T-K KELLY LEADS ILLINOIS OPEN BY 2 SHOTS AFTER ROUND 1

THE 2021 ILLINOIS OPEN Round 1 at STONEBRIDGE COUNTRY CLUB is complete.  ______________________________________________________________________

The Gog Blog by Rory Spears, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or connect on Facebook or LinkedIn.

T-K Kelly shot and opening Round 66 to lead the Illinois Open by 2 shots.

T-K Kelly is bidding to one of the few members to win both the Illinois State Amateur, and the Illinois Open.

But an opening round of 6 under par (66) gave Kelly a chance to do just that.

Because Kelly has a two lead over shot over seven players, who are all bunched up at 4 under par. Britt Pavelonis and Garrett Chaussard are both in that group.

Pavelonis from downstate Carbondale has had a few top 5 finishes in the Illinois Open. But no wins. While Chaussard the teaching professional at the Skokie Country Club, has been the king of the Illinois Match Play Championship. Chaussard is looking for his first win in a IPGA Section stroke play major. Chaussard has two wins and two losses in the match play finals over the last four years.

One shot back of the pack of seven players tied for second place, is a group of three players that include four-time Illinois Open champion and University of Illinois golf coach Mike Small.

“I have had only one multi-day event prior to this all year,” said Small who played in Steve Stricker’s Am-Fam Champions Tour 54 hole event in June). “I’m still rusty and need to play more, today I chipped in twice. But just for par.”

Kelly is a different story. Kelly grew up with a family membership at Medinah Country Club. He had a good career playing Division 1 college golf at Ohio State and turned pro.

Since then he has played on various tours, with some success. But not enough success to play full-time on the PGA Tour. As Kelly closes in on age 30 he was asked about how long he will chase the dream of professional golf.

“I’m still making progress with my game, and right now it’s about having enough tournaments to play in,” says Kelly. “As long as I’m feeling like I am making progress and not just staying the same or going backwards, I’ll stay with golf.”

Right now Kelly is really excited about the progress he is making, and feels like the breakthrough he has been looking for, is just ahead. But if he can play rounds two and three like he did in round on, he might find that first break through this week at Stonebridge.

The new 18th hole back tee box at Stonebridge, has the par 5 hole now playing just under 600 yards.

One of the stories of the week, are the new back eight tee boxes, that have lengthened the course about 400 yards.

Illinois Open tournament director Brad Slocum put seven of them into play in round one.

The only one not in use was the 245 yard tee box, on the par 3, third hole. But it’s likely that tee box will see action before the tournament is over.

Because the weather is supposed to stay nice all week long. Much of the field had not played Stonebridge before, so they aren’t able to say how much different the golf course is playing with the new tees. But some players who claim not to be long hitters are noticing the new distance.

OTHER SCORES OF NOTE: Host professional from Stonebridge Andrew Stevens was six shots back at even par (72). Adam Turner who won the 1999 Illinois Open as an amateur is T-2 at 4 under par (68). Turner who turned pro for years, but is now seeking amateur reinstatement. So due to his A-R limbo status, he can’t be paid if he wins, nor is he eligible for the pro shop credit an amateur would get for winning.

Medinah teaching professional Travis Johns who would win the IPGA Grand Slam with a win. Johns is 6 six shots back at even par. Defending champion Bryce Emory is 1 under par after a 71. Both 2019-2021 Illinois amateur champion Ethan Farnam, and past Illinois Open Champion and Stonebridge board member Joe Emrich were at +3 after carding 75’s.

Round 2 tee’s off at 7:30 Am. The top 50 scores and ties will make the cut and play Round 3 on Wednesday.

THE GOG BLOG SPEAKS OUT-THE ILLINOIS OPEN at STONEBRIDGE

THE 72ND ILLINOIS OPEN at Stonebridge Country Club in Aurora Illinois. August 2-4.   _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or connect on LinkedIn or Facebook. At the Stonebridge Clock.

THE WESTERN-AMATEUR is over, and it’s on to the Stonebridge Country Club in Aurora for this weeks Illinois Open.

Round 1 is well underway and I will have a recap later today. But here is the teaser-T-K Kelly is leading at 6 under par.

WRAPPING UP the Western Amateur.

