|Friday, September 8, 2017 - |
For tee times and more information, visit CDGA.org/ILStateSrAm.
LEMONT, Ill. – The final state championship of the season, the 31st Illinois State Senior Amateur Championship, takes place Sept. 11-13 at Senica’s Oak Ridge Golf in LaSalle. The full field of 78 golfers age 55 and older will play 18 holes on Monday and Tuesday, with the low 35 and ties advancing to the final 18-hole round on Wednesday. In addition to the senior championship, a super senior champion (age 65 and older) will be crowned from the eight eligible qualifiers after Tuesday’s second round.
Vance Antoniou (North Barrington) won the 2016 CDGA Senior Amateur Championship and has played in 10 USGA championships, including a run to the U.S. Senior Amateur Round of 32 in 2016.
Mark Esposito (Elgin) is a two-time Illinois State Mid-Amateur champion and has finished in the top 10 in each of the last three Illinois State Senior Ams.
John Finnin (Mokena) was runner up in the 2017 CDGA Senior Amateur Championship at Ridge Country Club and made match play at the 2017 CDGA Amateur Four-Ball Championship.
Tom Kearfott (El Paso), a Bloomington-Normal Golf Association Hall of Famer, was victorious at the inaugural CDGA Senior Amateur Four-Ball Championship in 2016 alongside Tim Sheppard.
Tom Miler (Kewanee) is a two-time State Senior Am champion (2011 & ’12) and has finished in the top-five in the past eight Illinois State Senior Ams.
Ted Pecora (Lake in the Hills) has been among the top-six finishers in each of the last three State Senior Ams.
Dan Roan (Elmhurst) boasts two top-10 finishes in this event the last four years, including a T8 finish in 2016 at Bloomington Country Club.
Ed Whitaker (Pekin) has finished in the top five in four of the last five Illinois State Senior Ams, including a 2014 victory at The Grove Country Club.
Located in the north central portion of the state, near the intersection of I-39 and I-80, Senica’s Oak Ridge Golf opened in 1994 and will play to 6,579 yards and par 72 for the championship. The layout features pristinely manicured bentgrass fairways and a number of natural challenges, including dense oak woodlands, 49 bunkers and water hazards present on 13 holes. This event marks the first Illinois State or CDGA championship to be hosted by Senica’s Oak Ridge.
The track is most known for its difficult five-hole finishing stretch. Beginning with an incredibly narrow par 4 and concluding with a creek-lined 18th hole that plays into an elevated green, the closing run is sure to test all competitors.
Last Year’s Championship
Dave Ryan was the only player under par, firing a 3-under 210 at Bloomington Country Club to win his record fourth Illinois State Senior Amateur. Ryan, who the following week went on to win the U.S. Senior Amateur, bested Tim Sheppard by nine shots. Tom Miler finished third, with Ted Pecora and Ed Whitaker rounding out the top five.
News and Notes
Three past champions dot the tee sheet this season, the latest being 2014 champ Ed Whitaker. Also in the field are a pair of two-time champions, Tom Miler (2011, ’12) and Gus Kozina (1997, ’99), who is the oldest player in the field at 76 years of age.
With golfers age 55 and older eligible for the championship, a total of nine “rookies,” age 55, will be competing in LaSalle.