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|For Immediate Release||July 20, 2022|
|MCCLEAR REMAINS ATOP STATE AM LEADERBOARD FOLLOWING GRUELING WEDNESDAY AT WESTMORELAND|
|Wednesday, July 20, 2022 - WILMETTE, Ill. - Temperatures reaching 90 degrees, 30 mph wind gusts and a UV Index consistently maxed out at 10 provided a demanding test for the top amateurs in the state of Illinois Wednesday at Westmoreland Country Club in the Illinois State Amateur Championship`s 91st iteration.
Through it all, Hinsdale`s Mac McClear stood strong en route to an even-par, second-round 72 to, not only maintain, but improve what was a one-shot lead to a four-stroke advantage over the remainder of the competitors.
"It was for sure good," said McClear of his Wednesday round. "The greens are fast and firm, which makes it really hard when it starts to blow. I think putts were getting affected a little bit, which was certainly challenging. I hit a couple of real bad putts, you know, either the wind got them or I didn`t play enough wind. So that was kind of frustrating, but even par definitely felt pretty good out there today."
Opening his day with a pair of bogeys on Nos. 2 and 7, McClear began to steer the ship and fired off birdies at Nos. 8, 11 and 14 to reach a tournament-low score of 7 under. One last bogey at the par-3 17th, which played as Westmoreland`s most difficult hole Wednesday, brought McClear down the home stretch at even par on the day, while sporting the 6-under par score he slept on.
His approach into the closing hole left the rising senior at the University of Iowa with a slippery downhill birdie bid. A cozy lag putt down next to the cup before placing his mark and cleaning up for par brought the 21-year-old into the clubhouse with a four-shot advantage over Parker Wisdom (Bloomington).
"I bogeyed No. 17," said McClear following his round. "I actually had to two-putt from distance there, as well - I made like a six-footer for bogey - and then No. 18, that green there is pretty severe, so to two-putt from above the hole there was pretty nice."
Wisdom, who faced the blustery conditions in both Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning, faced more of a rollercoaster round featuring an eagle, five birdies and seven bogeys. Matching McClear`s 72 positioned the rising senior at Illinois State University into the final group, a place he has become familiar with, at 2 under overall.
"You know, I was so young and I didn`t actually know what was going on really," said Wisdom of playing in the final group of the State Am at Cantigny Golf in 2019. "I just wanted to play well because I hadn`t even gotten to college yet.
"So, I think it just taught me that it`s anyone`s game and that I can win no matter what, and that you`re always in it."
Tommy Kuhl (Morton) sits in solo third at 1-under overall. Timmy Crawford (Arlington Heights), Jake Erickson (Chatham) and Benjamin Sluzas (Lockport) round out the top 5 at even par halfway home.
Wednesday`s difficult day yielded just three under-par scores. Maxwell Scodro`s (Lake Forest) 1-under 71 was joined by the two most recent CDGA Amateur champions, Charlie Waddell (Chicago), who carded a 3-under 69, and Nick Tenuta (Mt. Prospect), who notched a 2-under 70, as the trio did everything they could to work their ways back to the top of the leaderboard. Tenuta enters Thursday`s final 36 holes T7 overall, while Waddell is T14.
Though under par, it was far from simple for the triumvirate.
"We`ll see what happens in the afternoon," said Waddell after his bogey-free round in the morning. "It`s got to be gusting in the mid-30s right now and, where some of the [flag sticks] are, I mean, you could have a two-footer that you`re playing two-to-three balls outside of the hole just because it`s breaking that way and the wind`s going that way."
"Rest, recovery and a lot of ice baths," said Tenuta of his post-round plans. "A lot of time spent indoors. It`s a long grind and 36 holes tomorrow (Thursday) is a lot of golf in one day."
In total, exactly 35 players made the 36-hole cut come Wednesday afternoon. Those finishing 7-under par or better will return after a night of rest and relaxation for what is set to be another 36 holes on Thursday, beginning at 7 a.m. McClear and Wisdom will begin their final day at 8:20 a.m. off Westmoreland`s first tee.
Tommy Kuhl on how tiring his Wednesday round was… "Exhausted, very exhausted. With the wind up, it was playing hard out there. The greens are fast, you know, and you really had to think your way around this place. If you weren`t on top of your game it was going to beat you up, and it did to me a couple times today, but I hung in there for the most part."
Mac McClear on playing with Wisdom in the final group… "We`ve played a couple of times before, not a bunch, but I definitely know him, so I think we`ll have a good time tomorrow."
Nick Tenuta on his approach in Wednesday`s second round… "It`s four rounds, I`ve got time, so I took a little bit more aggressive approach off the tee – hit a lot more drivers. I knew that with more drivers comes more birdies and more bogeys, but I made the birdies that I needed to."
Andrew Thornton on his 15-shot difference between rounds one and two… "I only hit three fairways today. If I was missing the fairway, it was only two or three yards off, but it`s just so thick around here that it`s hard to judge if it`s going to fly the same as it usually does, so I struggled with that. I was grinding it through and then, the last four holes, just stupid, stupid mistakes."
Charlie Waddell on his second-round 69… "Today was just solid. Drove it super well, was hitting the middle of the clubface on everything and made some good putts – just played really smart to the big side of the hole always. Happy to get in in red numbers for sure."
Parker Wisdom on how he felt following his even-par round… "I felt good. I felt like the putts could drop. I just kept trying to hit the fairway and then just hit the green because it`s so windy that if you miss the green or the fairway it`s so hard to make a par."
|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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