THE GLEN VIEW CLUB was an outstanding site for the championship. As several players told me, the architects in the late 1890’s did a great job of creating a golf course that has withstood the test of time. Because it stands up to today’s players and the modern day equipment very well. I’m surprised the the course isn’t rated higher in classic golf course ratings. But it should be, and hopefully with some exposure from the WGA-Amateur that will change.

I DID NOT SEE MUCH OF IT but the streaming that was done with The Golf Channel turned out really good. So said the reviews of people I have heard from. Hopefully the WGA will continue to do this in the future. Kudo’s to Michael Thorbjornsen on a great win, those who know him from Massachusetts say he will make the PGA Tour after his days at Stanford.

ACTUALLY I would really like to see runner-up Gordon Sargent get some recognition from the USGA and the people who handle the World Amateur rankings. Because Sargent who finished second, was the only one of the four finalists who had not secured a spot in the U.S. Amateur at Oakmont next week. Hopefully when this weeks rankings come out, Sargent will be in the field.

Both Thorbjornsen and Sargent say they will return for next years Western Amateur at Exmoor Country Club in Highland Park. IF YOU searched through this years program, it’s listed the 2023 Western Amateur will return to North Shore Country Club in Glen View. North Shore has had a renovation since the last time it hosted the championship in 2011.

THE ILLINOIS PGA hosted it’s Senior Masters Pro-Am at Onwentsia last Monday, this years two honoree’s as the latest Senior Master Professionals are…

2021 Senior Masters award winners, L-R Carmen Molinaro from Buffalo Grove Golf Course. Wally Hynes of Cress Creek Golf Club.

Both Wally Hynes of Cress Creek golf Club and Carmen Molinaro from the Buffalo Grove Golf Course have retried in the last few years.

Sad to say the golf world misses both of them at their respective clubs.

Because both pro’s gave so much for so many years to the game. So ti was good to see them both last week at the IPGA Senior masters luncheon.

The Illinois PGA created a new format for the day this year, with the inclusion of the PGA junior players golfing with the senior pro’s in the morning. The rest of the field went off in the afternoon, with temp’s hovering at about 93. But the morning players had to deal with temps in the 90’s as well.

OLYMPIC GOLF-former Illini golfers Thomas Pieters and Thomas Detry played good. But neither were able to earn a medal. Xander Schauffele won the gold medal. I have to admit I really didn’t have an interest in the ceremonial golf event from Japan, and didn’t see one shot of the championship.

IT WAS MORE ENJOYABLE to watch the U.S. Senior Women’s Open from Brooklawn Conn. As reported here first, the 2022 U.S. Senior Women’s Open heads to NCR in the suburbs of Dayton Ohio. The USGA finally confirmed our story on Wednesday with a press release, not sure what the hold-up was. NCR gets the event with less than one year to prepare. So let’s hope they can it done.

ON THE U.S. Senior Women’s Open front. Kudo’s to Mistwood’s Nicole Jeray and Conway Farm’s Jamie Fisher for making the cut, and each shooting a +7 score to finish T-23. But it took a top-20 finish to have an exemption into next years championship.

The new back tee on the 18th hole at Stonebridge CC, designed by architect Mike Benkusky.

THE BENKUSKY BOMBER TEE’S

Architect Mike Benkusky created 8 new tee boxes, that I am calling the Benkusky Bomber Tees.

Because the eight new tee boxes added about 400 yards to length of Stonebridge Country Club.

Illinois Open tournament director Brad Slocum confirmed to me that 7 of those 8 tee boxes were in play for Round 1. I suspect Slocum will use the new third hole tee box for Wednesdays final round.

FINALLY more length coming this fall to Kemper Lakes GC. Another 200+ yards will bring the site of the 1989 PGA Championship up to 7540ish yards. So can a tournament be far behind ?

THAT RUMOR IS BACK AGAIN that the Top 100 men’s only course in Oak Brook, is talking about dropping the ‘Men Only’ membership requirement. At this point, I’ll believe it when I see it.

THE GOG BLOG RETURNS LATER TODAY with a recap of Round 1 of the Illinois Open. RS

ZIEHM & SPEARS PODCAST SERIES 2021-VOL.25 IL. OPEN WEEK

  STONEBRIDGE COUNTRY CLUB is home to this weeks Illinois Open August 2-3-4.       ____________________________________________________________________

ZIEHM & SPEARS at the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run.

