|Midwest Golf House||Contact: Casey Richards|
|11855 Archer Avenue||(630) 685-2324|
|Lemont, IL firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Contact: Tim Merrick|
|Contact: Jacob Bomeli|
|For Immediate Release||July 19, 2023|
|KIRKHAM CRUISES TO THREE-STROKE LEAD AHEAD OF 92ND ILLINOIS STATE AM FINAL DAY|
|Wednesday, July 19, 2023 - |
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - Golf is typically known to be a tough challenge mentally, as many of the best who have ever played the game attribute some of their strongest play to staying mentally composed. That adage proved to remain true for Joshua Kirkham (Hinsdale) Wednesday at Bloomington Country Club in the second round of the 92nd Illinois State Amateur Championship.
Kirkham, who carded an opening-round 68 and entered day two four shots behind the leader, fired a second-round 65 to obtain a three-shot lead ahead of Thursday's 36-hole finale. The strength of his game currently? Staying mentally tough and in the moment. A process the fifth-year senior at Northern Illinois University admits doesn't always come easily.
"Yeah, I mean, it's so easy to get result oriented, if you will," said Kirkham, "but something that my coach and I really worked on is just being process oriented and staying in the moment. It's what I preach. I think it's the most important part of the game and it's definitely my weakness. If I can make it a strength, it's usually when the best skills come out."
His best skills were surely on display Wednesday.
The 22-year-old began his second round in the morning wave on Bloomington's par-4 10th hole. Four pars to begin his round steadied the ship before everything started to click, as Kirkham eagled the par-5 14th to reach 4-under on the tournament.
"If you get it down the left side into that first cut…I wasn't necessarily trying to do it, but you can get it into that first cut and on a flat spot," said Kirkham of the eagle. "If you're anywhere else it's kind of on a side slope, and I got lucky enough that I got into that first cut and then I had a jumper. I was able to hit pitching wedge, I had like 161, hit it to like 15 feet and knocked it in."
A birdie to follow at No. 15 before three-consecutive pars turned Kirkham at 32, matching his first-round score on Bloomington's back nine.
His lone blemish of the day occurred at No. 1, a hole he has now bogeyed in each round. A triad of birdies at Nos. 4, 6 and 8 brought Kirkham into the clubhouse at 65, the lowest round of the day.
Following Kirkham on the leaderboard are Thomas Baker (Rockford) at 4-under and a quintet others at -3.
Baker, whose second-round scorecard wasn't necessarily as par-filled as Kirkham's, fired a second-straight 68 Wednesday. Three birdies, three pars and three bogeys on the front nine resulted in an opening 35 for the rising-senior at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. An eagle on No. 14 and a pair of birdies and bogeys after the turn brought Baker home at 2-under.
"It was a great day," said Baker after his round. "I couldn't have asked for better conditions today. It was a little up-and-down for me; I made a few birdies where I wanted to, but also made a lot of bogeys on top of that. But, it was a great day. We had a good group, had a lot of fun, and I'm looking forward to tomorrow."
Also looking forward to tomorrow is defending champion Mac McClear (Hinsdale) who, admittedly without his best stuff and even with some of the "worst shots" he's maybe hit all year, finds himself back within the top-5 as one of the five tied for third at -3; a position that Kirkham, a high school teammate of McClear at Hinsdale Central, anticipated before the championship began.
"It's always good if you beat Mac," Kirkham said. "To start the week, I texted my dad and said, 'If I beat Mac this week, I win,' so he's always a tough opponent. And, yeah, I mean winning your State Amateur is kind of everything you dream of growing up playing golf and playing against these kids every day and, yeah, it'd be awesome."
Kirkham is halfway from turning a life-long dream into reality.
Joining McClear in a tie for third and rounding out the top 5 are 55-year-old Mike Henry (Bloomington), Charlie Kulwin (Chicago), Mason Minkel (Pekin) and Justin Schwab (Beach Park).
Kirkham and the 35 others who made the cut at +3 or better have 36 holes to play on Thursday before a champion is crowned at Bloomington. Players are set to begin play at 7 a.m. off both the front and back nines. The final pairing of Kirkham and Baker are scheduled to tee off at 8:21 a.m. in the morning and 12:51 p.m. in the afternoon.
Quotes of Note
Joshua Kirkham (Hinsdale) on transferring from Bradley to Northern Illinois ... "Actually Jeff came out today, Jeff Roche, my head coach at Bradley, so it was great having his support and he was more of a best friend than he was a coach to me for four years. It was tough moving on, but, you know, getting to play at Northern [Illinois], playing Rich Harvest Farms, a top-40 schedule and show me what it's like taking that next step into professional golf, it's kind of what I needed for my fifth year."
Thomas Baker (Rockford) on playing Nos. 14 and 15 at 5-under through two rounds, including an eagle on the par-5 14th Wednesday ... "I mean, right there is honestly where you should score. Especially that par 5, if you hit it in the fairway it's a little mid-iron or long-iron in there, so if you can attack that and get that on the green, you're pretty much good to go."
Defending champion Mac McClear (Hinsdale) on his mindset going into Thursday four shots back ... "It's 36 holes tomorrow, it's a lot of golf. I've been in the position before, obviously, so I know what it feels like and four shots over 36 holes is not very many shots. I'm just going to stick to my gameplan and see if I can execute a little better tomorrow and hopefully it'll work out."
