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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 ReleaseOctober 23, 2023
 
2023 PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARDS GO TO THREE FIRST-TIMERS 
 
Monday, October 23, 2023 - LEMONT, Ill.T.J. Barger (Bloomington / Bloomington CC) and Mac McClear (Hinsdale / Hinsdale GC) are 2023 CDGA Co-Players of the Year, while Mike Henry (Bloomington / Weibring GC @ ISU) is the CDGA Senior Player of the Year. All three individuals are first-time honorees, with Barger and McClear claiming the Charles N. Eckstein Trophy and Henry winning the Raymond B. Anderson Trophy. The awards were determined by an accumulation of points based on performances in various local and national events.

The split of the CDGA Player of the Year honor is fitting for Barger and McClear, who dueled in the 92nd Illinois State Amateur at Bloomington Country Club in July. Ultimately, McClear came out on top for his second-consecutive triumph, besting Barger by five shots thanks to a final-round 63. McClear, a redshirt senior at the University of Iowa, also earned valuable Player of the Year points by advancing to U.S. Open Final Qualifying and the U.S. Amateur.

Barger thrust himself into contention at the State Am with a third-round 64 at Bloomington, the course he grew up playing, before ultimately settling for a runner-up finish. In the midst of a summer during which he transferred from the University of Illinois to Illinois State University, Barger, a redshirt sophomore, set the course record in a U.S. Amateur qualifier at Weibring Golf Club at ISU with a 9-under 62. He also advanced to the Quarterfinals of the 103rd CDGA Amateur Championship at Lake Shore Country Club.

In total, Barger and McClear each earned 550 Player of the Year points, which surpassed Henry and two-time 2023 victor John Ramsey (Glenview / Glenview Park GC) by 30 points. Last year’s Player of the Year, Chadd Slutzky (Deer Park / Royal Fox CC), finished fifth.

In his first year of senior eligibility, Henry, 55, put together a consistent season from start to finish to claim the Senior Player of the Year honor by an astonishing 310 points. Following a third-place finish in the Illinois Senior Open in June, Henry, mainly competing against individuals 30-plus years younger, finished T7 at 2 over in the State Am in his hometown of Bloomington. Next, he competed at the U.S. Senior Amateur at The Honors Course in Ooltewah, Tennessee, where he advanced all the way to the Quarterfinals. Henry continued to flourish on the local stage to close out the season, finishing third in the 37th Illinois State Senior Amateur Championship at Rockford Country Club in September and making match play in the 8th CDGA Senior Four-Ball Amateur Championship at Elgin Country Club in October.

Glenn Przybylski (Frankfort / The Sanctuary GC) finished a distant second behind Henry in the Senior Player of the Year race, amassing 525 points compared to Henry’s 835. State Senior winner Scot Frankenreider (Peoria / Arrowhead CC), Greg Seelinger (Downers Grove / Village Links of Glen Ellyn) and 2021 Senior Player of the Year Mark Small (Frankfort / Prestwick CC) rounded out the top five.

In total, the 2023 CDGA Championship calendar featured 58 events, including eight Illinois State or CDGA Championships, 28 Illinois State or CDGA qualifiers, 21 USGA qualifiers and the Radix Cup Matches. The 2024 schedule will be released on Wednesday, Dec. 6.

CDGA Player of the Year – Recent Winners
CLICK HERE for full history

2023 – T.J. Barger and Mac McClear
2022 – Chadd Slutzky
2021 – Nick Tenuta
2020 – N/A (COVID-19)
2019 – Jordan Less and David Perkins
2018 – Trent Wallace

CDGA Senior Player of the Year – Recent Winners
CLICK HERE for full history

2023 – Mike Henry
2022 – Tim Sheppard
2021 – Mark Small
2020 – N/A (COVID-19)
2019 – Tim Sheppard
2018 – Tim Sheppard
 
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 therapeutic and recreational Outreach Programs, with an emphasis on serving individuals with special needs, youth and veterans.
 
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Chicago District Golf Association
11855 Archer Avenue
Lemont, IL 60439

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