ZIEHM & SPEARS…

THEY ARE BACK and ready for some more tournament action.

THIS WEEK Len and Rory wrap up the 119th Western Amateur at The Glenview Club.

Include a preview of this weeks Illinois Open as championship golf returns to Stonebridge Country Club in Aurora.

But there is more in the golf world. Because things are happening at Kemper Lakes Golf Club this fall.

So what else is back, is that rumor about a top level local club changing it’s membership policies. All this and more, in this weeks edition of Ziehm & Spears. Chicago’s most complete weekly golf news report.

CLICK HERE TO HEAR this weeks edition of Ziehm & Spears-Podcast series 2021-Vol.25

Thanks for listening Len and Rory. So we are back with more after the Illinois Open.

THE GOG BLOG’S SUNDAY MORNING SHORT GAME-DOUBLE DOSE

  THE GOLF SCENE with Steve Kashul on NBC Sports Chicago-See local listings for times. THE FRENCH LICK RESORT book your play and stay now at FrenchLick.com    _____________________________________________________________________

Mistwood Golf Club’s teaching professional Nicole Jeray is playing well at the U.S. Senior Women’s Open at Brooklawn Country Club in Fairfield Conn.

SORRY WE MISSED YOU LAST SUNDAY. So today is Double-Dose of the Short Game News Column.

WELL DONE NICOLE !

But it’s not over yet. So if you haven’t been watching The Golf Channel, the U.S. Senior Women’s Open is on this afternoon.

So put on the television. Because starting at 1 Pm, TGC is running live coverage of the U.S. Senior Women’s Open.

Mistwood Golf Club’s teaching professional Nicole Jeray is playing good golf in her debut at the U.S. Senior Women’s Open. Keep it going Nicole, hope it earns you a ticket back to French Lick later this month, and the Sr. Women’s LPGA Championship.

BandonDunesGolf.com

IT APPEARS the Sheep Ranch will not be the last course built at Bandon Dunes.

BECAUSE SOME 20 minutes from the main resort, a site that at one time was proposed by Mike Keiser as the Bandon Muni. A project that did not move forward, might be back on the table again.

The process is moving forward again. But this it’s one course, with a proposed named of “New River Dunes.” Stay tuned. But there is more from Bandon Dunes, as the resort has been selected by the USGA to host 13 amateur championships. Those USGA championships include, U.S. Amateurs, and both a Walker Cup and Curtis Cup.So learn more at USGA.org.

Welcome back to Cabot in Canada

CABOT OF CANADA is now welcoming American golfers back to Canada.

Because starting August 9th, Americans can travel to Canada for golf destination trips.

So have you been to Cabot Links and Cabot Cliffs ?

More news is that Cabot Cottages at Cabot Cliffs are now on the market. So to learn more, see Cabotlinks.com.

CLUB CHOICE IRELAND is welcoming American golfers back to Ireland, as travel restrictions open up. See ClubChoiceIreland.com for details on trips.

IILINI GOLF-University of Illinois golf alums Thomas Pieters and Thomas Detry both represented their native Belgium in the Tokyo Olympics. Pieters finished at 11 under par and 8 shots behind Gold Medal winner Xander Schauffle in 16th place. Detry was 10 under par and finished 22nd. Rory Sabbatini won the Silver Medal and CT Pan of Chinese Taipei won a playoff for the Bronze Medal.

ILLINI Sophomore Piercen Hunt won the 120th Wisconsin State Amateur by six shots at Westmoor Country Club. Hunt was the only player that finished under par.

FIVE ILLINI MEN’S GOLF TEAM members have made the CGCAA all-scholar team. Jerry Ji, Adrian Dumont de Chassart, Giovani Tadiotto, Brendan O’Reilly, and Tommy Kuhl.

INDIANA UNIVERSITY has announced the addition of Emily Kuhfeld to it’s Women’s Golf Coaching Staff. Kuhfeld is an Indianapolis native, but has coached the last seven seasons, as head coach of the Georgia Southern Eagles of the Sun Belt Conference. Kuhfeld played college golf at Ohio State, and was part of a team that won four straight Big Ten conference titles.

