THE 119TH US OPEN-PEBBLE BEACH

  THE MARRIOTT FLORENCE-MUSCLE SHOALS from the Elevated 360 Grille Restaurant above the hotel. THE SHOALS-36 holes of golf. See RTJGOLF.COM            ______________________________________________________________________

The Gog Blog by Rory Spears, Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, Linkedin and Facebook. Or now Instagram at Rorygolf18

IT’S U.S. OPEN WEEK, and that is always a wonderful thing, and one of the highlights of golf season.

It is sad that it’s the last major of the year on U.S. soil, because I do like having a major in August. Maybe having the BMW at Medinah will feel like a major.

Pebble Beach gets the call this week, and it should be a good one. Pebble always is.

The great players have won here U.S. Open week, and done it in different ways. Blowout wins, late chip-in’s and more. The drama this time around, should be great like in the past.

The U.S. Open trophy stands at Pebble Beach.

The favorites are Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka, and they should be. Koepka is going for history. He is the first golfer since Curtis Strange at Medinah in 1990, attemptiing to win three U.S. Open’s in a row.

Koepka could win this week, and it would surprise nobody. Four majors in two years is pretty special, five would be even better. With a win Koepka would equal Willie Anderson’s record, now over 110 years old.

Last week the odd’s makers were not giving Rory McIlroy much of chance. You could have Rory in the Vegas betting parlors for 16-1. Then McIlroy goes crazy and wins the Canadian Open in record fashion, with a 61 on Sunday. He is no longer 16-1. But the third choice of the book-makers. Is Rory ready to win the U.S. Open again, because he won the Canadian Open. Hard to say, but he better start quickly, and not wait until Sunday to make a charge.

PHIL MICKELSON will be the sentimental favorite. Trying for his first U.S. Open win and the career Grand Slam. Nobody would be picking him, if he had not won at Pebble 4 months ago. This could be his last real chance to win a U.S. Open, with age and health working against him. His birthday is on the weekend, you will hear people singing for him. Maybe cheering him on as well.

What about Tiger. What about him? His tank looks a little low, since his win at the Augusta. He was not a factor at the PGA, at Bethpage where he had won before. So what makes Pebble Beach any different. He could finish respectable, and he could miss the cut.

THE BROADCAST TYPES at Fox Sports will be under the gun again, to get it right. Can they come through. I’m not happy with the late finish, especially in round three. It backfired on NBC in 2010. Early players enjoying warm sunshine, and leaders freezing on late holes as the temperatures dropped by the back nine.

FINALLY THERE IS THE USGA, can they get the set-up just right this time. Nobody wants to see Phil double-hitting a ball again. Or replays to see if a ball is vibrating. I just hope the par 5, 18th hole decides a winner with a 25 foot birdie putt. Something that would resemble Payne Stewarts putt to win the U.S. Open, like he did 20 years ago this week.

The Gog Blog returns on Wednesday from the Johnny Morris Big Cedar resort near Branson. Enjoy the Open.

THE GOG BLOG SPEAKS OUT-BAMA IS ROLLING

GOLF ALABAMA visit the courses of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. See Rtjgolf.com  ______________________________________________________________________

The Gog Blog by Rory Spears, Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy Linkedin and Facebook. On the Trail in “The Shoals”.

BAMA-ROLL TIDE… Roll Golf Ball and yell War Eagles, all in a weeks work, when you tour the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, that zigs and zags through the state of Alabama.

I didn’t get to see the majority of the RTJ Trail, that spreads out through the state, and is 26 courses on 11 sites, and is 468 holes. So much golf, not enough time. Calls for a return to Bama I would think. I tee’d it up on four of the 26 courses, and played 72 holes of the RTJ Trail. Plus 18 more holes on the FarmLinks Course, that is now part of Pursell Farms. All-in-all, a good week. What I did learn is that golf is not the only “trail” in Alabama. Try hitting the Marriott Hotels that are close to the trail courses, and you will find a “Trail of Spa’s”. Which will get bigger because they are expanding and adding a few more.

