|Friday, September 20, 2019 - |
LEMONT, Ill. – The CDGA’s 2019 slate of championships is set to conclude as 47 tandems age 55-and-up will compete at Homewood’s Calumet Country Club in the 4th CDGA Senior Amateur Four-Ball Championship, Sept. 23-26.
Play in the championship begins on Monday, Sept. 23 with an 18-hole stroke-play round to determine the low 16 teams that will advance to the match-play bracket. Match play begins Tuesday morning with the Round of 16, with Quarterfinal and Semifinal matches taking place on Wednesday. The stage will then be set for the Championship match on Thursday morning.
Designed to emulate the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship, each golfer plays their own ball. The low gross score on each hole counts as a team’s score.
ABOUT THE FIELD
There were no qualifiers held for this event, with the field consisting of 47 teams. Eligibility was open to any CDGA member with a current official USGA Handicap Index® not exceeding 10.4 and who has reached their 55th birthday on or before the start of the event. Partners are not required to be from the same club.
Teams to Watch
Vance Antoniou (North Barrington / Butler National GC) & Mark Esposito (Elgin / Blackberry Oaks GC): With three individual CDGA and Illinois State championship titles between them, Antoniou and Esposito qualified for the 2016 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball before advancing to the Semifinals of this event that same year. The duo fell in the Quarterfinals of the 2nd CDGA Senior Amateur Four-Ball in 2017.
Dirk Anderson (Libertyville / Merit Club) & Steven Jacobs (Highland Park / Pine Meadows GC): Anderson and Jacobs fell to champions John Finnin and Terry Werner in the Championship match of the 2nd CDGA Senior Amateur Four-Ball in 2017, before advancing to the Round of 16 last year. Amongst their various career accomplishments, Anderson is a CDGA Senior Amateur Champion, having won in 2011, and Jacobs qualified for the 2018 U.S. Senior Amateur.
Tom Kearfott (El Paso / El Paso GC) & Tim Sheppard (East Peoria / Pekin Park District): The noted duo has gone 2-for-2 in appearances in this event, claiming the inaugural CDGA Senior Amateur Four-Ball Championship in 2016, prior to last year’s triumph at Indian Hill Club. Kearfott holds the 2017 Illinois State Senior Amateur title, while Sheppard, the 2018 CDGA Senior Player of the Year, was the first person to claim all three CDGA-administered senior championships with his 18th CDGA Senior Amateur Championship victory in May.
Other Teams to Watch
Kip Blakesley (Germantown Hills / Coyote Creek GC) & Tim Saurs (Pekin / Pekin CC): Blakesley and Saurs advanced to the Championship match of the inaugural CDGA Senior Amateur Four-Ball in 2016, before falling to Kearfott and Sheppard.
Anthony Cascino (Palos Park / Olympia Fields CC) & Tom DeStefani (Western Springs/ Village Links of Glen Ellyn): Cascino and DeStefani have made their way to the Semifinals of this event in both 2016 and 2017.
Jay Dempsey (Glencoe / Bob O’Link GC) & Ted Pecora (Winnetka / Bob O’Link GC): Dempsey and Pecora team up for the first time together in this event, with both having success individually. Dempsey holds the 2003 CDGA Amateur Championship title, while Pecora finished runner-up in both the CDGA Senior Amateur Championship and Illinois State Senior Amateur Championship last year.
Doug McCoy (Batavia / Eagle Brook CC) & Jim Vaughan (Chicago / Winnetka GC): McCoy and Vaughan advanced to the Semifinals of the 3rd CDGA Senior Amateur Four-Ball, falling to eventual champions Kearfott and Sheppard. Individually, McCoy also advanced to the Championship match of the 18th CDGA Senior Amateur Championship earlier this year, before coming up short to Sheppard.
ABOUT THE COURSE
Designed by famed architect Donald Ross and opened in 1901, Calumet Country Club, a founding member club of the CDGA, has stood as a Chicago District staple in the golfing community. Calumet has played host to some of the area’s most historic golf tournaments, including the 1924 Western Open and the 1945 Chicago Victory Open, which unofficially replaced the U.S. Open during the Second World War and was won by Byron Nelson, one of his 11-straight victories that year.
Calumet has also welcomed the area’s top amateurs on numerous occasions, having hosted the CDGA Amateur Championship four times (1930, 1933, 1947, 2016), the CDGA Senior Amateur Championship in 2014 and the Illinois State Amateur Championship in 2017. The Homewood track will play at 6,529 yards with a par of 71 and will require accuracy off the tee. Water hazards place a premium on strategic forced carries on the back nine and will surely make for interesting finishes to matches this week.
LAST YEAR’S CHAMPIONSHIP
The 3rd CDGA Senior Amateur Four-Ball Championship saw the team of Tom Kearfott and Tim Sheppard claim their second title in as many appearances in the event at Winnetka’s Indian Hill Club. The duo notched seven birdies in the Championship match, en route to a 4-and-3 victory over Joseph Schmidt and Ron Waytula, Jr. in conditions that featured 50-degree temperatures and a stiff breeze.