Quad Cities Pro David Lawrence takes 1st round lead at Illinois Open

IWOLogoCroppedDSDSC04826 (1) Mt. Prospect new sign DSPrint    The Phil Kosin Illinois Women’s Open will be played at the Mistwood Golf Club next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday July 27-28-29. Come out and see both professionals and top local women amateurs battle for the state title. Free admission and parking. See Mistwoodgc.com for more details, or call (815)-254-3333. The Mt. Prospect Golf Club reopens from renovation on Saturday August 1st with a special grand opening outing, call the pro shop for details at (847)-259-4200. www.thewesternamateur.com is your home for information on the WGA Western Amateur Championship being played at Rich Harvest Farms, from August 4-8 with the championship match at noon on the 8th.   ______________________________________________________________________

David Lawrence DSillinois-open-logo-4c DS      David Lawrence from Moline Illinois, your leader after Round 1, of the Illinois Open, photo by Master Photographer Nick Novelli, and courtesy of the IPGA.

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Golfersongolf.com by Rory Spears, Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy.

It’s round one of the Illinois Open that is complete with it’s new format of 254 players and being played over two golf courses.

It will take a little getting used to by some players, but David Lawrence a professional from Moline of the Quad Cities fit right in on Day 1.

Lawrence shot a 9 under par 62, at the Greg Norman designed Royal Melbourne (RM) Country Club in Long Grove, he holds a 4 shot lead over University of Illinois Sophomore Nick Hardy, and Conway Farms professional Matt Slowinski who each carded 5 under par 66’s on Royal Melbourne. In fact only 3 of the top 31 scores were carded at Hawthorn Woods Country Club. Casey Pine of Bloomington shot 3 under par 69 for the low score at Hawthorn Woods (HW).

Lawrence is trying to work his way to the PGA Tour, he tried to qualify for the recent John Deere Classic in the Quad Cities and came up short in the local qualifier. So he is moving around the country playing smaller tours in Florida and the Dakota’s. He had 10 birdies and 1 bogey on his card, and admitted that couple of putts lipped out or he might have gone lower. His mental coach Darin Hoff has been an inspiration and as Lawrence says has helped him “hit the reset button” to keep the momentum going when he is playing well. The Eastern Illinois University graduate made the turn in 30 before adding three birdies on the back side.

The 62 Lawrence shot is now the best round in Illinois Open history by two shots, taking the name Dusti Watson out of the record books. Watson shot 64 at Royal Fox Country Club in 1994.

To hear interviews with Matt Slowinski and Nick Hardy click here.

Defending champion Brad Hopfinger is on the Web.com Tour and could not defend his title. Dustin Korte the low amateur two years ago at the Glen Club with a second place finish, was DQ’d for carrying his own bag 15 holes into his round. Illinois Open rules state you must take a caddie or cart. There was no explanation why it took so long for Korte to be DQ’d, when it could have happened on the second hole.

Some other top scores include. Vince India at 5 under par. Past Champion Phil Arouca at 3 under par T5, Steve Orrick at 2 under par T8, Mike Small 1 under par T-12, Curtis Malm 1 under par T-12. Past champion Eric Meierdierks Even par T-21, Jim Sobb +1 T-32.

Round 2 takes place tomorrow, with the player flipping courses, and after play concludes the field will trimmed to the low 70 and ties.

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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 WNDZ Am 750 Chicago, he writes for both Chicagoland Golf and the Chicago District (CDGA) Magazine. Rory has played over 460 courses in 37 states, and rates golf courses. He does golf course management and communications consulting, in the golf industry.