UNIVERISTY OF WISCONSIN has added Zach Siefert as the new men’s team assistant coach. Siefert joins the badgers after seven seasons at Limestone College in South Carolina.

MULTIPLE AUSTRALIAN publications are reporting that Greg ‘Shark’ Norman is building a new golf course in Southwestern Australia that will be shaped like a shark. The course will be built on a sand mine location, and cost is expected to be in the neighborhood of $700 million dollars. But no word yet on the cost to be a member.

Former Chicago Bear Patrick Mannelly serves as host of Golf360TV tonight at 6 PM on NBC Chicago

GOLF360TV is back tonight at 6 PM, on NBC Sports Chicago.

Former Chicago Bear long snapper Patrick Mannelly serves as host of the program. With camera and production work done by Dave “Links” Lockhart.

This week’s show includes a feature on Mistwood Golf Club in Romeoville.

See features on Boyne Resorts in Northern Michigan, and this weeks home of the Illinois Open, Stonebridge Country Club in Aurora. Watch on You-Tube if you miss the live version tonight at 6 Pm.

THE PGA of AMERICA and RYDER CUP EUROPE have jointly issued a statement, that cancels the Junior Ryder Cup, that was scheduled for Blue Mound Country Club in Milwaukee. Travel issues from the pandemic forced the cancellation. The event was scheduled for September 20-21. But players from both teams are expected to be present and will be honored at the Ryder Cup from September 24-26.

Doug Ghim at the John Deere Classic

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS native Doug Ghim has joined the First Tee- Greater Chicago list of ambassadors.

“There are not too many kids like me from the Chicagoland area that get to grow up and be professional golfers,” said Ghim.

“I know how much it would have meant to me to have a young tour player to look up to and learn from. So I look forward to inspiring the next generation to know they can achieve their goals if they work hard and put their mind to it.”  But see more details at Firstteechicago.org.

TITLEIST THURSDAY’S are back at Pine Meadow Golf Club in Mundelein starting August 19th and running through September 23rd. So call (847)-566-4653 (GOLF) or book an appointment online. But for everything that’s happening at “The Pine”, see PineMeadowgc.com.

COG HILL has several events coming up, including night golf on October 1st. So to sign up see Coghillgolf.com or call the club at (866)-264-4455. Cog Hill the home of the 2022 PGA junior golf championship in early August.

LINKS CAPITAL ADVISORS announces the sale of Wolf Creek Golf Club in Atlanta, for information on buying and selling golf courses call Chris Charnas at (312)-543-7192.

THE ILLINOIS WOMEN’S GOLF ASSOCIATION (IWGA) will hold it’s 42nd Illinois Junior Golf Championship, at Aldeen G.C. in Rockford IL. this Tuesday and Wednesday August 3-4. So for the third straight year, Shannyn Vogler from Moline, returns to defend her title. The field of 84 players will play 36 holes of match play to determine the winner.

Tee times start at 8 Am and spectators are welcome. But for more details see IWGA.org.

Welcome to the Pine Needles Resort in Southern Pines North Carolina. Home of the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open

BUT TIME IS RUNNING OUT for ticket packages for the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open at Pine Needles Resort.

Which is located in Southern Pines North Carolina.

Pine Needles hosted the 2019 U.S. Senior Women’s Open. This will be the 4th U.S. Women’s Open at Pine Needles.

But for more information see Pineneedles.com or visit Rossresorts.com. You can also learn more at USGA.org.  But do act quickly. Because time is running out on these special ticket packages.

PGA PROFESSIONAL and Navy veteran Angel Diaz has been named Director of Project Golf, a Myrtle Beach South Carolina grow the game initiative. For more details on Diaz and the program visit Projectgolf.org.

BGT has announced the FIRST ever customized putter shaft-The New Stability Carbon Shaft. This shaft is only available through BGT. So far early returns say that 99% of golfers that play stability, prefer it over a steel shaft. Retail price is $179.99. So you can learn more at BGT’s website Breakthroughgolftech.com.

PHOTO’S of some items and stories can be found on Facebook at Rory Spears, or on Twitter @GogBlogGuy.

SO STAY TUNED. Because ZIEHM & SPEARS PODCAST coming up next. RS

THORBJORNSEN SWEEPS THE 119TH WESTERN AM

THE NEW Clubhouse at the Preserve at Oak Meadows inches closer to the opening day. Follow all the updates at DuPageGolf.com. But the golf course is open for play.       ____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS-Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or connect via LinkedIn or Facebook.

