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|For Immediate Release||June 30, 2022|
|WADDELL WINS IN WAUKEGAN, CAPTURES 102ND CDGA AM AT GLEN FLORA|
|Thursday, June 30, 2022 - |
WAUKEGAN, Ill. - As the old adage goes, age is only a number.
For 37-year-old father of three Charlie Waddell (Chicago / Shoreacres), age has mostly brought a wealth of knowledge navigating various types of golf courses, experience in many of the country's top amateur events and, finally, a trophy on the mantle.
"First thought is, I'm very tired," said Waddell following his first amateur victory in the 102nd CDGA Amateur Championship. "It's a long week, but I'm thrilled. I've played in, I can't even think of how many CDGA-sanctioned events I've played in, going back to junior golf, and I've never won anything, so this is just amazing."
The tired Waddell pushed through and exercised his age and experience as a strength, not a weakness, to defeat three-consecutive college golfers, including Zachary Mulhearn (Wheaton / Glen Oak CC), 6 and 4, in the title tilt, to hoist the Joseph G. Davis trophy Thursday afternoon at Glen Flora Country Club.
"I'm 37 years old, I've got the grey hairs coming in and these guys are all probably thinking, 'Oh I can run this guy over,'" said Waddell. "But, if you just hang around and you're in every hole, you're doing the smart things and you keep it below the hole and just wear them down a bit, I think it can be pretty frustrating for the younger players."
Ahead of Thursday's finale defeat of Mulhearn, a rising sophomore at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, Waddell, a former standout golfer at Bucknell University in his own right, disposed of Miami University-Ohio golfer, and No. 1 seed, Danny Fisher (Lake Forest / Lake Bluff GC), along with University of Illinois' T.J. Barger (Bloomington / Bloomington CC) on Wednesday en route to the title.
Thursday's Championship match, scheduled to trek around the Waukegan-based course twice through, began with a back-and-forth opening 18. After Waddell gained the largest advantage of the first half on the fourth hole at 2 up, Mulhearn steadied the ship to flip the battle to his advantage just five holes later. Trading wins the first time down the back nine, the duo entered the clubhouse for lunch tied.
"It was really hard in the morning," said Waddell of the conditions. "Probably on the scorecard it looked like a pillow fight, but it was brutal. The wind was howling and neither of us could really get any momentum going. If you strung a couple of pars together, it felt really quite well. I wasn't a real happy camper after the first 18, I'm usually a pretty happy guy, but I wasn't that happy because I felt like I was letting the conditions get to me rather than just staying committed to my shot."
After a "delicious" serving of "breakfast for lunch" - eggs - it was go-time for Waddell.
Carding birdies on four of the first five holes to open the second 18, and earning wins on all five, Waddell found himself in a commanding lead; a five-hole swing which culminated into a lead of 5 up.
"I birdied four out of the first five, which was huge, and then just kept that mantra going," said Waddell. "Kept playing aggressive, kept swinging well and the wind kept swirling, which was really, really hard, but staying committed to everything was really key."
Waddell's commitment was quickly tested when Mulhearn, a first-time CDGA Am participant, notched back-to-back victories on the match's 24th and 25th holes, Glen Flora's Nos. 6 and 7, to cut the deficit to three in what was the 19-year-old's first real experience in a match-play event.
Keeping his usual mindset while on the course and "playing against par," Mulhearn's come-back effort fell short, as Waddell matched the 5-up lead he had previously maintained with wins on Nos. 10 and 12, the event's 28th and 30th holes, respectively. Those victories, both of which on par 4s, came in exciting fashion. Reaching the 375-yard 10th directly from a tee shot that traversed over a multitude of trees and a creek that spans across the property, Waddell two-putted for birdie.
At 12, a 414-yard hole, Waddell's drive strayed from the fairway enough to reach yet another putting surface, this time trickling onto Glen Flora's 16th green. A free drop onto the collar and a 100-yard wedge back onto the proper green left the eventual champion with another two-putt win, before closing out the match with a conceded birdie on the 32nd hole.
After his triumph, Waddell alluded to a plethora of battles on the golf course growing up against his father, Rick, as the driving force to his mindset.
"I know when I was a younger player in college, it was incredibly frustrating, primarily against my dad, where he was just always around and in every hole," said Waddell, "but I think that's the key: to keep it simple and not really get out of your lane.
"I just kept grinding, kept hitting good shots and at the end of the day, I was lucky enough to win the long, arduous battle."
Waddell, along with many other of this week's competitors, will now turn their attention to the next CDGA-conducted event, the 91st Illinois State Amateur Championship, which is slated for July 19-21 at Westmoreland Country Club in Wilmette.
|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 nearly 90,000 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 USGA rating and measuring services, turfgrass diagnostics and educational seminars. Midwest Golf House and the Bob Berry Sunshine Course are home to the CDGA Foundation, which annually serves more than 1,000 individuals with special needs and wounded veterans while also bringing playing opportunities to youth golfers. Founded on March 18, 1914, the CDGA is one of the largest and oldest golf associations in the United States.
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