Welcome to RTJ Golf at Grand National, and the Marriott has a spa as well.

I had golfed in every southern state except Alabama, so this trip was a must do. In addition I was tired of golf here in Illinois, that was played in cold weather, deep rough and wet conditions. And no roll on the golf ball either.

While the Alabama temperatures weren’t steamy hot, it did get a little warm for a few holes here and there. While major threats of rain were lurking most of the week. The rain only appeared for a few holes on two of the five days….phew. The RTJ Trail is public golf at it’s finest, and Alabama deserves a lot of credit for how they pulled this off. THERE IS NO-WAY Illinois could do this, politics would get in the way and likely ruin everything. Like it so frequently does in the Land of Lincoln.

I started at the top of the state in Huntsville, where they build rockets for NASA and support the space program. It’s a quick flight down from O’Hare on American Eagle.

HAMPTON COVE has 54 holes and I played the River Course, the only course without a bunker. If you hate getting out of sand traps, the River Course is for you. I had fun playing the par 5, 8th hole from the tips at 678 yards. Water comes into play on 16 of 18 holes to challenge golfers.

NEXT STOP MUSCLE SHOALS the Marriott Shoals has one of the great restuarants you will find anywhere. John Cougar once sang, “get a leg up”, but here at the Shoals you will get a dinner up, way up, in the states only revolving restaurant. The 360 Grille Restaurant has views for miles, while over looking the Tennessee River.

UP UP and AWAY..at the 360 Grille Restaurant at Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa, looking down from the 360 grille on the hotel.

The Shoals has two golf courses. One is the Fighting Joe course and the other is the Schoolmaster Course. Votes from the staff are split on which course is better.

I only got to play Fighting Joe, which at over 8,000 yards is a fight. I did play the 716 yard par 5, 12th hole, at 716 yards. Who goes all that way to lay up.

It is now the longest hole, I have ever played. By the time I was through, I was calling Fighting Joe, Jungle Joe, for all the high weeds on each side of several holes. Since I was breaking in new clubs, I wasn’t sure where each shot was going. What I do know, is that in over some 3,000 career rounds of golf. Only 3 times have I lost 10 or more golf balls in a single round. This was one of them (-10). When I do go back to Alabama, I won’t seek a rematch with Joe, not worth it.

Muscle Shoals is home to the some of the most famous recording studio’s of all time. Including Rick Hall’s Fame Studio. Get the DVD and watch the documentary, well worth it.

DAY 3 of our trip, was the stay and play at Pursell Farms, see my story from yesterday. Pursell Farms and the FarmLinks golf Course was the highlight of the trip. Awesome place.

GRAND NATIONAL’S Lake and Links Courses closed out the trip, and I stayed at Marriott Opelika, near the University of Auburn campus. It too has a spa that you should visit, especially if you need a massage or some relaxation.

The par 3, 16th hole. Tougher challenge than Sawgrass 17th.

The Lake Course has plenty of water as it circles around a lake (of course). It was the most scenic course of the trip.

The par 3 16th hole, is pretty, get your camera ready. But it’s not a shorty like 17 at Sawgrass. The tips are at 230 yards, and from there the next tee box is at 182 yards.

The Lake Course has it’s share of water, but plenty of room to play golf, and move the ball around. It was maybe the most fun course I played all week. Add it to your must play list, when you visit “Sweet Home Alabama”.

The final 18 holes was the Links Course at Grand National. Good course, but our group of media types enjoyed the Lake Course better. The Links Course has it’s share of what I called “Twisted Fairways”. You know the ones where there isn’t a lot of fairway that leaves you flat spots for shots. There are plenty of mounds, uphill-downhill lies, bunkers and some water.

When playing the downhill par 4, 17th, my partner noted it was fun to finally play a downhill hole. RTJ always did like elevated greens, and there are several of them.

SO 4 DOWN and 22 Trail courses to go. So like Arnold said, not that Arnold, I’ll be back. You should visit too, the RTJ Trail is a neat concept. Too bad Illinois isn’t smart enough to do something like this.