Michael Thorbjornsen is the 119th Western Amateur Champion.

(Reporting from The Glenview Club)

The golf is over and the wedding party is now here to start the evening. But for Stanford golfer Michael Thorbjornsen the party is just beginning.

Because in his first Western Amateur appearance Thorbjornsen, won both the stroke play and match play parts of the championship. Not many players have done that in the 119 year history of the event. Even winners like Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods could not pull off that feat (Norman Xiong did it last in 2017 at Skokie Country Club). But in addition, Thorbjornsen shot a course record 62 during Wednesday’s second round.

Michael Thorbjornsen hit’s his opening drive in the championship match, on way to winning the 119th Western Amateur.

Thorbjornsen started the final day with a 2 Up win in the semi-finals over Austin Greaser. Before moving on to play Gordon Sargent in the championship match.

Sargent who just graduated high school and will attend Vanderbilt University this fall, eliminated defending champion Pierceson Coody with a 1 Up score.

But for Sargent, that win might be the win he needed to earn enough World Amateur ranking points, to qualify for the U.S. Amateur at Oakmont Country Club in two weeks.

But the loss to Thorbjornsen leaves Sargent with his fingers crossed that he will hear from the USGA by Wednesday with an invite to the Pittsburgh area. Because both players are young enough and not likely to turn professional next spring, it’s likely they will both return for next years Western Amateur at Exmoor Country Club in Highland Park.

Gordon Sargent hits his opening drive in the championship match of the 119th Western Amateur.

Thorbjornsen started out by winning the second hole to go 1 Up. But that lead was gone one hole later, and the match was All-Square after three holes.

But that seemed to ignite Thorbjornsen who won the next three holes. Taking a 3 Up lead he would never lose.

But Sargent did mount a charge by winning both the ninth and tenth holes, to close the margin to 1 Dn. But no sooner did it look like things were about to change to Sargent’s favor, the momentum swung back to Thorbjornsen who won holes 11, 12, and 13 to take a 4 Up lead with five holes to play. After both players each halved the next two holes, the match closed out as a 4 & 3 win for Thorbjornsen.

CLICK HERE to hear the championship interviews from finalists in order Michael Thorbjornsen and Gordon Sargent.

Semi-finalists Greaser and Coody are both qualified into the field for the U.S. Amateur.

Thorbjornsen for winning, was awarded an exemption into the 2022 Evans Scholars Invitational. Thorbjornsen said he would accept the exemption, if he wasn’t still playing in the NCAA Championships with Stanford.

Next on the tee for the Western Golf Association is the BMW Championship, from August 23-29, at Caves Valley Golf Club in Ownings Mill Maryland.

DOWN TO 4 AT THE 119TH WESTERN AMATEUR

THE 2021 BMW CHAMPIONSHIP will be held at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mill Maryland (outside of Baltimore). See more at BMWChampionship.com #Playoffs            _____________________________________________________________________

The historic and over 125 years old log cabin between the 16th and 17 holes at The Glen View Club. Serving as home of the 119th Western Amateur.

Reporting from The Glen View Club.

AND THEN WERE FOUR…

The final-four as many will call them.

But the 119th Western Amateur is winding to a close, at the place where it all started a long time ago. The historic Glenview Club.

Michael Thorbjornsen, Austin Greaser, Gordon Sargent and defending champion Pierceson Coody still get one more day of golf around the famed track of golf that started the Western Amateur over 120 years ago.

As the players will tell you, the architects that built this course did a great job. Because it’s stood the test of time for over 100 years, and still has enough defenses to also stand up to todays technology.

When Friday morning began, there was sixteen players all ready for match play. After another full day of golf for eight players, four of them might need yet another 36 holes or more, to take home the trophy.

But whether it was the morning matches or the afternoon quarterfinals, there was plenty of excitement for everybody to enjoy. Some wild tee shots, blasts from the bunkers, putts that did all sorts running around the greens. The fans that did attend got to see some really great golf.

But more great golf is off the tee at 8 Am and 8:12 Am tomorrow morning. So meet the final four.

