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CHICAGO DISTRICT GOLF ASSOCIATION

For Everyone Who Plays the Game

Midwest Golf House Contact: Casey Richards
11855 Archer Avenue (630) 685-2324
Lemont, IL 60439 crichards@cdga.org
Contact: Tim Merrick
(630) 685-2302
tmerrick@cdga.org
Contact: Jacob Bomeli
(630) 685-2345
jbomeli@cdga.org
 
For Immediate ReleaseJune 6, 2024
 
KAY BESTS LOADED FIELD FULL OF FRIENDS, CAPTURES 22ND CDGA SENIOR AM
 
 
Thursday, June 6, 2024 -

DEKALB, Ill. - Heading into the week of the 22nd CDGA Senior Amateur Championship at Kishwaukee Country Club, Brad Kay (Arlington Heights / Ivanhoe Club) somewhat doubted his chances to even reach match play in his quest for a second CDGA Senior Am title. Not because of his own abilities, but more so due to the strength of the competition he knew he would face throughout, including Mark Small (Frankfort / Prestwick CC), the man he went on to beat, 3 and 2, in the windy Championship match on Thursday.

Kay’s battle to make the cut and cruise through the bracket proved to be well worth the fight, as the eventual victor advanced from the stroke-play round Monday via a 5-for-3 playoff to earn the No. 16 seed. He went on to take down 2021 Illinois State Amateur champion David Feder (Chicago / Conway Farms GC) in the Round of 16, 2023 CDGA Senior Amateur Four-Ball champion Glenn Przybylski (Frankfort / Sanctuary GC) in the Quarterfinals and nine-time CDGA-administered event victor Tim Sheppard (East Peoria / Pekin CC) in the Semifinals - a level of success only the best can compete with.

That week-long battle that Kay conquered was one of many reasons that his second time hoisting the Charles Morgan Auld Cup - the first was at Itasca Country Club in 2018 - was just a bit sweeter.

“As we get older, we look at the tee sheet and we’re like, ‘Man, are there a lot of good golfers,’ and there’s a lot of us that will look at it and think, ‘How are we even going to make the cut?’,” said Kay following the win. “As evidenced by Mark and I, we were in a playoff. Just making the cut is an accomplishment and the players that I played against this week are just unbelievable players - I really feel great.”

The finale between Kay and Small began in a stalemate. The two matched one another on the opening four holes before trading a pair of blows as they made their way to the northern section of the property. They made the turn to the back nine with the match tied.

The opening two holes coming in proved paramount in Kay’s win, as the 61-year-old carded back-to-back birdies on the par-4 10th and par-4 11th to obtain a 2-up lead, the largest either competitor had in the match to that point.

“Extremely,” Kay said on the importance of the two holes. “On No. 10, Mark made about a 20-footer for par, and I looked at my putt and said, ‘be prepared to putt it,’ because putts go in and Mark’s a great putter. I think the wind affected him a bit on the putting greens, but that ball went in and, I’ll tell you, to step up and knock my putt in gave me a lot of confidence that I could pull this off.”

The makes appeared to put Kay into cruise control, as he carded pars on Nos. 12-16, including one to win the par-3 13th, to secure his 3-and-2 win over his friend Mark on the 16th green.

“I am ecstatic,” Kay said after the win. “There’s been a lot of hard work, a lot of ups and downs and I struggled at times the last few years to close things out, but I am thrilled that I was able to do that this week.”

Impressive doesn’t do his win justice, as Kay truly beat the best to be the best once again. Wins over friends and elite competitors alike rekindled special friendships and proved the hard work put in was all worth it.

“One of my best friends in life is Brien Gerber,” said Kay of his friendships with other competitors. “We won the [2019] Senior Four-Ball and we go back to grade school … We both were able to make the cut and get into match play. Then, Mark earlier this week, the first time I had seen him in a while, and he comes running up with his camera on his phone to show me that he’s a new grandpa. We get those types of relationships with the people out here. I got a number of phone calls on my ride home last night and I’m sure there will be more tonight. I’m really proud, I worked at it hard and I can’t wait to talk to family and friends.”

Phone calls and friendships Kay will assuredly cherish for years to come.

Next up on the CDGA championship docket is the 91st Illinois State Women’s Amateur Championship, slated for June 10-12 at The Grove Country Club. This year will mark the first year that the CDGA will look to continue the storied history of state-wide women’s championships, as the Association looks to carry on the IWGA’s legacy of expanding playing opportunities for women and girls across the Chicago District.

As for Kay and a number of the top male amateur golfers from around the Chicago District, they will turn their attention to the 104th CDGA Amateur Championship, set for June 24-27 at Beverly Country Club.
 
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 106,000 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 adaptive, therapeutic and youth Sunshine Programs, with an emphasis on serving disabled and veteran communities.
 
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Chicago District Golf Association
11855 Archer Avenue
Lemont, IL 60439

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