|Wednesday, July 29, 2020 - |For full 2020 CDGA Amateur Four-Ball event information, event information, including photos, a video recap and more, visit CDGA.org/CDGA4Ball.
GLENCOE, Ill. – Five simple words from Chadd Slutzky efficiently summarized the wide range of emotions he was experiencing Wednesday evening at Skokie Country Club.
“We’re glad to be back,” Slutzky said.
Back playing in a CDGA championship – the first of 2020 after COVID-19 canceled the initial four on the schedule – and back on top of the CDGA Amateur Four-Ball Championship. Slutzky (Deer Park / Royal Fox CC) and his partner John Ramsey (Glenview / North Shore CC) combined to win their second Four-Ball title in the event’s five-year history with a 20-hole triumph over Andrew Vitt (Lake Forest / Exmoor CC) and Nick Smith (Chicago / Exmoor CC).
“Coming out on top in that match feels fantastic,” Slutzky added.
For most of the title tilt, however, it appeared as if the joy Slutzky and Ramsey experienced would be reserved for Vitt and Smith. Birdies on Nos. 2-4 by the first-time match-play participants gave them an early 3-up advantage. The deficit for Ramsey and Slutzky remained three holes heading to the par-4 14th, with the teams combining to notch 10 birdies to that point. None of those were from Ramsey, who was admittedly not playing anywhere close to his capability.
“We were 3 down and I may or may not have counted myself out, but I never counted Chadd out,” Ramsey said.
Slutzky rewarded his partner’s faith. The two-time Illinois State Mid-Amateur winner sparked the comeback by draining a 10-foot birdie putt on the par-4 14th. Ramsey and Vitt traded birdies on No. 15 before two clutch Slutzky pars on Nos. 16 and 17 were enough to win both holes and set the stage for a dramatic winner-take-all 18th hole.
However, it would have to wait. The lightning alarm was triggered by a nearby storm, necessitating a 26-minute delay. When play resumed, the 18th hole was halved with bogeys by Vitt and Ramsey. Ramsey continued his resurgence by notching par on the first playoff hole, narrowly missing a winning birdie putt, before two-putting from 35 feet on the par-3 second to earn the title.
“The knees were knocking,” Ramsey admitted regarding his 4-foot par putt following his skillful lag. “It was a pretty easy putt – just keep it in the hole and hit it hard. That’s what I did.”
In addition to past iterations of the CDGA Four-Ball, Slutzky and Ramsey have played together in numerous partner events, including the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball. It was this familiarity with each other as partners and friends that Slutzky and Ramsey relied upon to get them through the adversity of the final match.
“I’ll just go play my own game until he comes back to me,” Slutzky said regarding his mindset when Ramsey was struggling. “And he did. On the last hole and in the playoff, my man showed up, and it was all good.”
“I have the best partner that you could have,” Ramsey said.
Another “best” in Ramsey’s eyes? The venerable Skokie Country Club, a pristine Donald Ross design with rich history that dates back to 1897. This marked only the fourth CDGA championship to be contested at Skokie, and first since 1992.
“I think this is one of the best golf courses in Chicago,” Ramsey said.
“It was one of the best venues we’ve ever had at the CDGA,” Slutzky added. “It was in the best shape you can have a golf course.”
The abbreviated CDGA championship schedule will continue next month with the contesting of the 28th Illinois State Mid-Amateur Championship, Aug. 24-25 at Edgewood Valley Country Club in La Grange. Slutzky is the defending champion.
|Chicago District Golf Association|
The Chicago District Golf Association (CDGA) is the regional governing body for amateur golf in Illinois and parts of three other states. The CDGA services more than 400 clubs and 80,000 individual golfers. Golfers receive member offers, a USGA Handicap Index® and competitive playing opportunities, while clubs receive USGA rating and measuring services, turfgrass diagnostics and educational seminars. Midwest Golf House and its Three-Hole 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.