|Friday, July 24, 2020 - |
LEMONT, Ill. - The CDGA’s 2020 Tournament Schedule officially gets underway at Glencoe’s Skokie Country Club with the playing of the 5th CDGA Amateur Four-Ball Championship, July 27-29. The first CDGA-administered championship to be contested following schedule modifications due to the coronavirus, the event will mark the beginning of the CDGA’s 107th season of championship golf in the Chicago District. Skokie plays host to its first CDGA championship since 1992, and only its fourth in total, having been the site for three CDGA Amateur Championships (1920, 1989, 1992).
Forty duos will compete in 18 holes of stroke-play qualifying on Monday, July 27 to determine the low 16 teams for match play. The Round of 16 and Quarterfinal matches will take place Tuesday, July 28, with the Semifinal and Championship matches scheduled for Wednesday, July 29.
The event debuted in 2016 and was created to emulate the exceedingly popular U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship. Each competitor plays their own ball, with the lowest gross score from each hole counting as the team’s score.
Ninety teams attempted to qualify for the Championship, with the field being determined by seven exempt teams and 33 teams who advanced from two qualifiers held earlier in July. Registration was open to any CDGA member with an official USGA Handicap Index® not exceeding 10.4.
Teams to Watch
Scott Dunsire, Jr. (New Buffalo, Michigan / Medinah CC) and Tommy Dunsire (Naperville / Medinah CC) are the defending champions following their victory in the 4th CDGA Amateur Four-Ball Championship in 2019 at Oak Park Country Club. The brothers just completed their first season as teammates on the Northern Illinois University men’s golf team following Scott’s transfer from Michigan State University.
Mike Cushing (Bloomington / Bloomington CC) and Todd Manning (Pontiac / Pontiac Elks CC) fell to the Dunsires in the Championship match last year, 2 and 1. Cushing is a 2017 inductee into the Bloomington-Normal Golf Association Hall of Fame and appeared in the 2018 Radix Cup matches.
Jason Buffone (New Lenox / Sanctuary GC) and Edward Roderique (Frankfort / Sanctuary GC) qualified for match play last year at Oak Park, following their advancement to the semifinals of the 2018 iteration at Mistwood Golf Club. The duo also qualified for three-straight U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championships from 2016-18.
John Ramsey (Glenview / North Shore CC) and Chadd Slutzky (Deer Park / Royal Fox CC) team up once again following their victory in the 2nd CDGA Amateur Four-Ball Championship at The Club at Wynstone in 2017. Slutzky is also a two-time champion of the Illinois State Mid-Amateur Championship, having won in 2015 Flossmoor Country Club and last year at Stonebridge Country Club.
Michael Natale (Burr Ridge / Edgewood Valley CC) and Steve Sawtell (Northfield / Merit Club) have won the CDGA Amateur Four-Ball Championship twice in its four iterations (2016, 2018). Sawtell has also captured two CDGA Amateur Championships (2004, 2009).
Others to Watch
Andrew Abel (Geneva / Cantigny Golf) and Eric Hatczel (Batavia / Eagle Brook CC) advanced to the Semifinal matches of last year’s championship at Oak Park before falling to the duo of Manning and Cushing, 1 down.
Ricky Costello (Homer Glen / Mistwood GC) and Matt Shipley (Naperville / Mistwood GC) partnered to advance to the Semifinal matches last year before falling to eventual champions Scott and Tommy Dunsire, 4 and 3.
John Ehrgott (Edwards / Mt. Hawley CC) and Blake Johnson (Winnetka / Glen View Club) is a duo that features Ehrgott’s two Illinois State Mid-Amateur Championship (2007, 2009) and two CDGA Mid-Amateur Championship (2015, 2018) victories, as well as Johnson’s multiple appearances in the annual Radix Cup matches (2016, 2019).
Brian Hickey (Burr Ridge / Edgewood Valley) and Ryan Neill (Downers Grove / Butterfield CC) finished as the runner-up pairing in the 2018 CDGA Amateur Four-Ball Championship at Mistwood Golf Club.
Brien Gerber (Bolingbrook / Springbrook GC) and Mark Small (Frankfort / Sanctuary GC) are a pairing with both CDGA and Illinois State Amateur titles on their resumes. Gerber teamed with Brad Kay to win the 2019 CDGA Senior Amateur Four-Ball Championship at Calumet last year, while Small is the 1996 Illinois State Amateur champion.
SKOKIE COUNTRY CLUB
Formed in 1897, Skokie Country Club has quite a historic past. The name “Skokie” comes from the Potawatomi Indian word for the swamp or marsh land on which the golf course sits. The club has experienced various layouts and designs, the first of which was nine holes from a member. All that’s left of that design are the pond on the 18th hole and the routing of the 8th hole. Architect Thomas Bendelow, who also designed Medinah Country Club’s No. 3 course and Olympia Fields Nos. 1 and 2, was hired in 1904 to design the 18-hole course. Ten years later, Donald Ross visited the track, adding his “fore bunkers” and laying a mark strong enough to deem Skokie Country Club a “Donald Ross Course.”
Land was acquired in 1938 that allowed for a reworking by the team of William Langford and Theodore Moreau. The duo paid as much respect to Ross’ intentions as they could, and aside from some modifications from Rees Jones’ firm in 1981, the layout today remains as they had intended. Ron Prichard was hired in 1999 to give a fresh update to the course, as he redesigned bunkers and greens to Ross’ specifications.
Skokie has also played host to some of the country’s top golf championships, both professional and amateur. Namely, the 1922 U.S. Open was contested at Skokie and won by golf legend Gene Sarazen. The Western Golf Association has hosted numerous championships at the Glencoe track - the 1909 Western Open, 1952 Women’s Western Open and the 2010 and 2017 Western Amateur Championships. Lastly, the USGA chose Skokie as the site of the 1998 U.S. Senior Amateur Championship.
LAST YEAR’S CHAMPIONSHIP
Brothers Scott and Tommy Dunsire teamed up to capture the 4th CDGA Amateur Four-Ball Championship last year at Oak Park Country Club, emerging with a 2-and-1 victory over Mike Cushing and Todd Manning. The Dunsire duo built a 4-up lead with four holes to play, and despite back-to-back birdies on Nos. 15 and 16 by Cushing and Manning, the teams halved No. 17 with pars to end the match.