OTHER NEWS…ROAR-REE, McIlroy heats up for the U.S. Open with a final round 61 to win the Canadian Open. Is he ready for another?

Our U.S. Open preview runs tomorrow. How about Hank Haney, dishing it back at Tiger Woods. Well said Hank.

THE GOG BLOG RETURNS TOMORROW, and then I’m off to Branson to Preview Ozark National and the Johnny Morris built Big Cedar Lodge. RS

PURSELL FARMS AND FARM LINKS GOLF COURSE

WELCOME TO THE ROBERT TRENT JONES GOLF TRAIL-Alabama See rtjgolf.com   ____________________________________________________________________

Welcome to Farm Links, the golf course at Pursell Farms in Sylacauga Alabama.

FarmLinks is, for those who might be hungry, not a promotion for Bob Evans Restaurants and their famed “smokey links.”

But being down on the the farm in Alabama, while playing on the states top rated public golf course, means you’re at Pursell Farms in Sylacauga.

While you do get great southern style food on property, visiting this destination property means more than good food. Because, if there is any property in Alabama that serves up southern hospitality, and golf at it’s finest, it’s Pursell Farms.

David Pursell is the Co-Founder and CEO of Purcell Farms. The Longhorn Cattle Logo was created by Pursell.

The name on the front gate has now changed from FarmLinks to Pursell Farms. But FarmLinks is still the name of the golf course, designed by Dr. Michael Hurdzan and partner Dana Fry.

The course was opened for play in 2003.

Yardage on the golf course ranges from 7,444 at the tips, to 5,250 from the front tees. FarmLinks plays to a par of 72.

The history of Pursell Farms dates back well over 100 years. According to stories from the area’s history, there has been everything from battles with Indians, to visits from famous Spanish explorers. In the town of Childersburg just 11 miles away, that dating back to it’s Indian heritage, is one of the oldest townships in the country. During WWII, Childersburg was home to a munitions plant, that among other things, helped produce “heavy water” needed for the  making of the atomic bomb.

Jimmy and Chrissy (nee-Parker) Pursell, were married after being introduced by the  area’s most famous celebrity, Jim Nabors. Who not only sang at the couples wedding, but served as Jimmy’s best man. The friendship between Nabors and the Pursell families has lasted a lifetime, that meant nearly 70 years. Nabors would travel to Pursell Farms almost every year, to see his long time friends.

The Inn at Pursell Farms-photo courtesy of Pursell Farms

As time went by, Nabors told current owner co-founder and CEO David Pursell and his wife Ellen, that his belongings from his Beverly Hills home were stored in two storage facilties in Honolulu, where Nabors had moved to after leaving California. David and Ellen flew to Hawaii just prior to opening the Inn, and went through boxes with Nabors for three days. Several notable items from Nabor’s collection, were shipped back to the Inn at Pursell Farms, and are on display for guests to view.

They include Nabors Brunswick pool table. Hollywood celebrities including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr, Ronald Reagan, Burt Reynolds, Loni Anderson, Jackie Gleason, Bing Crosby, Carol Burnett, Lucille Ball, Jackie Gleason, Tim Conway, Michael Jackson and the rest of the Jackson Five, are all known to have played games on this table. Guests of Pursell Farms can play pool on Nabor’s historic pool table that is located in Old Tom’s Pub.

Pursell Farms has the original script books from Gomer Pyle USMC, and the Jim Nabors Variety Hour. These are the books that Nabors studied to learn the lines for the shows. An attempt was made to get the books from the Andy Griffith Show, but those could not be located.

The Masters Row cottages off the 11th fairway, are all named for Masters champions.

When Nabor’s completed Gomer Pyle USMC, the family that owned General Mills, the shows main sponsor for 6 years. They sent Nabors a 300 piece pewter collection as a gift. The entire collection were comprised of antiques, with some pieces dating back to the 1600’s. That collection is now part of Pursell Farms.

