|Thursday, October 4, 2018 - For full 2018 CDGA Senior Amateur Four-Ball Championship event information, including results, video, photos and more, visit CDGA.org/CDGASr4Ball.
WINNETKA, Ill. – Tom Kearfott (El Paso / El Paso GC) and Tim Sheppard (East Peoria / Lick Creek GC) rarely play golf together. When they do, they make it count.
With a seven-birdie-fueled 4-and-3 victory over Joseph Schmidt (McHenry / McHenry CC) and Ron Waytula, Jr. (McHenry / McHenry CC) Thursday morning at Indian Hill Club, Kearfott and Sheppard claimed their second CDGA Senior Amateur Four-Ball Championship, adding to their 2016 triumph in the event’s inaugural year. The victory makes the duo two-for-two in this event, as they were unable to attempt a title defense in 2017 due to a Sheppard injury.
“To be able to play with Sheppy in this format, it’s such a fun event,” Kearfott said.
“We don’t play golf together any other time of the year,” he added. “This is our time to shine. We such enjoy it.”
In addition to winning the Senior Four-Ball two of the last three years, Kearfott and Sheppard have each attained individual success. Kearfott won the 2017 Illinois State Senior Amateur Championship before Sheppard claimed the 2018 iteration in a playoff at Riverside Golf Club in September. Sheppard’s two 2018 titles, in addition to earning a match-play spot in the U.S. Senior Amateur, are particularly impressive considering his questionable health status at the outset of the season.
“I’m pretty thankful,” Sheppard said. “If you would have asked me in June, I didn’t think I would be playing. My elbow, the nerves, starting flaring up really bad and I couldn’t play for two weeks. I’m just thrilled that I was able to tee it up.”
After not trailing in any of their first three matches, the seventh-seeded duo of Kearfott and Sheppard immediately found themselves behind in Thursday’s title tilt when the co-medalist pairing of Schmidt and Waytula, Jr. birdied the first hole. The birdie was the first of eight totaled by the two teams over the first 10 holes, at which point the match was all square, in adverse conditions featuring temperatures in the 50s and a stiff breeze.
As the mercury started to rise, so did Kearfott and Sheppard’s. They moved 1 up on No. 11 with a par before Sheppard birdied Nos. 12 and 13 to secure a 3-up advantage. A downhill 25-footer for par by Sheppard on the 426-yard par-4 14th, playing upwind, halved the hole and elicited fist pumps and screams from the eventual winners. After Kearfott sank a 25-footer of his own for birdie on No. 15, Waytula, Jr.’s birdie bid to stay alive stayed centimeters right of the cup.
The event marks the conclusion of the 2018 championship season. In all, the CDGA administered 10 championships, including three Illinois State events.