|Friday, August 24, 2018 - |
LEMONT, Ill. – Glen Oak Country Club in Glen Ellyn will play host the state’s top amateur golfers 25 and older as site of the 26th Illinois State Mid-Amateur Championship Aug. 27-28. A field of 72 players will compete in 36 holes on Monday, with the low 35 players and ties advancing to Tuesday’s final 18 holes.
The field was determined by exemptions and three qualifiers at the beginning of August, with a total of 27 players exempt and 202 players attempting to qualify for the Championship. Registration was open to any Illinois resident with a current official USGA Handicap Index® not exceeding 5.4 and who has reached their 25th birthday on or before the start of the event.
Players to Watch
Greg Bauman (Chicago), paired with his brother, Riley, in last year’s final round, emerged victorious in the 25th Illinois State Mid-Amateur Championship at Exmoor Country Club. The four-shot win was his first in an Illinois State championship.
John Ehrgott (Edwards) has two Illinois State Mid-Amateur Championship titles to his name, with those coming in 2007 and 2009. Ehrgott is also a two-time winner of the CDGA Mid-Amateur Championship, with his second coming in May at Hinsdale Golf Club.
Jake Erickson (Springfield) made his debut in this event last year, finishing in a tie for second. Erickson has also finished in the top 15 in four of the last six Illinois State Amateur Championships and qualified for this year’s U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship.
Brian Hickey (Burr Ridge) finished runner-up alongside partner Ryan Neill in the 3rd CDGA Amateur Four-Ball Championship earlier this month. Hickey also finished second in last year’s CDGA Mid-Amateur Championship.
Grant Milling (Bloomington) earned medalist honors at the Ironwood Golf Course qualifier after shooting a 4-under 68. Milling also made it to the quarterfinals of the 99th CDGA Amateur Championship back in June and qualified for the U.S Mid-Amateur next month.
Todd Mitchell (Bloomington) is a five-time champion of the Illinois State Mid-Amateur Championship, most recently in 2016 at Flossmoor Country Club. Mitchell has also won two Illinois State Amateur titles, giving him seven state championships overall.
Andrew Price (Lake Bluff) won the Illinois State Mid-Amateur Championship in 2014 at Flossmoor Country Club. Price also won the 2016 CDGA Amateur Championship at Calumet Country Club.
Steve Sawtell (Northbrook) was part of the winning duo in the 3rd CDGA Amateur Four-Ball Championship, with Michael Natale, at Mistwood Golf Club earlier this month. In addition to his two wins in that event, Sawtell also has two CDGA Amateur Championship titles, in 2004 and 2009.
Chadd Slutzky (Deer Park) won the 2017 CDGA Mid-Amateur and 2017 CDGA Amateur Four-Ball Championships, adding to his Illinois State Mid-Amateur Championship victory in 2015.
Others to Watch
Mike Henry (Bloomington) finished tied for fourth in last month’s Illinois State Amateur Championship at Bloomington Country Club.
Blake Johnson (Winnetka) finished as runner-up in the 4th CDGA Mid-Amateur Championship in May. Johnson has also finished as runner-up in the CDGA Amateur Championship two times.
Mike Karney (Crystal Lake) earned medalist honors at the White Deer Run qualifier by firing a 5-under 67. Karney also made it to the quarterfinals of the 17th CDGA Senior Amateur earlier this month.
Brad Kay (Arlington Heights) won his first CDGA title at the 17th CDGA Senior Amateur Championship at Itasca Country Club earlier this month.
Tom Kearfott (El Paso) is the reigning Illinois State Senior Amateur Champion. Kearfott also reached the 17th CDGA Senior Amateur semifinals earlier this month.
Glenn Pryzbylski (Frankfort) qualified for the U.S. Senior Open and made the quarterfinals of the 4th CDGA Mid-Amateur in May, as well as made the quarterfinals of the 3rd CDGA Amateur Four-Ball Championship earlier this month as the top seed.
Bradley Rendell (Winnetka) earned medalist honors at the Balmoral Woods qualifier after finishing with a 6-under 66.
Glen Oak Country Club, named for being representative of both Glen Ellyn and Oak Park, of which many of the original members called home, was established in 1911. Tom Bendelow, a golf course architect known for his work at Medinah Country Club No. 3 and East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, designed the original 18-hole layout. Over the years, the likes of William Langford, A.W. Tillinghast and Rick Jacobson have all made modifications to the course. The track most recently hosted the 2011 Illinois State Amateur Championship, in addition to four CDGA Amateur Championships in 1926, 1937, 1949 and 1965.
Today, the course evokes Bendelow’s “naturalist approach” with tree-lined fairways leading to bunker-protected greens. For the championship, the course will play to a par 72 at 6,810 yards. Challenges throughout the track include No. 6, a 157-yard par 3 over Gerber’s Pond to a green that features a false front. Further along there is No. 8, which will entice some to attempt to drive the par-4 green with the hole measuring just 292 yards from the tee. On the back nine, No. 17 will play as a 530-yard par 5 featuring strategic fairway and greenside bunkering placements.
LAST YEAR’S CHAMPIONSHIP
Greg Bauman secured his first victory in a state championship by winning the 25th Illinois State Mid-Amateur Championship at Exmoor Country Club, finishing four shots clear of Jake Erickson and Cody Sundberg. Heavy rain and lightning delayed the final round two hours, but Bauman was able to shoot an even-par 72, while paired with his brother Riley, to claim the title.
In addition to Bauman, five other past winners of the Illinois State Mid-Amateur Championship will be traversing Glen Oak Country Club this year. Todd Mitchell has a record five titles to his name (2008, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2016). John Ehrgott (2007 and 2009) has won this event twice. Andrew Price (2014), Curtis Minkel (2002) and Chadd Slutzky (2015) all will be teeing it up this week as well.