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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 on LinkedIn or Facebook.
WHEN HE GETS rolling in a Illinois PGA Section major, Curtis Malm keeps it going.
Because a few years back Malm, the Director of Golf at White Eagle Golf Club in Naperville, won the IPGA Match Play Championship three straight years (2012-2014).
But now Malm has won the Players Championship two straight years, with his one shot victory at Knollwood Club in Lake Forest.
Malm shot one of only four under par scores on the second day of the championship. His 4-under par 68, was enough to defeat Brian Carroll (The Hawk Country Club) by one shot. Malm finished his round first, and was eating lunch when he discovered he was suddenly tied for the lead with Carroll. Because if the score had remained tied, there would have been a 3-hole playoff.
Malm quickly finished eating and got ready for a playoff that never happened. Because Carroll hit his approach on 18 into a front left greenside bunker. Carroll played his bunker shot to 15 feet from a right side-middle back pin placement. The par putt looked good most of the way, but slid past the edge of the cup. Carroll made the comeback putt for bogey and finished second, but Malm got the win for his sixth Illinois PGA major.
Malm while still an amateur won the Illinois Open. So now all Malm needs for the Grand Slam of Illinois golf, is the IPGA Section Championship. Malm has previously had three runner-up finishes in the section championship.
Davis Jensen (Five-Iron Golf) and Roy Biancalana (Blackberry Oaks Golf Club) the first round leaders, fell back after getting off to rough starts. Jensen with a lost ball on the first hole-that lead to double-bogey. Biancalana with bogeys on four of his first six holes.
Mistwood’s Andy Mickelson tied for third with Skokie Country Club’s Garrett Chaussard. Both players finished at 1 under par with a score of 71.
But for Chaussard, his steady final round play earned him the IPGA 2021 Player of the Year award.
Chaussard previously won the award in 2019.
Chaussard didn’t win any of the major IPGA titles this year, but he had solid finishes in all of them.
He was runner-up at the Match Play Championship at Bull Valley Golf Club. He was in the top 5 at the Illinois Open until the final nine holes, where he fell back just out of the Top-10.
In the Illinois PGA section Championship at Ivanhoe, Chaussard earned a T-2 finish. Chris French of the Aldeen Golf Club could have won the Player of the Year award, but a back nine score of 42 (+6) pushed him behind Chaussard in the point standings.
CLICK HERE to hear the press conferences with Players Championship winner Curtis Malm. That includes 2021 IPGA Player of the Year Garrett Chaussard, and IPGA Executive Director Carrie Williams.
Both Curtis Malm and IPGA Executive Director Carrie Williams confirmed a return to White Eagle Golf Club in 2022 for the Illinois Open. The other three major championship sites will likely be announced in early 2022, said Williams.
THE ILLINOIS PGA is also conducting a Q-School event this week at Bull Valley Golf Club for the Korn Ferry Tour, after being approach by the tour to fill an opening, after some previous sites dropped out.