Tom Kearfott and Tim Sheppard add a third CDGA Senior Amateur Four-Ball Championship title to their wins in 2016 and 2018.
5th CDGA Senior Amateur Four-Ball Championship October 5-8 • Aurora Country Club (Aurora)
Day Four: Thursday, Oct. 8
SHEPPARD & KEARFOTT CAPTURE THIRD CDGA SENIOR FOUR-BALL TITLE
AURORA, Ill. - The CDGA Senior Amateur Four-Ball Championship Final match and the duo of Tim Sheppard (East Peoria / Pekin CC) and Tom Kearfott (El Paso / El Paso GC) have become synonymous with each other. This year's fifth iteration was no different, with the pair advancing to the Championship match for the third time in the event's short history.
Another common theme among their matches has been the fashion in which they have won. Sheppard and Kearfott have never trailed in the last match of the championship in each of their two previous wins. In a year that has been anything but normal, the final match of the 5th CDGA Amateur Four-Ball Championship followed suit Thursday at Aurora Country Club, with Sheppard and Kearfott facing a deficit by the eighth hole.
The pair would manage to right the ship, however, and lean on their friendship and knowledge of each other's game to come back and capture their third title over Mike Karney (Crystal Lake / Crystal Lake CC) and Mike Mcloone (Arlington Heights / Chicago GC), 2 and 1.
SENIOR FOUR-BALL FINALS SET WITH TWO-TIME CHAMPIONS STILL ALIVE
AURORA, Ill. -The 5th CDGA Senior Amateur Four-Ball Championship has been dwindled down to just two teams following Quarterfinal and Semifinal matches at Aurora Country Club Wednesday. Two-time champions Tim Sheppard (East Peoria / Pekin CC) and Tom Kearfott (El Paso / El Paso GC) will face off against Mike Karney (Crystal Lake / Crystal Lake CC) and Mike Mcloone (Arlington Heights / Chicago GC) Thursday morning for a chance at the CDGA Senior Four-Ball crown.
Winners of the 2016 and 2018 iterations of the event, Sheppard and Kearfott advanced to the Semifinal round of play after defeating Jeff Ott (Dunlap / Coyote Creek GC) and Jeff Polonus (Peoria / Peoria Park District), 2 and 1. Meeting the Sheppard/Kearfott duo in the afternoon round was Matthew Horwitch (Northbrook / Merit Club) and Steven Jacobs (Highland Park / Pine Meadow GC), after they bested the No. 1 seeds in Cory Scott (Galesburg / Soangetaha GC) and Jerry Maatman, Jr. (Winnetka / Chicago GC), 3 and 2. Sheppard and Kearfott trailed for much of the Semifinal match and even saw themselves with a 3-hole deficit through seven holes. Winning Nos. 8, 10 and 13 evened the match, while a birdie on the par-3 14th gave the duo its first lead. They would grasp onto the lead and ensure the win, 2 up.
Joining Sheppard and Kearfott in Thursday's championship match are Karney and Mcloone following a 4-and-2 defeat of Craig McDonnell (Evergreen Park / CDGA Member's Club) and Tom Fox (Palos Heights / Beverly CC) in the Quarterfinals and a 2-up win over the home club duo of Tony Adrahtas (Aurora / Aurora CC) and Larry Pecorella (Glen Ellyn / Aurora CC) in the Semifinal round. After taking an initial 1-up lead after two holes, the eventual victors built their lead to 4-up with just four holes remaining. Two pars and an eagle down the stretch by Adrahtas and Pecorella forced the match to be decided on the 18th hole where Karney and Mcloone birdied to seal the victory.
Thursday's 18-hole championship match is scheduled to tee off at 8:15 a.m.
Day 2: Tuesday, Oct. 6
TOP SEED STILL ALIVE AS EIGHT ADVANCE TO QUARTERFINALS
AURORA, Ill. - Eight teams, including the top-seeded duo of Cory Scott (Galesburg / Soangetaha CC) and Jerry Maatman, Jr. (Winnetka / Chicago GC), advanced to the Quarterfinals following the Round of 16 matches on Tuesday at Aurora Country Club.
The Scott and Maatman, Jr. tandem faced off against the No. 16 seed John Arenson (Naperville / Cress Creek CC) and Doug Krynicki (Wheaton / Cress Creek CC), with Scott and Maatman, Jr. building a 3-up lead through eight holes. Arenson and Krynicki fought back to tie the match on No. 11, but wins by Scott and Maatman, Jr. on Nos. 12, 15 and 16 sealed the victory, 3 and 2. Scott / Maatman, Jr. will meet Matthew Horwitch (Northbrook / Merit Club) and Steven Jacobs (Highland Park / Pine Meadow GC) in the Quarterfinals, following their 4-and-3 victory over last year's runner-up team of Mark Esposito (Schaumburg / Blackberry Oaks GC) and Vance Antoniou (North Barrington / Butler National GC).
