Chadd Slutzky earned his second Illinois State Mid-Amateur title with a three-shot victory at Stonebridge Country Club
27th Illinois State Mid-Amateur Championship Aug 20-21 • Stonebridge Country Club (Aurora)
Day Two: Wednesday, Aug. 21
SLUTZKY RECAPTURES ILLINOIS STATE MID-AMATEUR GLORY, WINS 27TH EDITION AT STONEBRIDGE
AURORA, Ill. – When Chadd Slutzky (Deer Park / The Grove CC) won the 2015 Illinois State Mid-Amateur Championship at Flossmoor Country Club, it was his first title in a CDGA-administered championship. He was happy to have been in contention and see the victory through.
Coming into the 2019 Illinois State Mid-Amateur Championship at Stonebridge Country Club, Slutzky had a different mindset.
“I feel like coming into it, I have a chance to win, which is different than how I felt back then,” Slutzky said. “I feel a little better playing these things and have a lot more confidence.”
The 42-year-old channeled that self-assurance throughout the 54-hole test and emerged victorious once again following Wednesday's final round, finishing at 10-under par for the championship and three shots clear of the closest competitors after rounds of 72, 66 and 68.
On Slutzky's heels throughout the day was a triumvirate of players who entered the final round within three shots: John Ehrgott (Edwards / Mt Hawley CC), a two-time Illinois State Mid-Amateur champion in his own right, defending champion Logan Stauffer (Bloomington / Ironwood GC) and relative newcomer Ryan Smith (Chicago / CDGA Member's Club). Slutzky, who also has the 2017 CDGA Mid-Amateur Championship and 2017 CDGA Amateur Four-Ball Championship on his resume, fended off the field with a steady round of golf, carding six birdies to just two bogeys.
“It's a great championship, it has a great field,” Slutzky said. “It's kind of where I stick to, the Mid-Am golf, so I try and shine at this time each year. These 54 holes, I was striping it, I was hitting it straight. I knew if I stayed patient and kept playing my game, I was probably going to be alright, unless somebody went crazy.”
To open his final round, Slutzky lost his tee ball off the first tee following a wayward drive to immediately give a shot back and fall behind Stauffer, who birdies the opener. Slutzky rebounded, however, with red figures on the par-4, 385-yard fourth hole and the par-5, 541-yard ninth hole. Playing alongside Slutzky in the final group, Stauffer was rolling following three birdies in the first four holes, but two lost tee shots on No. 7 ultimately dropped him out of contention.
Ehrgott, also in the final group, captained a steady ship, with three birdies to just two bogeys on the opening nine. A group ahead, Smith turned in 3-under par to keep within a stroke of the lead halfway home.
“I had the lead, but Ehrgott was playing great and I kept checking my phone and Ryan in the group ahead was playing great, it seemed like he was birdieing every hole,” Slutzky said.
Slutzky maintained his under-par round on the back nine, with birdies on the 12th, 14th, and 16th holes, the last of which featured a delicate sidewinder of a birdie putt that gave him a three-shot advantage over Smith, who had just bogeyed the par-3 17th ahead. Ehrgott kept a clean card on his back nine, but two lone birdies weren't enough to make a late push.
Although Slutzky gave a shot back after he failed to get up and down on the 17th, the aforementioned confidence shined as he ripped a 4-iron approach shot on No. 18 to 12 feet. A two-putt birdie sealed the title.
“I hit a great putt on 16 to give myself a little cushion,” said Slutkzy. “And then, of course, I gave it right back on 17, which is just classic me. And then I hit a great drive on 18 and went for it. Hindsight, I probably shouldn't have, but it worked out.”
With his win, Slutzky becomes the seventh player to win multiple Illinois State Mid-Amateur Championships.
The next CDGA Championship on the schedule is the 33rd Illinois State Senior Amateur Championship, set for Sept. 9-11 at Westmoreland Country Club in Wilmette.
Day One: Tuesday, Aug. 20
SLUTZKY, STAUFFER SURGE IN AFTERNOON TO SET UP ACCOMPLISHED FINAL GROUP
AURORA, Ill. - Following opening rounds of 72 in the morning, Chadd Slutzky (Deer Park / The Grove CC) and Logan Stauffer (Bloomington / Ironwood GC) carded a 66 and 67 in the second round, respectively, Tuesday afternoon at Stonebridge Country Club. Slutzky, the 2015 victor and leader through two rounds, and Stauffer, the defending champion who sits one shot off the pace, will be joined by two-time winner John Ehrgott (Edwards / Mt Hawley CC) for the final 18 holes on Wednesday, teeing off at 9:50 a.m.
Related Links: (Scoring) / (Round 3 Tee Times)
In his morning round, which was marred by a 2-hour and 23-minute weather delay, Slutzky carded four birdies, which were cancelled out by two bogeys and a double bogey. His 6-under second round featured nine birdies, with the only blemishes being a bogey on No. 1 and a double bogey on No. 16.
Stauffer, who emerged victorious by one stroke in this event last year at Glen Oak Country Club, bounced back from his morning 72 by coming in in 32 to surge into second place at 5-under overall. Stauffer birdied five of the first seven holes on his back nine, the course's front, en route to the 67.
Ehrgott sat in second place following the morning round after a 4-under 68, and stayed near the top of the leaderboard with an even-par 72 in the afternoon. Ryan Smith (Chicago / CDGA Member's Club) jumped to a lead after one round with a 6-under 66, but fell to fourth by shooting 75 in the afternoon.
STATE'S TOP 25-AND-UP GOLFERS SET TO COMPETE AT STONEBRIDGE
LEMONT, Ill. - The second of three state amateur championships of 2019 is on tap at Stonebridge Country Club in Aurora, as Illinois' best golfers age 25 and older will duel in the 27th Illinois State Mid-Amateur Championship Aug. 20-21.
The two-day, 54-hole event begins with a grueling 36-hole day on Tuesday, Aug. 20. The low 35 and ties will survive the cut, with a final 18-hole round on Wednesday, Aug. 21 determining the victor.
ABOUT THE FIELD
The field of 78 players was determined by exemptions and three qualifiers in late July and early August, with a total of 20 players exempt and 194 attempting to qualify for the Championship. Registration was open to any Illinois resident with an official USGA Handicap Index® not exceeding 7.4, increased from 5.4 for this year, and who has reached their 25th birthday on or before the start of the event.
Championship Information The Illinois State Mid-Amateur Championship, conducted annually by the Chicago District Golf Association, features the state's best golfers 25 and older. It began in 1993 when it was won by Tom Studer. Currently, the championship is 54 holes, with the entire field playing 36 holes the first day and the low 35 and ties playing 18 holes on the final day. Bloomington's Logan Stauffer won the Championship last summer.