CHICAGO DISTRICT GOLF ASSOCIATIONFor Everyone Who Plays the Game
|For Immediate Release||October 8, 2020|
|SHEPPARD & KEARFOTT CAPTURE THIRD CDGA SENIOR FOUR-BALL TITLE |
|Thursday, October 8, 2020 - |
AURORA, Ill. - The CDGA Senior Amateur Four-Ball Championship Final match and the duo of Tim Sheppard (East Peoria / Pekin CC) and Tom Kearfott (El Paso / El Paso GC) have become synonymous with each other. This year’s fifth iteration was no different, with the pair advancing to the Championship match for the third time in the event’s short history.
Another common theme among their matches has been the fashion in which they have won. Sheppard and Kearfott have never trailed in the last match of the championship in each of their two previous wins. In a year that has been anything but normal, the final match of the 5th CDGA Amateur Four-Ball Championship followed suit Thursday at Aurora Country Club, with Sheppard and Kearfott facing a deficit by the eighth hole.
The pair would manage to right the ship, however, and lean on their friendship and knowledge of each other’s game to come back and capture their third title over Mike Karney (Crystal Lake / Crystal Lake CC) and Mike Mcloone (Arlington Heights / Chicago GC), 2 and 1.
“I think hoisting it so many times, you’ve got to be able to pick the right partner,” said Kearfott. “I’m just honored that he asked me to play with him and that I can help out on a hole or two and we can keep putting that trophy in the air.”
The final tilt started off with Sheppard/Kearfott birdie on No. 1 to grab the immediate lead. It would remain a 1-up advantage until the Karney/Mcloone tandem birdied the par-5 7th. The pair kept their foot on the gas, as Karney’s approach to gimme range and another birdie on No. 8 gave the Championship match newcomers a 1-up lead of their own. Kearfott and Sheppard were in unchartered waters, with the Aurora greens proving to be a difficult read for the tandem.
“The one thing about this golf course versus Indian Hill and the other place we played, is the greens,” said Sheppard, who won the 2020 Illinois State Senior Amateur Championship last month. “Completely defensive putting. The greens are some of the greatest surfaces you could putt on, but the severity of them makes it difficult to make a lot of birdies because of how defensive you are when putting.”
Sheppard and Kearfott managed to tie the match on the par-4 12th, where a par turned the momentum back in their favor. A birdie on the par-4 13th, as well as another red figure on the par-3 14th, quickly built a 2-up advantage for Sheppard and Kearfott. Karney and Mcloone were unable to close the deficit down the stretch, and matching pars on the par-3 17th sealed the match’s fate.
The victory adds to Sheppard and Kearfott’s titles in 2016 at Crystal Tree Golf & Country Club and 2018 at Indian Hill Club. Friends and golfing partners for years now, the pair credited their ability to pair clutch shots, with a little bit of luck, as the recipe for their sustained success in the four-ball format.
“We got off to a poor start and grinded our butts and we were able to get it done,” said Sheppard. “It was pretty much a grind every match. Nothing is easy, there’s a lot of good players.”
“The momentum changes so quickly in this format,” said Kearfott. “I think it’s key to get some breaks, you’ve got to be somewhat lucky. But, you have to make the shots at the right time and there’s no doubt that we did that in the four matches that we won. We always seemed to keep plugging away and we found a way.”
The event concludes the 2020 championship season. Despite schedule modifications due to the coronavirus pandemic, the CDGA administered four championships following the resumption of play in late July, including two Illinois State events.
|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.