Before the over 3,200 acres of land that is now Pursell Farms, it was called Farm Links. Farm Links opened in 2003, as the world’s first (and only) Research and Development golf facility. Serving in a way to help golf course superintendents study grass and fertilizers. David Pursell who was serving as CEO for the families fertilizer business called Polyon, would bring in superintendents for a three day-two night program, hoping to get them to switch their home courses to Polyon fertilizers. Over 10,000 golf course superintendents, many of them from Top 100 rated golf courses, came and took part in the seminars. As a result, Pursell Technologies went from #6 to #1, in the sales of controlled release fertilizers for golf courses.

The par 3, 17th hole on Farm Links. Sitting behind the green, is the home that would house the superintendents during their visits.

In 2006, the Pursell’s made the decision to sell the fertilizer business, but not the family farm or the golf course.

Because of the leadership of David Pursell, the property has become a golf destination property.

The FarmLinks golf course has been rated the #1 public course in Alabama, for 8 of the last 9 years, by one national golf publication. FarmLinks hosted the Alabama Men’s State Amateur Championship in 2011. It was won by current PGA Tour player Smylie Kaufmann.  Kaufmann shot 16 under par over four days, to win the championship. And nearly won himself a green jacket in Augusta a few years later. Kaufmann shot 16 under par over four days, to win the state championship.

David Pursell trained as a graphic artist at Auburn University. His artwork on display at Augusta National in the Butler Cabin, along with Shoal Creek Golf Club and the Greenbreir Resort in West Virginia. But he is extemly proud of his design that serves as the logo for Pursell Farms. Pursell’s created logo, is a longhorn cattle swinging a golf club, in the style and attire of the great Bobby Jones.

The iconic 5th hole on FarmLinks at Purcell Farms.

No top destination golf course is complete without a dynamic signature hole.

While an argument can be made for the par 3, 17th hole called Big Gulp. The is no doubt that the par 3, 5th hole Hang Time, is the signature hole.

Sitting 170 feet above the 4th hole, golfers enjoy a scenic drive up a cart path. It’s 17 stories above the green below. So get your camera’s out.

While most golfers enjoy the challenge of hitting the green. The 5th hole has recorded more hole-in-ones, than any other hole at FarmLinks.

David Pursell says that with over 3,200 acres, there is room to build two more golf courses at Purcell Farms. After playing FarmLinks, golfers will be anxious to see when a second course might be announced.

The great view from the tee boxes of the fifth hole, can be topped by one other location at Pursell Farms. It’s called the “Secret Place”, a lookout from the top Chalybeate Mountain, that sits over 1,000 feet aboove sea level. Because it sits so high, visitors can enjoy views into four area counties.

If your ready for the best southern hospitality in Alabama, visit Pursell Farms and the FarmLinks Golf Course at, Pursellfarms.com or call (256)-208-7640. Purcell Farms is found on Facebook, Twitter and on Instagram. #golfatthefarm.

THE GOG BLOG’S SUNDAY MORNING SHORT GAME-EARLY EDITION

THE EVANS SCHOLARS INVITATIONAL concludes today at the Glen Club. Admission is free. Tee times moved up to 9-11 AM. Gates open at 8:30. The Glen Club is home to the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame. Final voting for the Class of 2019 will be Thursday night.    ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, Linkedin and or Facebook.

IT’s TIME for short sleeves and T-Shirts. Memorial Day weekend is here. It is golf season, rain or shine.

MARCELO ROZO has a 1 shot lead over Vince Covello headed to the final round of the Evans Scholars Invitational.

Tyler McCumber son of former Western Open champion Mark McCumber is in third place two shots back.

Luke Guthrie is in 5th place, Vince India is in 9th place. Nick Hardy is in 48th place, to wrap up the local players.

Tee times are from 9-11 am with the gates opening at 8:30. Free admission for the final round of the invitational. UPDATING-See our story on the final round of the ESI, won in a two hole playoff by Scottie Sheffler.

Click here to hear interviews with local stars, Nick Hardy, Vince India and Luke Guthrie from the final round of the Evans Scholars Invitational.

