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CHICAGO DISTRICT GOLF ASSOCIATION

For Everyone Who Plays the Game

Midwest Golf House Contact: Casey Richards
11855 Archer Avenue (630) 685-2324
Lemont, IL 60439 crichards@cdga.org
Contact: Tim Merrick
(630) 685-2302
tmerrick@cdga.org
Contact: Jacob Bomeli
(630) 685-2345
jbomeli@cdga.org
 
For Immediate ReleaseJuly 15, 2022
 
HISTORY ON THE NORTH SHORE: WESTMORELAND WELCOMES 91ST ILLINOIS STATE AM 
 
Friday, July 15, 2022 -

LEMONT, Ill. - When one thinks of the Illinois State Amateur Championship, widely considered the premier amateur golf event in the state, the legendary names who have graced the Louis L. Emmerson Trophy and the historic venues that have played host to it immediately come to mind. With all of that pondered, it may come as a shock that the championship has never before been contested on the North Shore, a notable hotbed for golf in the Chicago District.

That changes this year, as the 91st edition heads to Westmoreland Country Club in Wilmette, July 19-21. A strong field of elite amateurs will compete in the famed event, as they look to join the likes of Jim Frisina, Sr., Joel Hirsch and D.A. Points in Illinois golf glory.

FORMAT

The Illinois State Amateur is a three-day, 72-hole stroke-play event that will truly test the mind and body of every competitor. The entire field will play 18-hole rounds on Tuesday, July 19 and Wednesday, July 20, before a cut will be made to the low 35 and ties. The reward for advancing? 36 more holes on Thursday, July 21 to crown a champion.

ABOUT THE FIELD

This year's Championship field of 136 emerged from an initial pool of 577 registrants, the most since 2016. Sign up for any of the eight qualifiers held across the state in June was open to any Illinois resident with a Handicap Index® of 7.4 or below. In total, 114 players advanced to the Championship from those qualifiers, with 22 spots going to players who earned exemptions from past performances in the State Am and other CDGA-administered tournaments.

Players to Watch

Jake Erickson (Chatham) has been a model of consistency in the State Am, having finished in the top 20 in eight of his 11 all-time appearances dating back to 2010, including a T2 in 2013 at Aldeen Golf Club and T4 in 2019 at Cantigny Golf. He also is a past winner of the CDGA Mid-Amateur Championship, in 2019 at Northmoor Country Club.

Michael Fastert (Wheeling) is in search of a breakthrough victory, having come close in the 2017 CDGA Amateur (runner up), 2021 CDGA Amateur Four-Ball (runner up) and 2022 CDGA Mid-Amateur (semifinalist) Championships. He earned his spot in this year's State Am by claiming medalist honors with a 5-under 67 at the Lake Bluff Golf Club qualifier on June 20.

David Feder (Lincolnshire) is the most recent individual to attain Illinois State Championship hardware, having won the Illinois State Senior Amateur Championship at The Preserve at Oak Meadows last September. He nearly achieved the senior double in May, finishing runner up in the CDGA Senior Amateur Championship at Medinah Country Club.

Danny Fisher (Lake Forest) tied the course record at Glen Flora Country Club in the CDGA Amateur Championship last month and earned medalist honors before bowing out to eventual champion Charlie Waddell in the Quarterfinals. He finished T14 at Mistwood in 2021, his only previous State Am appearance.

Tommy Kuhl (Morton) hopes to enter his senior season at Illinois bolstered by a State Am crown. The Fighting Illinois regular and 2022 All-Big Ten First Team selection has finished top 20 in each of his three previous State Am appearances, including a personal best fifth in 2021 at Mistwood, and won the Illinois State Junior Amateur title in 2018.

Mac McClear (Hinsdale) is the only returnee from the three-man playoff that decided last year's State Am title at Mistwood, where he finished one shot behind Ethan Farnam and Jordan Less in the three-hole aggregate playoff. McClear's past victories include the individual Big Ten title in 2021 competing for Iowa, the 2021 CDGA Amateur Four-Ball Championship alongside Josh Lundmark and the 2019 Illinois State Junior Amateur.

Dave Ryan (Taylorville) will be seeking to complete the Illinois State Championship trifecta, having won the Illinois State Mid-Amateur in 2003 and the Illinois State Senior Amateur four times (2009, 2013, 2015, 2016). Most-recently, he won the 2022 CDGA Senior Amateur Championship at Medinah Country Club in May to further enhance an incomparable resume featuring seven CDGA Senior Player of the Year awards and the 2016 U.S. Senior Amateur title.