Mike Henry (Bloomington) on competing in the State Am as a 55-year-old ... "The last five years or so I've still been trying some U.S. Am qualifiers and State Ams, so it's not like I haven't played with these guys in 20 years; I play with them all the time. If I have four more clubs than them into a green, it doesn't mean they're going to beat me on the hole."
Justin Schwab (Beach Park) on how the course played different in Round 2 vs. Round 1 ... "[The course] definitely dried out. The fairways were running out a little bit more, it wasn't just hitting and sitting. You definitely had to figure out exactly where you wanted to hit it, because it's rolling another 10-15 yards compared to yesterday."
Charlie Kulwin (Chicago) on his 3-under 67 in Round 2 ... "Obviously whenever you shoot 67, you're playing solid. The State Am's always a big deal, being a rookie in it, playing this well, I'm proud of myself and I feel like I've had a good tournament regardless of tomorrow."
Will Troy (Naperville) on playing in State Ams ... "I just think my confidence at this point in the summer is really good. I've had the whole summer to work on my game and get it as good as I possibly can. I'm always super excited for this event being the home-state Amateur Championship, it's always exciting to play in, so I just always look forward to this one."
Timmy Crawford (Arlington Heights) on closing his round with four birdies to make the cut ... "I looked at the scoreboard and I knew I had to make probably three, maybe four birdies coming in. I had good looks on Nos. 2 through 5 and then made a short putt on No. 6. I just told myself, 'You gotta birdie the last three,' and luckily I made three really nice mid-range putts. I hadn't made any all day, so it was really nice to see those go in. I was happy with how it finished."
|Chicago District Golf Association|
The Chicago District Golf Association (CDGA) is authorized by the United States Golf Association (USGA) as the governing body for amateur golf in our region. The CDGA is a membership organization consisting of more than 105,000 individual golfers and 400 clubs in Illinois and parts of Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin. Golfers receive member offers, a Handicap Index® from the USGA® and competitive playing opportunities, while clubs receive Course Rating™ and Slope Rating™ measuring services, turfgrass diagnostics and educational seminars. The CDGA also creates opportunities for everyone to experience the benefits of the game through therapeutic and recreational Outreach Programs, with an emphasis on serving individuals with special needs, youth and veterans.
|09/19/2023||FRANKENREIDER CONTINUES PURSUIT OF TITLE DEFENSE, LEADS AHEAD OF 37TH ILLINOIS STATE SENIOR AM FINALE|
|08/22/2023||MERE WEEKS AFTER MOVE TO ILLINOIS, HICKEY CLAIMS STATE MID-AM AT BILTMORE|
|08/21/2023||SCODRO SHIFTS INTO HIGH GEAR, NOTCHES 65 IN SECOND ROUND TO CLAIM STATE MID-AM LEAD|
|08/09/2023||RAMSEY, SLUTZKY REPEAT, WIN TANDEM`S FOURTH CDGA FOUR-BALL TITLE|
|07/20/2023||RETURN OF THE MAC: MCCLEAR REPEATS IN STATE AM AT BLOOMINGTON|
|07/19/2023||KIRKHAM CRUISES TO THREE-STROKE LEAD AHEAD OF 92ND ILLINOIS STATE AM FINAL DAY|
|07/18/2023||STEWART STAKES CLAIM TO TOP OF 92ND ILLINOIS STATE AM LEADERBOARD FOLLOWING FIRST ROUND|
|06/29/2023||BEAUBIEN, JR. BESTS FIELD, CAPTURES 103RD CDGA AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP|
|06/28/2023||FISHER, BEAUBIEN, JR. RIDE POSITIVE MINDSETS TO CDGA AM FINALS|
|06/15/2023||CDGA Amateurs Go Back-to-Back, Win Radix Cup Matches 11.5-6.5|
|06/08/2023||PECORA FINALLY BREAKS THROUGH, CAPTURES 21ST CDGA SENIOR AM FOR FIRST TITLE|
|05/17/2023||RAMSEY GETS BEST OF BUDDY SLUTZKY; WINS CDGA MID-AM AT MERIT|
|05/11/2023||CDGA, FOLDS OF HONOR PARTNER TO EXPAND VETERAN IMPACT|
|02/06/2023||2023 CDGA SOCIAL COMPETITIONS OPEN FOR REGISTRATION|
|01/17/2023||SIGN UP BEGINS FOR 2023 CDGA CHAMPIONSHIPS|
|12/07/2022||2023 CDGA COMPETITIONS SCHEDULES RELEASED; NEARLY 90 EVENTS ON TAP|
|10/21/2022||SLUTZKY, SHEPPARD CAP IMPRESSIVE CAMPAIGNS WITH PLAYER OF THE YEAR HARDWARE|
|09/29/2022||SHEPPARD, KEARFOTT WIN SELF-PROCLAIMED `WORLD SERIES OF GOLF,` CAPTURE DUO`S FIFTH CDGA SENIOR AMATEUR FOUR-BALL TITLE|
|09/23/2022||7TH CDGA SENIOR AMATEUR FOUR-BALL CONCLUDES 2022 CDGA CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE|
|09/21/2022||Frankenreider Prevails, Wins 36th Illinois State Senior Am|
|09/15/2022||STATE`S TOP SENIORS RETURN TO RIVERSIDE|
Click Here to Return to Current Release
Chicago District Golf Association
11855 Archer Avenue
Lemont, IL 60439