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|For Immediate Release||June 29, 2022|
|MID-AM WADDELL, COLLEGE SOPH MULHEARN TO MEET FOR CDGA AM GLORY|
|Wednesday, June 29, 2022 - WAUKEGAN, Ill. - Glen Flora`s 360-yard, par-4 first hole played a much larger role than initially expected on Wednesday in the 102nd CDGA Amateur Championship at Glen Flora Country Club.
Charlie Waddell (Chicago / Shoreacres) and Zachary Mulhearn (Wheaton / Glen Oak CC) each claimed two victories on a picturesque afternoon just west of Lake Michigan, with all four matches being decided on the track`s opener in one way or another. Each competitor earned a wire-to-wire victory, notching a win on the first hole and never looking back, while both also earned playoff triumphs that were decided on No. 1.
The similarities between each player who will be vying for the Joseph G. Davis Trophy Thursday end there. Waddell, 37, is a veteran of competitive amateur golf, having qualified for 11 USGA championships and making the Quarterfinals in last year`s CDGA Am. Mulhearn, 19, and a rising sophomore at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, is playing in the event for the first time. The two will face off in the 36-hole Championship Match at 8 a.m. on Thursday.
Waddell relied on his experience and consistency to down two collegiate players. His first triumph came against Danny Fisher (Lake Forest / Lake Bluff GC), a Miami University-Ohio rising senior who earned the event`s top seed after a course-record-tying 62 on Monday. Waddell found himself 2 down on the 16th tee, but a "crazy" birdie putt on that green gave him the momentum needed to refocus down the stretch.
"The 18th hole, anything can happen there," Waddell said of his mindset heading into the final three holes. "Going in, I was like, 'If I can be 1 down on the 18th tee, who knows?'"
In that exact situation teeing off on the par-3, 170-yard finisher, both Fisher and Waddell found the green. Waddell was the only one to two-putt, navigating the vexing green with a "90-degree" second putt and an up-hill eight-footer to claim the hole and send it to extras. A perfect drive and approach into the par-4 first left Waddell with a four-foot birdie look to win the match, which he calmly sank to go ahead of Fisher for the very first time all morning.
"Probably a match I lose nine times out of 10," Waddell said with a chuckle.
In contrast, Waddell gained control of his afternoon Semifinal tilt with University of Illinois rising sophomore T.J. Barger (Bloomington / Bloomington CC) by claiming a lead on the first hole that he would not relinquish. Waddell extended his lead to 3 up with a birdie on the par-4 13th before eventually closing out the 3-and-2 win with an up-and-down for par on No. 16.
"I played much more solid in the afternoon than in the morning," Waddell admitted.
In keeping with the juxtaposition, Mulhearn`s best play came in his morning Quarterfinal match, as he rode a hot putter to a 7-and-6 defeat of Michael Cascino (Palos Park / Olympia Fields CC).
"It`s not always the best ball striker who`s going to win it; you need to be the best putter in order to win these matches," Mulhearn said.
Alternatively, Mulhearn`s afternoon victory was a "grind," as he faced off with Glen Flora member Graham O`Connor-Brooks (Libertyville / Glen Flora CC).
"It was a battle the entire way through," said Mulhearn in regard to the match that never featured a lead of more than one hole. "I knew Graham, being a member out here and knowing this course, it was definitely going to be a battle. I knew I had to have my A game."
A par by Mulhearn on the aforementioned difficult 18th erased a 1-down deficit and sent the match to its 19th hole. Both players found the green in two, with Mulhearn the first to eye his "roller coaster" of a birdie putt.
"It was one that could really get away from me," Mulhearn said. "I just wanted to make sure I didn’t lose on that putt.
"When I looked up, it was tracking towards the hole. That last roll, it dropped."
The birdie fostered a victorious first pump and continued a successful week of golf for the Mulhearn family. His father, Danny, the head professional at Glen Oak Country Club, held the first-round lead of the Illinois Senior Open on Monday before eventually falling one stroke shy of victory, with Mike Small claiming the hardware.
"After I made match play, I thought, 'It would be nice to have two Mulhearn victories this week.'
"He couldn`t pull it off, but I`m hoping that I can pull it off."
Charlie Waddell - 37 - Chicago - Shoreacres
Zachary Mulhearn - 19 - Wheaton - Glen Oak Country Club
|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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