Nick Tenuta (Mt. Prospect) is the reigning CDGA Player of the Year, having claimed the 2021 CDGA Amateur Championship at Bull Valley Golf Club and finishing T6 in last year's State Am at Mistwood. The recent University of Louisville graduate also finished sixth in the State Am at Cantigny Golf in 2019.

Charlie Waddell (Chicago) achieved his maiden victory in a CDGA-administered event last month, emerging from numerous matches against golfers nearly 20 years younger to claim the 102nd CDGA Amateur Championship at Glen Flora Country Club. The 37-year-old father of three is playing in his first State Am since 2017 at Calumet Country Club, where he made the cut but eventually withdrew. He's qualified for 12 USGA Championships throughout his esteemed amateur career, including the 2022 U.S. Amateur via a qualifier at White Deer Run Golf Club on July 12.

Others to Watch

James Conners (Chicago) and Zackary Phelps (Tinley Park) attained medalist honors at The Sanctuary Golf Course qualifier on June 21, firing 2-under 70s.

Braeden Duncan (Macomb) shot a 5-under 67 at Senica's Oak Ridge on June 20, earning medalist designation and a spot in the State Am field.

Tommy Dunsire (Naperville) has finished in the top 15 of his previous two State Am appearances, cracking into the top 10 last year at Mistwood. The Northern Illinois Huskie won the 2019 CDGA Amateur Four-Ball title alongside his brother, Scott.

Carl Gustin (Northbrook) shot a 1-over 73 at PrairieView Golf Club on June 14, the best score in that qualifier.

Tyler Isenhart (Geneva), a rising redshirt junior at Baylor, made the Quarterfinals at the 2022 CDGA Amateur. This will be his first State Am appearance.

Andrew Kross (Chicago), Joshua Labounty (Elmhurst) and Austin Vander Zanden (Chicago) shared medalist distinction at The Hawk Country Club qualifier on June 22 after notching 1-under 71s.

Josh Lundmark (Hinsdale), a rising senior at Cornell, teamed up with Mac McClear to win the 2021 CDGA Amateur Four-Ball Championship at Flossmoor Golf Club.

Paulius Malcius (Lemont), a regular IHSA state finals participant with Lemont High School, is making his State Am debut.

William Marshall (Elburn) secured a place in the 2022 U.S. Amateur by earning medalist honors in the qualifier at White Deer Run Golf Club on July 12.

Derek Meinhart (Mattoon) has been a regular State Am participant for nearly two decades, with the highlight being a runner-up finish in 2012.

Kevin O'Regan (Northbrook), fresh off of his freshman season at Notre Dame, is one of four past Illinois State Junior Amateur winners in the field, having on the 2021 iteration.

Henry Quinn (Arlington Heights) bested the field at the Pinecrest Golf Club qualifier on June 15 by two strokes after carding a 3-under 69.

Dain Richie (New Berlin) fired a 2-under 70 at Lincolnshire Fields Country Club on June 14 to earn medalist honors.

Benjamin Sluzas (Lockport), a rising sophomore at Illinois, won two IHSA Class 3A individual state championships and the 2020 Illinois State Junior Amateur. He made match play in the CDGA Amateur last month.

Will Troy (Naperville) paced the field at the Springbrook Golf Course qualifier on June 13 with a 3-under 69. The Illinois State Redbird is a two-time CDGA Amateur match-play qualifier and made the cut at last year's State Am.

Parker Wisdom (Bloomington) qualified for the U.S. Amateur on July 12 through a qualifier at Weibring Golf Club at Illinois State University, where he competes for the Redbirds. Wisdom finished T4 in the 2019 State Am at Cantigny.

John Zur (Glenview) claimed the 2022 CDGA Mid-Amateur Championship title at Naperville Country Club in May.

ABOUT THE COURSE - WESTMORELAND COUNTRY CLUB

Westmoreland Country Club's name is derived from Scotsman David McCurrach Jr., part of a group of men from Evanston Golf Club who, in 1911, moved "west for more land" after being frustrated with spacial limitations at their former club. The original course design was handled by William Watson in 1912, who would go on to design the Olympic Club's Lake Course. The Colonial Williamsburg-style Clubhouse was also erected in 1912.

Changes made to Westmoreland's layout began in the early 1920s, as historic architects William Langford and A.W. Tillinghast performed a redesign in 1920-21. 1963 brought about changes to the ponds on Nos. 13, 15 and 17. Arthur Hills added the pond on No. 8 during a major renovation in 1993. Over the years, many legends of the game have been tested by the track, including Bobby Jones, Chick Evans, Francis Ouimet, and Walter Hagan.

