THE 92ND ILLINOIS PGA CHAMPIONSHIP AT STONEWALL ORCHARD GOLF CLUB IN GRAYSLAKE AUGUST 25-26-27. DEFENDING CHAMPION MIKE SMALL.
It’s not often that any one player wins the same championship in golf ten times, it’s even tougher when the championship moves around to different courses.
But Illinois golf coach Mike Small has done just that, winning his 10th title at Olympia Fields last year. Small didn’t win the last time the tournament was held at Stonewall Orchard, but he comes in as the defending champion and he will be gunning for title number 11.
“This one means a lot to me because we’re PGA members and this is a big deal to us,” said Small, after his victory at Olympia Fields. “There is a lot of pressure too, because you have a lot of people pulling for you. This never gets old and it’s why we compete.”
The championship also serves as the qualifier for the PPNC next year, that will be played the Philadelphia Cricket Club Wissahickon Course.
This year for the first time in years, the IPGA didn’t have a player make it to the PGA Championship. You can bet this field will be anxious to qualify again, and make a run to play in Haven at Whistling Straits in 2015.
Jeremy Anderson from Twin Orchard and Hans Larson from Westmoreland CC will be first out at 7:30 on Monday morning.
The tournament was scheduled to be played on the Medinah No.1 course this year, but since it has just reopened from a Tom Doak renovation the club felt it would not be ready yet for a tournament. As a result Stonewall Orchard stepped in. The schedule the next three years is Medinah in 2015, Olympia Fields in 2016, Medinah in 2017.
Country Club of Decatur head professional Steve Orrick won the last section title played at Stonewall Orchard in 2012, Orrick played the final round in 7 under par recording a 65, it defeated runner up Curtis Malm by 5 shots.
Travis Johns the PGA teaching professional at Medinah Country Club, enters the championship as the Bernardi points leader for section player of the year. Johns holds a 12.43 points lead over Malm, the two players tied for second in last years championship.
Besides Small, there are six other past champions in the field. Orrick, Frank Hohenadel, Doug Bauman, Dino Lucceshi, Gary Groh, and jim Sobb.
First and second round play starts at 7:30 AM, final round play starts off of both tee’s around 9 AM. The size of the field is 115 professionals.
Nadler golf cars is the primary sponsor of the championship.
The Gog Blog will coverage of all three rounds of the championship.