Western Amateur Golf Tournament at Crooked Stick GC. Photo courtesy of WGA-Charles Cherney.

Whether he is the favorite or not, defending champion Pierceson Coody is back in the final four.

Coody calls The Glenview Club much different than the Pete Due designed Crooked Stick where he won last year.

Coody did not have an easy route to Saturday mornings semi-final. It took a late rally by Coody to defeat Luke Potter in 20 holes, in the afternoons quarterfinal. One-down on 18, Coody hit the fairway after holing an incredible putt on the 17th green that broke 7-8 feet. But Potter’s drive found the high weeds near the creek, and had to re-tee.

With that mistake-the match went to extra holes, two of them. Because Coody hit the par 3, second green with his tee shot and Potter missed the green. it was all over when Potter could not get up and down to save par.

Michael Thorbjornson putts on 17 in his match vs Ricky Castillo.

Thorbjornsen entered the match play after being the medalist in the stroke play.

He also entered the Western Amateur after winning the state amateur in his home state of Massachusetts.

Thorbjornson won an epic battle with Ricky Castillo to make the semi-finals, that ended on the 18th green. Because Castillo made a 20 foot birdie on the 17th hole to keep the match alive. Then Thorbjornsen lagged up a 20 foot zig-zag putt for the win.

Gordon Sargent of Birmingham Alabama. Photo courtesy of WGA.

Sargent advanced to the semi-finals with a 4 & 2 win, over his friend David Ford.

Sargent unlike the other three finalists, really needs a strong finish at the Western Amateur if he expects to make the U.S. Amateur at Oakmont in two weeks.

Sargent is hoping to earn one of five spots in the field, that the USGA holds back, and then awards to the top 5 players in the amateur golf point system. But Sargent feels it might take yet another win on Saturday to earn one of those five coveted places at Oakmont.

Austin Greaser of Vandalia Ohio.

Greaser survived a hard-fought match with Brian Stark, winning 2 & 1.

It took a birdie on the 17th hole, coupled with one on the 14th hole, for Greaser to take the lead and finally win the match.

Greaser credited Stark for not making the match easy on him. Greaser lives the Dayton Ohio area, and has grown up playing golf with Marissa Wenzler, who won the Women’s Western Amateur Championship last week at Park Ridge Country Club.

CLICK HERE TO HEAR interviews with in order Michael Thorbjornson, Gordon Sargent, Austin Greaser, and Pierceson Coody.

Tomorrow semi-final matches start at 8:00 Am with Thorbjornsen and Greaser. 8:12 Am is Sargent and Coody. The championship match should begin around 12:45, or earlier if both players agree to moving up the tee time.

The Western Amateur is being streamed on the Golf Channel network. Details at WGAESF.org.

WENZLER WINS PLAYOFF TO WIN 121ST WWGA-AMATEUR

  ALTWELL PRODUCTS for healthy mind and healthy body for golf. See Altwell.com.        ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or connect on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Marissa Wenzler of Dayton Ohio is the winner of the 121st Women’s Western Amateur Championship at Park Ridge Country Club.

THE PUTT LOOKED GOOD. But then it hit the hole and just lipped out.

So stunned, it took a moment before it sunk in to 20 year-old Marissa Wenzler of Dayton Ohio, that she had just won the 121st Women’s Western Amateur at historic Park Ridge Country Club.

Moments earlier Wenzler drained her 6-7 foot putt on the second sudden-death playoff hole for par. So now it was time for 19 year old Maddison Hinson-Tolchard of Perth Australia to match Wenzler and force a third playoff hole.

Welcome to Park Ridge Country Club-Est. 1906.

There was no reason to think Hinson-Tolchard would miss that just under six foot putt. After all, since she fell 3 down after seven holes, she had made almost every putt on the following holes.

Because she converted a long 30 footer on the 8th hole, was the only reason Hinson-Tolchard wasn’t 4 down after eight holes. But then her luck started to change, in spite of the fact that Wenzler was driving past Hinson-Tolchard anywhere from 15-25 yards on every hole.

Maddison Hinson-Tolchard putts on the 18th green.

Hinson-Tolchard won the par 3, 9th hole after Wenzler missed the green and could not get up and down.

Then things got interesting when she won the tenth hole, reducing Wenzler’s lead to 1 Up.