To that end, Westmoreland's history also lies in the many prominent golf tournaments it's hosted throughout the years. Jim Barnes won the 1917 Western Open, with Walter Hagan finishing three strokes back. In 1921, Chick Evans captured the sixth of his eight Western Amateur titles. Patty Berg, who holds the all-time record for major wins by a female golfer with 15, emerged victorious in the 1938 U.S. Women's Amateur at the age of 20. Lastly, Westmoreland played host to its only other CDGA-administered championship in 2019, when Jeff Ott claimed the Illinois State Senior Amateur Championship.

2021 ILLINOIS STATE AMATEUR

Last year, the 90th Illinois State Amateur visited Romeoville's Mistwood Golf Club, after the event was canceled for the first time ever in 2020 due to COVID-19. St. Mary's senior Ethan Farnam successfully defended his title from 2019, becoming just the 16th player to win the event multiple times and the 10th to go back-to-back. Farnam, the left-handed Crystal Lake native, who held at least a share of the lead through the first three rounds, had a six-shot advantage heading into the final 18 holes.

Farnam eventually regressed back to the field in the final round, and a bogey on No. 16 set him back to second, behind 2019 CDGA Amateur champion Jordan Less and 2021 Big Ten Individual champ Mac McClear. After a drive through the fairway and into the water on the par-5 18th, Farnam masterfully executed a 6 iron to a foot, yielding a birdie to enter a three-hole aggregate playoff with Less and McClear. Another birdie on 18 would later secure the title for Farnam, who will not be in the field this week as he begins his professional career.

NOTES

Springboard for Success
A victory in the State Amateur is oftentimes a springboard to further professional and amateur success. Past champions include the likes of:

Jim Frisina Sr. (1942, '47, '54, '56, '58 champ)
  • 13x U.S. Amateur qualifier
Gary Hallberg (1978 and '79 champ)
  • 3x PGA Tour winner
Joel Hirsch (1988 and '89 champ)
  • 2x Senior British Amateur winner
Jerry Haas (1982 and '84 champ)
  • 8 professional victories
Mark Hensby (1994 champ)
  • 6 professional victories
D.A. Points (1995, '98 & '99 champ)
  • 3x PGA Tour winner
Luke Guthrie (2009 champ)
  • 2x Korn Ferry Tour winner
Vince India (2010 champ)
  • Korn Ferry Tour professional
Tee-K Kelly (2013 and '15 champ)
  • 2021 Illinois Open champion
Nick Hardy (2016 champ)
  • 4x U.S. Open participant
Patrick Flavin (2017 champ)
  • 9 PGA Tour starts in the 2022 season
Jordan Hahn (2018 champ)
  • Made PGA Tour debut at the 2021 Valspar Championship
Looking Ahead
The Illinois State Am is set to return to Bloomington Country Club for the ninth time in 2023. The two most recent champions at Bloomington, Luke Guthrie (2009) and Jordan Hahn (2018), have each made their PGA Tour debuts since turning pro.

By the Numbers
+5.4: The lowest Handicap Index® in the field, Tommy Kuhl
+1.0: The average Handicap Index® of the 136-golfer field
1: This year marks the first time the State Am has visited Chicago's North Shore
2: The number of players in the field attempting to follow in their fathers' footsteps by winning an Illinois State Championship - Jack Mortell, son of Mike (1990 Illinois State Amateur winner) and Mason Minkel, son of Curtis (2002 Illinois State Mid-Amateur champion)
6: The number of players in the field age 50 and older
16: The combined number of wins in CDGA-administered championships by the field
28: The number of teenagers in the field
54: The number of players in the field born in the 2000s
68: The age of reigning CDGA Senior Amateur champion Dave Ryan, the oldest player in the field
78: The number of clubs represented by the 136-golfer field
136: Each player in the 2022 Illinois State Am field is seeking their first victory in the event
577: The number of initial registrants that attempted to make the field of 136, the most since 2016
2006: The year Connor O'Hara (16), the youngest player in the field, was born
6,852: The total distance Westmoreland Country Club will play for the 2022 State Amateur
 
Chicago District Golf Association
The Chicago District Golf Association (CDGA) is authorized by the United States Golf Association (USGA) as the governing body for amateur golf in our region. The CDGA is a membership organization consisting of nearly 90,000 individual golfers and 400 clubs in Illinois and parts of Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin. Golfers receive member offers, a Handicap Index® from the USGA® and competitive playing opportunities, while clubs receive USGA rating and measuring services, turfgrass diagnostics and educational seminars. Midwest Golf House and the Bob Berry 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.
 
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