VISIT HILTONHEADISLAND.COM and learn more about the $27.5 million dollar renovation and expansion to the runway, that added 700 feet. As a result, bigger jets are landing. United has started some flights from O’Hare Field. Check with your favorite airlines to check flights to Hilton Head Island. Traveling to HHI has never been easier.

PINE MEADOW Golf Club in Mundelein has fitting days coming up. Ping returns on Saturday June 22th, from 10 Am until 2 Pm. Check out the new Ping line of clubs and junior clubs. For fitting appointments call the club at (847)-566-4653 (GOLF).

More to follow in the Sunday columns ahead. RS

GOLFERS ON GOLF RADIO WEEK 11

FARM LINKS ALABAMA’S #1 Rated Public Golf Course-stay and play. Make your plans through Pursellfarms.com. THE PRESERVE at OAK MEADOWS visit DuPagegolf.com.  _____________________________________________________________________

Golfers on Golf Radio Am 750 WNDZ Ed Stevenson-Bill Berger and Rory Spears.

THE SEASON MAKES THE TURN TODAY… With Golfers on Golf Radio Week #11.

The golf season is is kicking into high gear, with the weather finally arriving that shows it’s golf season.

This week when Golfers on Golf radio tee’s off at 10 AM. On the BIG AM 750 WNDZ, your hosts Ed Stevenson, Bill Berger and Rory Spears have a great show planned for this morning.

Rhonda Parchem is first off the tee with news on all the golf in the Wisconsin Dells area, there are several golf courses in the Dells that you should know about.

Then at 10:30 David Pursell Co-Founder and Ceo of Pursell Farms in Sylacauga Alabama, joins us. Pursell Farms is home to Farm Links the # 1 rated public course in Alabama.

We will have some U.S. Open preview talk, and bring together the week in golf. Some hot topics and more. Join us at 10 Am on the BIG Am 750 WNDZ.

GOLFERS ON GOLF RADIO WEEK #10

THE AMERICAN CLUB in Kohler Wisconsin. Come play four great Pete Dye Courses, including Whistling Straits, home of the 2020 Ryder Cup. DestinationKohler.com. REYNOLDS at LAKE OCONEE in Greensboro GA. with 4 of the Top 10 public courses you can play In the State of Georgia. Please Visit ReynoldsLakeOconee.com Today.       _____________________________________________________________________

Golfers on Golf Radio Am 750 WNDZ-Chicago. Saturday mornings at 10 AM.

Golfers on Golf Radio Week 10 (already) is back this morning on the BIG AM 750 WNDZ Chicago.

Ed Stevenson-Bill Berger and Rory Spears bring you the best inChicago area and beyond golf talk.

We are on the tee at 10 AM for a full hour. This mornings guests include the founfer of this coming weeks Women’s Golf Day, Elisa Gaudet. And one of the member’s of this years Illinois Golf Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019-Len Ziehm.

        WITH ELISA GAUDET AND LEN ZIEHM both the PGA Merchandise Show In Orlando.

Join us from 10-11 Am this morning. Updates on Jack’s tournament the Memorial, and the U.S. Women’s Open from the Country Club of Charleston, in South Carolina.

THE GOG BLOG SPEAKS OUT- ONE ESI IN THE BOOKS

SCOTTIE SHEFFLER is your first winner of the Evans Scholars Invitational, at the Glen Club, on the Web.com Tour. This week the Web.com tour moves to Raleigh NC.              ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS. Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, Linkedin or Facebook. Talking with HOF Nominee Len Ziehm

ONE DOWN-hopefully many more to go.

The first Evans Scholars Invitational is in the books, and University of Texas Alum Scottie Sheffler wins it, after a two hole playoff.

Congrats to Sheffler, and Kudo’s to the Western Golf Association (WGA) for pulling it off. Hopefully the tournament made some money, and will help get a few more caddies off to college. As the WGA  trys to make it, 1,000 caddies a year in college on full tuition. The players I spoke with said, the tournament was much better, than many of the other Web.com events. More scoreboards, more volunteers, great food and better people. There was a fair amount of fan support. And the superintendent and his staff did a great job, especially because of all the rain during the four tournament days. Hopefully a few more fans, will make it out next year.

