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

University of Illinois Men’s Golf Coach Mike Small, has won the Illinois PGA Section Championship 13 of the last 16 years, including in 2020 at Medinah. Small among the 1st round leaders at Ivanhoe in Round 1.


Team Mistwood Golf Club is back in the mix at the Illinois PGA Section Championship.

In 2020 both Mistwood Director of Golf Andy Mickelson, and head professional Frank Hohenadel spent the final day trying to chase down eventual champion Mike Small.

But the University of Illinois Men’s golf coach could not be caught on Medinah’s Course #1, winning for the 13th time in 16 years. This year it’s Small that is lurking after the two Mistwood pro’s as Hohenadel’s 3 under par 69, is the first day leader. Mickelson and Small are T-3 two shots back at 1 under par, after posting 71’s. Garrett Chaussard of the Skokie Country Club shot 71. Chaussard has been in the IPGA Match Play Championship finals the last four years, and was in contention through 45 holes at this years Illinois Open.

BUT COMING IN LATE was Wildcat Academy professional Tim Streng. Streng was the only player in the field from the afternoon flight to shoot under par. Streng carded a 2 under par 70. His birdie on the 9th hole, his 18th hole, came by playing the par 5, with 5-iron, 7-iron and wedge into the green.

THE LEADERS all said the Round 1 set-up left them hitting driver only twice all day. But that could change in Round 2.

Mistwood GC Frank Hohenadel leads by 1 after Round 1.

ACE IS THE PLACE in Round 1. The 187 yard par 3, 17th hole yielded not one but two ace’s in the morning flight. Brian Dalton of Stonewall Orchard GC, made it two years in a row with a hole-in-one at the section championship. Dalton who made an ace in 2020 in the final round at Medinah Country Club, did it again this year, using a 7-Iron from 187. But Dalton ended up the round with a +5 score of 77.

TWO FOR ONE as this time Dalton had company in the ace competition. Because Doug Bauman from Biltmore Country Club a two time past champion in 1996 and 1997, recorded the days second hole-in-one also on the 17th hole. Bauman’s 187 yard shot was struck with a 6-iron.

“I knew I hit it good,” said Bauman. “The ball hit about six feet in front of the cup. Since I was playing with Jim (Sobb-Director of Golf and host pro from Ivanhoe) there was about nine members out watching us. But when they all started jumping up and down and clapping their hands. I knew it was in.” Bauman a two-time past champion in 1996-97, carded a 77 (+5) for his opening round.

Sobb also a two-time past champion from 1999-2000, carded 82 +10 on his home course. New head golf professional at Ivanhoe Jim Billiter the 2015 champion had 76 (+4). 2019 winner Travis Johns had 81 (+9).

CLICK HERE TO HEAR IPGA Round 1 leaders in order Mike Small, Andy Mickelson, Frank Hohenadel and Tim Streng.

The players all agreed the course was playing tough. Which was proven when the scoring average for the day was sitting at just over 79.0.

The cut will be made after Tuesday’s second round.  Golfers on Golf will cover all three rounds of the IPGA section championship.

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About Rory Spears

Rory spent over 8 years growing up working at Rob Roy Golf Club in Prospect Hts.IL, then two years at Chevy Chase in Wheeling. He has covered golf in Chicago since 1986. Rory was one of the initial members of WSCR all-sports radio Chicago and covered golf there for 5 seasons, before moving on to work for ESPN/Sportsticker and ESPN Radio. In addition to hosting Golfers on Golf Radio on WCPT AM820 Chicago, he writes for both the Chicago District (CDGA) Magazine, and formerly Chicagoland Golf. Rory has played over 525 courses in 39 states, and rates golf courses. He does golf course management and communications consulting, within the golf industry.