|Tuesday, August 29, 2017 - |
For full results, photos and quotes, visit CDGA.org/ILStateMidAm.
HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. - It was 18 hours of waiting, but what the Bauman brothers hoped for after Riley had finished his second round as the leader, moments before a lightning delay on Monday, came to fruition after the completion of the second round on Tuesday morning: a final round group involving both brothers. Coming into the final round with a one-shot deficit, Greg, the elder brother, held serve in the final round with an even-par 72 to win the 25th Illinois State Mid-Amateur Championship by four shots at Exmoor Country Club. It was Greg Bauman’s first victory in a state championship, coming on the heels of a top-10 finish at the Illinois Open Championship.
“This is my best win in a while,” Greg Bauman said following the victory. “It’s always nice to get a victory against a pretty good field.”
The start of the final round was a mixed bag for Greg Bauman, as he opened with a birdie, but then bogeyed three of the next four holes. On the par-5 sixth hole, his tee shot found the rough and his second shot overshot the green. He righted the ship, however, as he put his chip in tight and converted the birdie putt. He again saved par at the ninth after an errant tee shot and leaving his approach short of the green, then birdied the 10th from 5 feet.
From there, the final eight holes seemed to see Greg Bauman masterfully playing defense and becoming a par machine, including a deft sand save at the 18th, which played as one of the most difficult holes of the championship. In the end, it was more than enough, as Greg Bauman was the only player in the field to finish 54 holes under par, with a 2-under 214.
“It’s pretty cool to be the only one under par,” Greg Bauman, a former Northern Illinois University golfer, added. “I drove the ball really well and out here, with the fairway bunkering and how deep the rough was, I think that was important.”
Jake Erickson carded the best final round with a 70 to climb into a tie for second with Cody Sundberg at 2-over par 216. Riley Bauman slipped into a tie for fourth after a final round 78, sharing the spot with two-time Mid-Am winner John Ehrgott and 2014 titlist Andrew Price at 217.
“Usually when we play together there’s a lot of trash talking, but we kept that to a minimum today,” Greg Bauman noted of playing in the final group with younger brother Riley. “I was pulling for him. I want us both to play well, my ideal scenario would be to get in a playoff and one of us to win, but it was fun to see us go head-to-head.”
In all, 37 golfers made the cut following 18 holes on Monday morning and a second round that saw nine golfers finish on Monday afternoon prior to the lightning delay and the remainder concluding on Tuesday morning. A heavy rainstorm, which arrived moments after the second round concluded Tuesday morning, delayed the final round for two hours, but the last loop saw near perfect conditions.
Amongst those making the cut were five-time Mid-Am champ Todd Mitchell, who finished at 6-over in ninth place, and 2002 winner Curt Minkel at 12-over par in a tie for 18th. The low 20 and ties earned exemptions into next year’s championship.
The CDGA championship calendar hits the home stretch in September, with the state’s best golfers age 55 and older competing in the 31st Illinois State Senior Amateur Championship, Sept. 11-13, at Senica’s Oak Ridge Golf in LaSalle, Ill.