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|For Immediate Release||August 23, 2021|
|ALGONQUIN’S MURPHY LEADS STATE MID-AM FOLLOWING 36 HOLES|
|Monday, August 23, 2021 - BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - Normally, when asked for comment following a round, most high-level golfers would say they left a few shots out there. In championship golf, there’s always room for more birdies.
On the first day of the 29th Illinois State Mid-Amateur Championship Monday at Bloomington Country Club, Ben Murphy (Algonquin) had a bit of a different take.
“I should have made a lot more bogeys,” said Murphy following rounds of 69-67 to hold the Day One-lead at 6-under, three shots clear of Larry Blatt (Chicago) and David Keenan (Champaign). “I made a lot of 4-to-5 footers. I even rolled in a few 20 footers. The putter was better than most days.”
The 34-year-old’s day didn’t quite begin like he had hoped. Starting on Bloomington’s 10th hole, Murphy carded a triple bogey on the par-4 13th after some difficulty around the green. He would remedy that mistake, carding five birdies with no blemishes, as he finished the morning round with a 2-under 69.
Murphy, a 2009 graduate of Illinois State University where he competed on the men’s golf team, has played the Bloomington track “maybe 10-15 times” and utilized a calculated strategy of irons off tees as he navigated his afternoon round. Five more birdies, to just one bogey on the par-3 16th, positioned him with a 4-under 67 and put him at 6-under overall.
Much of Murphy’s damage was done on the three par 5s, of which he birdied four of out six times throughout the day. Beckoning back to his somewhat conservative approach on the tee, he managed to bounce back from wayward tee shots on those holes by going to his strong suit - his short game.
“I was kind of offline on those par 5s a lot and I just got it back in play and hit good wedge shots,” said Murphy. “I tried to just play smart, lay back. Not try to force it through the trees. I made some putts.”
Sitting on a lead is something new for Murphy, who admittedly didn’t check the field’s scores throughout the day and was surprised to see his name atop the leaderboard upon his second round’s completion. For a guy who “doesn’t play as much as I used to,” he will look to continue his upward trend on Tuesday.
“I didn’t really care to know [scores],” said Murphy. “I was trying to go along and make birdies. Like today, I hit a lot of iron off tees. I’m kind of playing relatively smart out there. So, same thing, just try to roll in some putts.”
Overall, 40 players made the cut at day’s end, which fell at 11-over. Those advancing to Tuesday’s final 18-hole round include hometown-hopeful Mike Henry at -2, two-time Illinois State Mid-Amateur Champion Chadd Slutzky (Deer Park) at -1, 2019 CDGA Mid-Amateur Champion Jake Erickson (Springfield) at even par, 2021 CDGA Amateur runner-up Brett Tomfohrde (Chicago) at even par and defending State Mid-Am winner John Ramsey (Glenview) at +5.Tee times begin at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, with the final pairing of Murphy, Blatt and Keenan slated to begin their rounds at 10:27.
|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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