SO THE FIRST BIG golf tournament in town this summer is in the books, and what did we learn from it ?

Scottie Sheffler will move on to the next level of professional golf. And he will likely not be back next year, to defend his title at the ESI. Illinois Alum Nick Hardy’s game is rounding into shape, but Hardy has no status on any tour and really needs some tournaments to play in. Hardy has a letter into John Deere Classic Tournament Director Clair Peterson for a Sponsors Exemption, but doesn’t expect to a third one. Since Peterson was kind of enough to grant him two already. Maybe three strikes and your out (of exemptions) could be the rule here. Fingers crossed. Hardy is trying to Monday qualify today for Raleigh, and next Monday for the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.

REIGNING ILLINOIS OPEN CHAMPION Vince India has not slammed the door on coming back to the Glen Club in August, to defend his Illinois Open title. He is reviewing all the possiblities of trying to play, and still play the Web.com that week if he wants to. He is not trying to qualify for Pebble Beach.

Luke Guthrie is making some progress with his game finally, after what he calls a few year drought. Guthrie will try to qualify for the U.S. Open next Monday.

DYLAN MEYER and CHRIS WILSON both missed the cut at ESI after getting sponsors exemptions into the field. Meyer (U of I) is trying to right the ship after several missed cuts, and Wilson (NU) is still trying to get into events anywhere he can.

AFTER DOING OUR RADIO SHOW with industry consultant Bill Daniels a week back, on the proposed Jackson Park golf project, one that seemed to be on life support.

Maybe not. This past week after speaking with Mike Kesier, and Brian Hogan Co-Founder and Director of the Chicago Parks Golf Alliance, maybe the project has some life after all.

Keiser is hoping for some work to start this fall. The plan is to get five holes complete, to use a junior course. Until the remainder of the course is finished. There could be support from the new Mayor of Chicago Lori Lightfoot. Always so important in Chicago to have city hall behind you.

Money still remains a key issue, and my talks with Keiser and Hogan did not shed any new light on where the $$$$ will come from. But it does appear the WGA is involved with the project, even more than orginally thought. But that’s probably a good idea, if there is ever to be a PGA Tour event on the site.

AT LEAST THEY GOT THERE. Congrats to the University of Illinois men’s golf team on making it to the NCAA National Championships in Arkansas. At the University of Arkansas’ golf course, The Blessings. I haven’t played there, so I checked the photo’s and hope to see more on TV this week. It seems to be a very nice golf course, but nothing that really knocked my socks off. The clubhouse and indoor practice area, look like the clubhouse building at Streamsong.

Mike Small’s guys ended up in 27th place place after 54 holes, and did not make the first cut. Which drops the field from 30 to 15 teams. Small had no seniors on this team, that still won the Big Ten Conference and the Myrtle Beach Regional. Not bad.

A CALL TO THE HALL..this Thursday final voting takes place for the 2019 Class, that will enter the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame. I’ll be there presenting on behalf of our BIG 3 partner Len Ziehm. Good luck to all the candidates.

TODAY’S DOWNPOUR is not what our courses needed. We had plenty of local courses that needed to cut the rough this past few days. So I hope, they got it done before this afternoon’s soaking came from the skies.

I HAVE A PILE of things in the Sunday Morning Short Game bin, I hope to get that out in a day or so. Back this week. RS

SHEFFLER WINS INAUGURAL ESI IN PLAYOFF

WEB.COM see the future stars of golf. THE ILLINOIS GOLF HALL OF FAME, sits inside the Glen Club. Fianl voting for the Class of 2019 is Thursday night. Who get’s in.  _____________________________________________________________________

Scottie Sheffler wins the first Evans Scholars invitational at the Glen Club

Scottie Sheffler is the first winner of the Evans Scholars Invitational at the Glen Club.

