Pontiac / Pontiac Elks CC) were the four duos to win twice and earn spots in Wednesday morning's Semifinals.
Costello, a junior at Iowa State University, and the 37-year-old Shipley combined to card 11 birdies and an eagle on the day en route to their two victories. In their morning match against Jordan Less (Elmhurst / Oak Brook GC) and Paul Schlimm, Jr. (Dekalb / Mistwood GC), a birdie on the par-3 17th broke a deadlock and led to a 1-up triumph. The top-seeded duo of Daniel Anfield (Channahon / Mistwood GC) and Jason Marrs (Aurora / Aurora CC) awaited Costello and Shipley in the afternoon. After losing the first hole, Costello and Shipley won five of the next eight holes to build a 4-up advantage, eventually closing out the 3-and-2 victory on No. 16.
The Dunsires, Scott and younger brother Tommy, trailed as late as the 13th hole in their morning match before righting the ship and not falling behind the rest of the day. Going against David Perkins (East Peoria / Quail Meadows GC) and Tim Sheppard (East Peoria / Perkin Park District) in the Round of 16, the brothers combined to birdie Nos. 13-17 to go from 2 down to a 3-and-1 win. Their afternoon Quarterfinal match with brothers Greg Bauman (Chicago / Biltmore CC) and Riley Bauman (Crystal Lake / Biltmore CC) was less dramatic, as the Dunsires birdied No. 1 to build a lead they would hold the entirety of the 4-and-3 conquest.
Abel, an Illinois Wesleyan University junior, and his high school golf coach Hatczel emerged victorious in two tight matches to earn their Semifinal berth. Birdies on Nos. 7, 8 and 10 built a 3-up advantage for Abel and Hatczel on Jason Buffone (New Lenox / Sanctuary GC) and Edward Roderique (Frankfort / Sanctuary GC) in the morning match that eventually ended on No. 17, 2 and 1. Their afternoon match against Rich Balla (St. Charles / St. Charles CC) and Grant Goltz (Dekalb / Kishwaukee CC) was played within a one-hole margin the entire round, with a birdie by Abel and Hatczel on No. 18 catapulting them into the Semifinals.
Cushing and Manning, 44 and 49, respectively, endured two matches that totaled 44 holes and spanned 11-and-a-half hours to advance. In Tuesday morning's Quarterfinal, Cushing and Manning rallied from 3 down through 15 to force extra holes against Gregory Brehm (Park Ridge / Ridgemoor CC) and Timmy Crawford (Arlington Heights / Mt. Prospect G.C.) before securing the victory on the 22nd hole. The fourth time through the par-5 fourth proved to be key again for Cushing and Manning in the afternoon, as a birdie on the 22nd hole of their tilt with Dominic Cascino (Palos Park / Olympia Fields CC) and Jack Mortell (Burr Ridge / CDGA Member's Club) clinched another marathon win.
The first Semifinal match, which features Costello and Shipley vs. the Dunsires, will tee off at 7:30 a.m., followed by Abel and Hatczel vs. Cushing and Manning at 7:40 a.m. The two victors will then square off in the Championship match Wednesday afternoon.
Day 1: Monday, July 29
MATCH PLAY SET AT OAK PARK
RIVER GROVE, Ill. - After a full day of stroke-play qualifying at Oak Park Country Club, 46 teams were whittled down to just 16 for match play in the 4th CDGA Amateur Four-Ball Championship. Match play will begin Tuesday at 7:30 a.m.
Three tandems finished the day tied for medalist honors, with Daniel Anfield (Channahon / Mistwood GC) and Jason Marrs (Aurora / Aurora CC), Rich Balla (St. Charles / St. Charles CC) and Grant Goltz (Dekalb / Kishwaukee CC) and Jack Mortell (Burr Ridge / CDGA Member's Club) and Michael Cascino (Palos Park / Olympia Fields CC) all firing 9-under 63s. Anfield, a rising junior at Illinois State University, and Marrs, a graduate of the program in 2018, carded one eagle, 11 birdies and just one bogey after starting on Oak Park's back nine.
Also starting on the back nine, Balla and Goltz rattled off five birdies and an eagle to turn at 7 under par. Three birdies and a lone bogey on the inward nine solidified the pair's No. 2 seed. Cascino and Mortell kept a clean card throughout their round, notching nine red figures en route to their No. 3 seed.
Other teams who made the cut include Jason Buffone (New Lenox / Sanctuary GC) and Edward Roderique (Frankfort / Sanctuary GC) who carded a 7-under 65, with two eagles, after advancing to the semifinals in last year's CDGA Amateur Four-Ball Championship. Two-time champions (2016, 18) Michael Natale (Burr Ridge / Cog Hill G&CC) and Steve Sawtell (Northfield / Merit Club), finished the day at 6-under 66 to keep their title defense chances alive. The Northern Illinois University twosome of Jordan Less (Elmhurst / Oak Brook GC), who won last month's 100th CDGA Amateur Championship, and Paul Schlimm, Jr. (Dekalb / Mistwood GC) finished at 6-under 66, as well, aided by a bogey-free card. David Perkins (East Peoria / Quail Meadows GC), the 2018 CDGA Amateur Champion, and Tim Sheppard (East Peoria / Pekin Park District), the 2019 CDGA Senior Amateur Champion, also joined the group at 6-under 66.
Monday's action featured a 55-minute weather delay, which halted play at 12:45 p.m. Tuesday will begin with the Round of 16 matches in the morning, followed by the Quarterfinals in the afternoon. The Semifinal and Final matches are slated for Wednesday.
OAK PARK SET TO HOST THE CHICAGO DISTRICT'S TOP DUOS
LEMONT, Ill. - River Grove's Oak Park Country Club, site of the annual Radix Cup Matches, plays host to the 4th CDGA Amateur Four-Ball Championship, July 29-31. Oak Park, which has hosted all but three iterations of the matches that pit a team of CDGA amateur golfers against a squad of Illinois PGA (IPGA) professionals, will welcome its first CDGA-administered championship since the 6th CDGA Amateur Championship in 1922, won by Ira L . Couch.
A total of 46 teams will play 18 holes of stroke-play qualifying on Monday, July 29 to determine the low-16 duos for match play. The Round of 16 matches and Quarterfinal matches are slated for Tuesday, July 30, with the Semifinal and Championship matches scheduled for Wednesday, July 31.
The event was created in 2016 to emulate the increasingly popular U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship. Each competitor plays their own ball, with the lowest gross score from each hole counting as the team's score.
ABOUT THE FIELD
An event-record 93 teams attempted to qualify for the Championship, with the field being determined by five exemptions and 41 teams who advanced from two qualifiers held in July. Registration was open to any CDGA member with an official USGA Handicap Index® not exceeding 10.4.
Championship Information New to the CDGA championship slate in 2016, the CDGA Amateur Four-Ball Championship is a team match play event. Two-person teams begin the Championship with 18 holes of stroke play on the Monday of the event before the low 16 teams are seeded into a match play bracket. Both team members play their own ball throughout, with the lowest score on each hole counting. The duo of Michael Natale and Steve Sawtell hoisted the hardware in 2018.