|Friday, August 4, 2017 - |
For tee times and more information, visit CDGA.org/CDGA4Ball.
LEMONT, Ill. - After a popular debut in 2016, the CDGA Amateur Four-Ball Championship returns for its second go-around in 2017, Aug. 7-10 at the newly-minted Club at Wynstone. A total of 37 teams advanced to the Championship via qualifying and will contest 18 holes on Monday, with the low 16 duos advancing to the match play bracket, which begins on Tuesday. The quarterfinal and semifinal matches are slated for Wednesday, with the championship match on Thursday.
Teams to Watch
Michael Natale (Indian Head Park / Cog Hill G&CC) & Steve Sawtell (Northfield / The Glen Club): The defending champions of this event. Natale was the runner-up in the 2015 CDGA Mid-Amateur. Sawtell is a two-time CDGA Amateur champion.
John Ehrgott (Edwards / Mt. Hawley CC) & Rick LeHew (Brimfield / Mt. Hawley CC): Ehrgott is a two-time Illinois State Mid-Amateur champ and the 2015 CDGA Mid-Amateur winner, while LeHew is a former State Mid-Am champ. The pair advanced to the final in last year’s Championship.
John Ramsey (Glenview / North Shore CC) & Chadd Slutzky (Deer Park / Grove CC): The tandem of Ramsey and Slutzky advanced to the semifinals in 2016 and qualified for the inaugural USGA Amateur Four-Ball. Ramsey has a pair of top-5 finishes in the Illinois State Mid-Amateur Championship. Slutzky won the Illinois State Mid-Am in 2015 and this year’s CDGA Mid-Amateur Championship.
John Finnin (Mokena / Olympia Fields CC) & John Wright (Aurora / Oak Brook GC): Finnin and Wright both hail from a rare fraternity of golfers—those to win the now-defunct Illinois State Amateur Public Links Championship. Finnin claimed victory in 1997, while Wright was a two-time victor, in 2000 and 2009.
Michael Fastert (Des Plaines / Sanctuary GC) & Glenn Przybylski (Frankfort / Sanctuary GC): Fastert was the runner-up at this year’s CDGA Amateur and made the cut at the Illinois State Amateur Championship. Przybylski won the Illinois State Amateur Public Links Championship twice—in 1995 and its final iteration in 2014.
Erik Ciotti (Winfield / CDGA Member’s Club) & Dan Hardy (Wheaton / Cantigny Golf): Ciotti won the 1997 Illinois State Amateur Championship and advanced to match play at the inaugural USGA Amateur Four-Ball. Hardy is a former CDGA Tournament Director.
The Club at Wynstone
Jack Nicklaus has designed nearly 400 golf courses around the world, but only one of his signature courses—The Club at Wynstone—resides in the Chicago area. Opened in 1989, the North Barrington club, recently under new ownership, serves as host site for the CDGA Amateur Four-Ball Championship. As part of the ownership change earlier this summer, the club revealed a new name (formerly Wynstone Golf Club), along with a variety of new amenities to attract more golfers and families to discover the gem, located within a residential development. The course previously hosted the 2016 CDGA Senior Amateur Championship.
Competitors will need to be accurate and pick their spots, as the par-72 course works across the natural lay of the land—rolling hills, wetlands and trees are all present at different points in the round. A creek crosses the par-5 third three times, where teams will be faced with the decision to go for broke or lay up on the 509-yard hole. And should a match reach the 18th, another par 5 with water on each side, accuracy could once again be the deciding factor of who wins and who goes home.
Last Year’s Championship
After earning the fourth seed in stroke play, the duo of Michael Natale and Steve Sawtell made their way through the match play bracket, defeating medalists Jason Chobar and Paul Schlimm Jr. in the semifinals, then John Ehrgott and Rick LeHew in the final to win the inaugural event at Eagle Brook Country Club. Until early in the championship match, Ehrgott and LeHew had not trailed in any of their matches. After falling behind early, Ehrgott and LeHew held a 2-up lead through 10 holes, but ran into three straight birdies from Sawtell, which helped send the match to the 18th, where Natale put his approach shot to 4 feet and birdied to seal the victory.