Two-time event victors Tim Sheppard (East Peoria / Pekin CC) and Tom Kearfott (El Paso / El Paso GC) kept their title hopes alive, as well, following their 2-and-1 win over Jeff Heimerdinger (Elburn / Aurora CC) and Rodney Bell (Naperville / Mistwood GC). The 2016 and 2018 champions built a lead as high as 4 up through 13. Heimerdinger and Bell won Nos. 14 and 15 to cut into the deficit, but ties on Nos. 16 and 17 ended the thoughts of a comeback. Sheppard and Kearfott will take on another Central Illinois pair in Jeff Ott (Dunlap / Coyote Creek GC) and Jeff Polonus (Peoria / Peoria Park District), who advanced via a 4-and-3 victory over Tommy Robinson (Grayslake / Deerfield GC) and Ed Fischer (Libertyville / Old Elm Club).
Other duos who advanced include Tony Adrahtas (Aurora / Aurora CC) and Larry Pecorella (Glen Ellyn / Aurora CC), John Smollen (Cranbury, New Jersey / Lost Dunes) and Kevin Gratkowski (Stevensville, Michigan / Lost Dunes), Craig McDonell (Evergreen Park / CDGA Member's Club) and Tom Fox (Palos Heights / Beverly CC) and Mike Karney (Crystal Lake / Crystal Lake CC) and Mike Mcloone (Arlington Heights / Chicago GC).
Quarterfinal matches commence at 8 a.m. Wednesday morning, with the Semifinals following in the afternoon. The Championship match is slated for Thursday morning.
Day 1: Monday, Oct. 5
DEFENDING CHAMPIONS ELIMINATED, 16 ADVANCE ON DAY ONE
AURORA, Ill. - A field of 44 teams was trimmed to 16 surviving pairs following 18 holes of stroke play Monday at Aurora Country Club, setting the stage for match play Tuesday-Thursday.
Earning the top seed in match play was the pairing of Cory Scott (Galesburg / Soangetaha CC) and Jerry Maatman, Jr. (Winnetka / Chicago GC). Scott / Maatman, Jr. fired a 2-under 70, canceling out one double bogey and one bogey with five birdies on the afternoon.
Among the other teams to advance was the duo of Tim Sheppard (East Peoria / Pekin CC) and Tom Kearfott (El Paso / El Paso GC), two-time winners of this event. Sheppard / Kearfott earned the No. 4 seed in match play with a 1-under 71. The combo of Mark Esposito (Schaumburg / Blackberry Oaks GC) and Vance Antoniou (North Barrington / Butler National GC), runners up in last year's event, also advanced as the No. 9 seed with an even-par 72.
A surprising omission from match play will be the event's defending champions, Brad Kay (Arlington Heights / Ivanhoe Club) and Brien Gerber (Bolingbrook / Springbrook GC), who missed the cut by two strokes after a 4-over 76.
Match play will begin with the Round of 16 at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday. The Quarterfinals and Semifinals are slated for Wednesday, with the title tilt scheduled for Thursday.
SENIOR TANDEMS EMBARK ON AURORA FOR FINAL CDGA CHAMPIONSHIP OF 2020
LEMONT, Ill. - Following the playing of three CDGA-administered championships already this year, the season will culminate when 44 duos age 55-and-up converge for the 5th CDGA Senior Amateur Four-Ball Championship at Aurora Country Club Oct. 5-8.
The championship begins with 18 holes of stroke play on Monday, Oct. 5 to determine the low 16 teams that will advance to the match-play bracket. Match play gets underway with the Round of 16 on Tuesday morning. Quarterfinal and Semifinal matches are slated for Wednesday, with the Championship match taking place on Thursday morning.
Designed to emulate the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship, each player plays their own ball. The low gross score on each hole counts as a team's score.
ABOUT THE FIELD
There were no qualifiers held for this event, with the field consisting of 44 pairs. Eligibility was open to any CDGA member with a current USGA Handicap Index® not exceeding 10.4 and who has reached their 55th birthday on or before the start of the event. Partners are not required to be from the same club.
New to the CDGA championship slate in 2016, the CDGA Senior Amateur Four-Ball Championship is a team match play event for those over the age of 55. 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 Brad Kay and Brien Gerber won the Championship in 2019 at Calumet Country Club.