When Wenzler failed to get up and down from a greenside bunker on 13, the match was all-square. But both players missed the green on the par 3, 14th hole coming up short on tee shots playing into an increasing wind. Wenzler chipped to 6 feet past the hole. Hinson-Tolchard putted from off the green coming up 10 feet under hole. Wenzler made her putt after Hinson-Tolchard missed, and the member of the University of Kentucky women’s golf team was back on top with a 1 Up lead.

Marissa Wenzler hits her drive on the 16th hole.

Wenzler made it 2 Up on the par 5, 15th hole, when she got home in two shots, and converted her eagle putt from 10 feet.

Being two down with three holes to play, fired up Hinson-Tolchard who put her approach to 20 feet on the par 4, 16th. When Wenzler missed the green, and her chip was long past the hole. Hinson-Tolchard’s short par putt was conceded for the win.

Both players hit the par 3, 17th green. Wenzler putted first from 35 feet and left her pin-high birdie putt less than a foot under the hole. Hinson-Tolchard calmly rolled a downhill 25 footer in for a birdie two, and suddenly the member of the Oklahoma State Cowgirls golf team found herself all-square on the 18th tee box.

But after both players made par on the 18th hole, extra holes were needed and the sudden death playoff was on. The Park Ridge members that were ready to tee off, moved off the first tee box, and jumped in their carts to follow the match down the first and eventually second fairways.

Because Wenzler pulled her drive into the tree’s, Hinson had an early advantage. But she gave it back, when she failed to two-putt from over 60 feet and over a ridge. So the second playoff hole saw Wenzler hit the fairway, and Hinson-Tolchard in the right rough.

But Hinson-Tolchard found the back left corner of the green on her approach, with Wenzler just short of the front fringe. Both players then left themselves about 6 feet for par. Wenzler putting first rolled it dead-center into the cup. But Hinson-Tolchard’s putt hit the hole, and decided to stay out. Tearful emotions then poured out of both players on the second green, before heading back to the clubhouse.

CLICK HERE to hear post match interviews with Marissa Wenzler and Maddison Hinson-Tolchard.

With the win, Wenzler will have her name inscribed on the W.A. Alexander Cup, alongside other past champions like Nancy Lopez, Beth Daniel, Stacy Lewis and Brittany Lang. Both Wenzler and Hinson-Tolchard are now headed to New York to play in the U.S. Women’s Amateur at Westchester Country Club.

For more information the Women’s Western Golf Association (WWGA) and it’s championships, please visit wwga.org.

GOLFERS ON GOLF RADIO WEEK 15-WRAPPING UP TOUNREY WEEK

  GIANTS RIDGE in Biwabik Minnesota- Golf the #1 Public Course in the Land of 10,000 Lakes-The Quarry Course. So learn more at GiantsRidge.com/golf THE Scoreboard is up and ready, as the new clubhouse at the Preserve at Oak Meadows gets closer to opening. Follow DuPagegolf.com for details on what’s now happening at The Preserve.  ______________________________________________________________________

Rory Spears and Ed Stevenson host this weeks edition of Golfers on Golf Radio on WCPT AM 820.

WEEK 15 of Golfers on Golf Radio is here, with hosts Ed Stevenson and Rory Spears.

Tee time is 4 Pm on WCPT AM 820. You can listen on the radio, or live on line at WCPT820.com.

But you have other options. You can watch the show online at WCPT820.com/facebook.

So if your out on the golf course, and you have your phone, try the Tune-In Radio APP, search WCPT820. But if you need a mulligan. Because for some reason you have missed the show, try SoundCloud.com and scroll to ChicagosProgressivetalk for the podcast replay edition.

THIS WEEK Ed and Rory will talk with Towel Tag Founder Craig Holub. But then they preview next weeks upcoming Western Amateur at The Glen View Club. With WGA Western Amateur Championship Director Steve Prioletti.

You will also hear from Illinois Golf Hall of Fame Inductee Len Ziehm and Women’s Western Amateur Champion Marissa Wenzler from Dayton Ohio.

So tune in at 4 Pm on WCPT Am 820, and catch Chicago’s longest running golf show (31 years) and only national award winning radio show-Golfers on Golf Radio.

Thanks for listening, Ed Stevenson, Bill Berger, Rory Spears and Len Ziehm.

