September 19-21 • Riverside Golf Club (North Riverside)
Day Three: Wednesday, Sept. 21
NORTH RIVERSIDE, Ill. – Years away from state-wide competitive golf would typically garner rust for the average player. That was not the case for Scot Frankenreider (Peoria) Wednesday at Riverside Golf Club, as the recently turned 55-year-old captured the 36th Illinois State Senior Amateur Championship in his first year back to CDGA-administered competition in more than a decade.
Frankenreider, who stepped away from the competitive side of the game to follow his children's athletic endeavors, appeared to have not skipped a beat this season after making it through the qualifying rounds of the Illinois State Amateur and State Mid-Amateur Championships. Although he didn't make it through the two-round cuts at either event, Frankenreider surely made his presence known at Riverside after not only making the cut, but holding the lead after each of the first two days.
Playing Wednesday's finale alongside Mike Karney (Crystal Lake) and Ted Pecora (Winnetka) in the last group, Frankenreider's overnight lead quickly expanded. Starting on Riverside's back nine, his bogeys on Nos. 11 and 17 were more than offset by birdies on Nos. 12 and 16 and an eagle at the par-5 15th. A double bogey-bogey-double bogey start virtually knocked Karney out of contention early on, while Pecora kept pace by notching birdies on Nos. 16 and 17 to remain three shots back.
"Luckily, most of the week I made some mistakes, but usually I followed those up with a birdie or, you know, a couple of good holes," said Frankenrider following the victory.Related Links: (Full Recap) / (Results) / (Photo Gallery)
Day Two: Tuesday, Sept. 20
NORTH RIVERSIDE, Ill. – When playing a course on which an elite senior amateur field is averaging a score of 80, it would seem natural to deploy a more conservative approach.
The opposite has been proving fruitful for Scot Frankenreider (Peoria).Related Links: (Scoring) / (Round 3 Tee Times) / (Photo Gallery)
The 55-year-old followed his opening-round 71 with a 1-over 72 in the second round of the 36th Illinois State Senior Amateur Championship Tuesday at Riverside Golf Club. He enters Wednesday’s 18-hole finale with a one-stroke lead at 1-over overall.
“I’m trying to stay aggressive and not sit back,” Frankenreider explained. “I think if you do that, the course could potentially really eat you up.”
Frankenreider felt he was too tentative in missing the cut at both the Illinois State Amateur and Illinois State Mid-Amateur Championships earlier this year, his first season playing competitive golf in roughly two decades. A more attacking mindset allowed him to offset four bogeys and a double with five birdies on Tuesday.
“It’s been great to get under the gun,” Frankenreider said of his return to competitive amateur golf. “I’ve built on [the State Am and State Mid-Am] and gained confidence.”
Just one shot behind Frankenreider is Mike Karney (Crystal Lake), who carded a 2-under 69 Tuesday, the best 18 of the Championship so far. Karney began his second round on No. 10 and played his first nine at even par, before bogeying No. 1. The senior circuit vet, who qualified for the U.S. Senior Open earlier this year, calmly shook off the setback and notched birdies on Nos. 3, 6 and 9 to put himself into prime position.
“I putted everything well. Hit a lot of greens,” Karney said of his round. “Zero three-putts and didn’t hit it outside of the fairway. Hit it straight, no three-putts and you can score out here.”
Joining Frankenreider and Karney in the final group Wednesday will be Ted Pecora (Winnetka). The 67-year-old earned Low Super Senior honors (given to the best score from a player 65 or up through two rounds) with scores of 75 Monday and 71 Tuesday. The 2018 State Senior Am runner up, which was also contested at Riverside, sits at 4-over, two shots behind Karney and three shy of Frankenreider.
In total, 38 competitors made the cut, which came at +16. Among those advancing were reigning CDGA Senior Player of the Year Mark Small (Frankfort) at +8, two-time State Senior winner Tim Sheppard (East Peoria) at +11 and, defending State Senior champ David Feder (Lincolnshire) at +12.
Final-round play will begin at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, with the final group going off at 10 a.m.
Day One: Monday, Sept. 19
NORTH RIVERSIDE, Ill. – The Illinois State Senior Amateur Championship returned to North Riverside and Riverside Golf Club Monday, as the first round of the event’s 36th iteration was contested amidst ideal weather conditions. The field of the state’s top golfers age 55 and above traversed the William Langford original once again, following the 2018 Illinois State Senior Amateur, with Scot Frankenreider (Peoria) holding the lead at even par after 18 holes. Related Links: (Scoring) / (Round 2 Tee Times) / (Photo Gallery)
Frankenreider, the only player in the field to post an even-par score or better, slowly began his round on Riverside’s back nine, as he scored bogeys on Nos. 10, 12, and 14. He got a stroke back on the par-4 16th with a birdie, before turning in 38. More red figures came on the par-3 third and par-4 fourth. A bogey on the par-4 fifth was recouped by a birdie on the par-5 ninth to close at even par for the day.
The 55-year-old Frankenreider holds a two-shot lead over a trio of players at 2-over including Donald Langland (Cary), Tim Scott (Orland Park) and two-time Illinois State Senior Amateur champion Tim Sheppard (East Peoria). Other notable names within the top 10 include 2019 Illinois State Senior Amateur champion Jeff Ott (Dunlap) and reigning CDGA Senior Player of the Year Mark Small (Frankfort), who both carded rounds of 3-under 74.
While comfortable temperatures greeted players on Monday, the scoring average rose to 80.7 as wind gusts, thick rough and vexing greens played a key role. The field will return for another 18 holes on Tuesday before the low 35 and ties will advance to Wednesday’s final round. Low Super Senior honors (65 and up) will also be awarded following play tomorrow.
Second round tee times will begin at 8 a.m. Tuesday.
LEMONT, Ill. –The top amateur golfers age 55 and older from around the state of Illinois are set to embark upon Riverside Golf Club in North Riverside for the 36th Illinois State Senior Amateur Championship Sept. 19-21. The Earl R. Liff Trophy will be awarded to the champion of the event, which was first contested at Pine Meadow Golf Club in 1987.
ABOUT THE FIELD
Championship InformationThe Illinois State Senior Amateur Championship, conducted annually by the Chicago District Golf Association, was first held in 1987. The Championship is open to Illinois residents age 55 and older. It is a 54-hole event, with the entire field playing 36 holes over the course of two days and the low 35 and ties playing the final 18 on the third day. The winner of the Championship is the recipient of the Earl R. Liff Trophy, which was claimed by David Feder in 2021 at The Preserve at Oak Meadows.