|Thursday, May 18, 2017 - |
Full event information is available at CDGA.org/CDGASrAm.
CHICAGO – They don’t call it the Windy City for nothing, as the field of the 16th CDGA Senior Amateur Championship learned this week. In its first visit to the city proper at Ridge Country Club, the field was greeted with sustained winds of 25-35 miles per hour and gusts as high as 45 miles per hour. In the end, it was Terry Werner of Dyer, Ind.—a member of Briar Ridge Country Club—who blew into town and stole the show, besting John Finnin (Mokena / Olympia Fields CC) 3 and 2 in the final match on Thursday.
“This is top of the list, the greatest win,” Werner said after becoming the first non-Illinois resident to win a CDGA-sponsored amateur championship since 1954. “It’s just a great venue to play at and tournament to be in.”
Werner’s week started with a 4-over par 74 in qualifying, earning him the fifth seed for match play. After a pair of wins in the opening rounds (including an ace during his Round of 16 match), Werner bested stroke play medalist Tom DeStefani 2 and 1 in the semifinals.
Werner got off to a fast start in the final match with six consecutive pars winning him the first, second, fifth and sixth holes, giving him a 3-up lead (Finnin won the third with a birdie).
“It’s always good to get a good start, but it’s match play, it can change so fast you don’t even realize,” Werner added. “It can change real quick and John is like a pitbull, so I know he’s coming after me whether I like it or not.”
And come back Finnin did, with a pair of bogeys by Werner on the opening pair of holes on the back nine allowing Finnin to trim the lead to 1 up with pars. But in the end, Werner managed the conditions better than Finnin, winning the 12th and 13th holes with par, then matching Finnin down the stretch, ultimately clinching the title when the 16th was halved.
“This was as difficult of a tournament as I have ever played,” Werner stated. “The winds…it was very difficult. You don’t play any shots you usually play.”
“The wind is very difficult because you’re second-guessing everything,” the runner-up Finnin added. “You don’t know if it’s going to knock it down really bad. Do you need two clubs, three clubs more or less? It’s a lot of guessing. You’ve just got to hit it and see if it works.”
Following the victory, Werner begins preparations for the 98th CDGA Amateur Championship, to be held at his home club, Briar Ridge Country Club, in June. Finnin, along with 78 others, will prepare for the next CDGA championship on the schedule—the 3rd CDGA Mid-Amateur Championship, May 22-24 at Mistwood Golf Club in Romeoville.