|Friday, June 7, 2019 - The year 1962 was one of firsts on all levels of the golf landscape.|
Internationally, Jack Nicklaus claimed the first of his 73 PGA Tour victories and 18 major championship triumphs in the U.S. Open, while Gary Player earned his first PGA Championship title. On a local scale, 1962 marked the inaugural time a team of amateur golfers representing the Chicago District Golf Association (CDGA) squared off with a squad of Illinois PGA (IPGA) professionals in the Radix Cup Matches.
The venerable event returns for its 58th iteration on Wednesday, June 12 at Oak Park Country Club, which has served as the host site for all but three versions, and every one since 1972.
Each team will feature 12 individuals who earned their spots based on achievements during the previous year’s golf season. The afternoon will feature six better ball matches utilizing Nassau scoring, with the team accumulating the most points hoisting the Radix Cup. As the 2018 winner, the CDGA Amateurs hold the tie breaker coming in to 2019.
Last year’s 10-8 victory was the second-straight for the CDGA team, while the IPGA leads the all-time series 35-20-2. The series has been closely contested in recent years, as a third-straight victory for the CDGA would mark the first threepeat in this event since 1996-98, when the IPGA reeled off a trifecta of triumphs.
Just three members of last year’s victorious team return for the CDGA, headlined by Todd Mitchell (Crestwicke CC), who will be making his 15th Radix Cup appearance. Mitchell is just weeks removed from claiming the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship at Bandon Dunes Resort in Oregon and has won the CDGA Player of the Year award four times. Recent Illinois State University graduate and reigning CDGA Player of the Year Trent Wallace (Inwood GC) returns for his second-straight appearance, as does Michael Fastert (Sanctuary GC).
Bolstering the CDGA team’s experience level will be John Wright (Oak Brook GC), making his seventh appearance, and Glenn Przybylski (Sanctuary GC), who will be competing for the sixth time. David Perkins (Quail Meadows GC), the 2018 CDGA Amateur victor, is among the five talented debutants.
All but one IPGA player has participated in a Radix Cup previously, as the team will be bolstered by 58 years of combined experience in the quest for its first victory since 2016. Danny Mulhearn (Glen Oak CC) and Matt Slowinski (Hinsdale GC), the squad’s most experienced Radix Cup veterans at 11 years apiece, will team up, as will 2018 IPGA Player of the Year Travis Johns (Medinah CC) and 2018 IPGA Senior Player of the Year Roy Biancalana (St. Andrews G&CC).
In addition to Johns and Slowinski, six other IPGA players participated in last year’s event. Among the returnees is Garrett Chaussard (Skokie CC), who made his sixth appearance last year and teamed with Slowinski to take 2.5 of a possible 3 points, the IPGA’s best performance. The lone player making his debut for the IPGA will be Chris Ioriatti (Mistwood GC), who claimed the IPGA Assistant Match Play Championship in 2018.
The event carries on the legacy of the late Harry Radix, a former CDGA president, Oak Park Country Club member and avid golf supporter. Radix passed away in 1965 and requested in his will that the Matches be carried on, with the CDGA and IPGA collaborating to do so yearly. Radix was recently elected as an inductee to the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame Class of 2019.
The six matches will tee off in 10-minute increments beginning at 12:45 p.m. on Wednesday.
About the Illinois PGA/Illinois PGA Foundation
The Illinois Section of the PGA of America is a professional organization serving the men and women golf professionals in northern and central Illinois who are the recognized experts in growing, teaching and managing the game of golf. The Illinois PGA is responsible for the administration of competitive golf tournaments, educational opportunities, support programs and growth of the game initiatives. With over 840 members and apprentices, the Illinois PGA is one of the 41 regional Sections that comprise the PGA of America. The Illinois PGA Foundation focuses its community efforts on promoting the goodwill and growth of the game with an emphasis on activities that benefit youth. Foundation initiatives include: GolfWorks Illinois, Youth-based Scholarship Funds and the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame. For more information about the Illinois PGA and the Illinois PGA Foundation, please visit www.ipga.com and join us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.