WENZLER & HINSON-TOLCHARD MAKE FINALS OF WWGA-AM

  THE FRENCH LICK RESORT-The Hotels, Spa, Casino and golf courses are now open. So visit FrenchLick.com. STEVE KASHUL hosts The Golf Scene, this Sunday night at 6:30 PM on NBC Sports Chicago. For a full schedule of shows-see your local listings.    _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or connect on Facebook or LinkedIn.

Marissa Wenzler of Dayton Ohio. The medalist at the 121st Women’s Western Amateur Championship at Park Ridge Country Club.

IT’S DOWN TO TWO!

Only two players remain, of the 120 player field, that started the 121st Women’s Western Amateur Championship at Park Ridge Country Club on Tuesday.

So at 7:30 Am tomorrow morning, on the tee from Dayton Ohio, is medalist 20 year old Marissa Wenzler, and a member of the University of Kentucky women’s golf team.

Her opponent is 19 year old Maddison Hinson-Tolchard of Perth Australia. Hinson-Tolchard helped Oklahoma State to second place finish two months ago at the NCAA National Championships.

Because the championship match is only 18 holes. It could be over sooner than that. So get to Park Ridge Country Club early tomorrow if you would like to watch.

But while Wenzler was the stroke play medalist, she had to over-come a 2 down score after two holes. In her semi-final match against Virginia-Sophomore Jennifer Cleary.

CLICK HERE TO HEAR interviews with Marissa Wenzler and Sarah Arnold after their Round of 32 match in the WWGA Amateur.

Wenzler started the match play strong with a 5 & 4 win over Sarah Arnold from St. Charles. Arnold was the only one of 13 women from Illinois to make the 32 player match play part of the championship.

But Arnold had to survive a 5 hole playoff on Tuesday night, that lasted almost until darkness. She then had 11 hours to be back on the tee against Wenzler. But Arnold said after her match with Wenzler, that she did not drive the ball very well.

Wenzler said there was some “Bluegrass Kentucky pride” at stake in the match. Wenzler playing her college golf at Kentucky, with Arnold on the Western Kentucky University team.

Hinson-Tolchard needed two birdie putts of 25 feet and 40 feet on holes 12 and 14, to win her semi-final match over Sifat Sagoo of New Delhi India.

The winner will add her name added on the trophy alongside great past champions that include, Christie Kerr, Stacy Lewis and Ariya Jutanugarn.

ZIEHM & SPEARS PODCAST SERIES 2021-VOLUME 24

STEVE KASHUL HOST’S THE GOLF SCENE on NBC Sports Chicago returning with a new episode this Sunday night. So check local listings for this weeks shows. FRENCH LICK Resort is back with it’s hotels, spa, casino’s & golf courses open. FrenchLick.com  _____________________________________________________________________

GOLFERS ON GOLF has heard that the 2022 U.S. Senior Women’s Open will be held at the NCR Country Club near Dayton Ohio. But watch for a formal announcement that will be coming out during this week by the USGA, at the U.S. Senior Women’s Open.

Len Ziehm (L) and Rory Spears (R) bring you Ziehm and Spears Podcast series 2021. Chicago’s most complete weekly news update.

ZIEHM & SPEARS

Back at it again, this week with Podcast series 2021-Volume 24.

But due to all the tournament action in town this week, much of Len’s and Rory’s focus is on the Women’s Western Golf Associations (WWGA) National Amateur championship at the Park Ridge Country Club.

But there is also the Illinois State Amateur Championship being held at the Mistwood Golf Club in Romeoville.

So are you ready for more. Because Yes! there are three tournaments in town this week.

The Forme Tour is here, and is being played at the Bolingbrook Golf Club.

ON THE architecture front Len and Rory recap some of the news that is coming up in a at length interview with Ray Hearn on his work at Mistwood Golf Club, Flossmoor Golf Club and now Midlothian Country Club. but there is also some preview notes on next weeks Western Amateur at The Glen View Club.

CLICK HERE TO HEAR Ziehm & Spears Podcast Series 2021-Volume 24.

NEXT WEEK: Len and Rory will discuss the Western Amateur, and preview the 2021 Illinois Open. The 2021 Illinois Open will be played at the Stonebridge Country Club in Aurora.

So thanks for listening, Len & Rory.