Sheffler came from six shots behind in the final round, to earn his first professional victory. Sheffler gets the first place check of $99,000 dollars, but it wasn’t easy. Because the win came in a two hole playoff with Marcelo Rozo.

Sheffler earned the win after making a 20 foot birdie putt.

Click here to hear the interview, with Evans Scholars invitational winner Scottie Sheffler.

Sheffler left the golf course down one shot. As he went insdie the Glen Club to grab a bite to eat, he saw that Rozo had made a bogey. Because he was now tied for the lead, Sheffler immediately went to get ready for a playoff, just in case. And it was a good thing he did, because 30 minutes later, that’s exactly where he was.

Both Sheffler and Rozo headed back to the par 5, 18th hole tee box. Both players then reached the green in three shots. Neither player had a short birdie putt. But Sheffler went first and left his putt short. Rozo then followed and did the same thing. With that it was back to the 18th hole tee box, for playoff hole number two.

Sheffler found the fairway with his second shot. Rozo was some 30 yards past Sheffler, but hit it left and up near a small tree. Sheffler found the green, and left himself a 30 foot birdie attempt. Rozo hit a great shot that ran across the corner of the green, before just inching it’s way into the rought behind the green.

Rozo then putted his ball, leaving it about 8 feet short of the cup. Sheffler then went for the win. Taking the break out of the putt, Sheffler ran his putt into the bottom of the cup for the win. Had he missed the putt, Sheffler might have had 10 feet coming back to the hole.

A nice gallery of about 300 people stuck around to watch the playoff.

Former University of Illinois golfer Luke Guthrie, finsihed two shots back in 4th place. Reigning Illinois Open Champion Vince India, closed with a 69, and tied for 19th place.

Another University of Illinois alum Nick Hardy, went after a final round low score to earn a spot in next weeks Web.com event in Raliegh North Carolina. Hardy shot a great 7 under par 65, to finish at 10 under par. But ended up in 27th place. So he was immediately headed to the airport, so he could try to Monday qualify for Raleigh.

Hardy spoke after his round, telling Golfers on Golf he “has no status” on any tour. So while his game is rounding into shape, he is having some trouble finding tournaments to play in. Hardy will try to qualify for the U.S. Open next Monday, June 3rd in Ohio. He is hoping to earn a sponsors exemption into the John Deere Classic in July.

May 25th Broadcast

Golfers on Golf Radio is talk radio created by golfers for golfers, and is broadcast live on WNDZ 750AM in Chicago. Ed Stevenson, Rory Spears, Bill Berger, and Mike Munro host the show.  This week’s show includes:

  • The guys discuss the Web.com Tour Event at the Glen Club in Glenview – the Evans Scholars Invitational.
  • John Cannon, the president of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Alabama, checks in for a live interview.
  • Conversation with Illinois PGA Professional Brett Barcel, the Director of Golf at Mt. Prospect Golf Club.

ILLINOIS HAS SLOW START AT NCAA NATIONALS

THE EVANS SCHOLARS INVITATIONAL at the Glen Club final Round play tomorrow. Tee times 9-11 Am. Free Admission (R) Illini Alum Nick Hardy recaps his 1st round play. ______________________________________________________________________

Illinois Men’s team Golf Coach Mike Small

Illinois golf coach Mike Small knew he had a young team to assemble this year.

Small led his players to the Big Ten Championship, and advanced them to the NCAA National Championships after a first place finish at the regionals.

However the nationals are a different story, and Illinois is in 27th place, so they are struggling to make the 54 hole cut. Because only the top 15 schools will advance after 54 holes of play. The NCAA Men’s National Golf Championships are being played at the Blessings Golf Club, in Fayetteville Arkansas.

Illinois was 10 shots better in Round 2, than in Round 1. But they fell back three spots on the leaderboard. Oklahoma State at 2 under par, leads second place Stanford by 12 shots. Illinois will have to make up a minimum of 11 shots, to advance to the final round of stroke play.

Michael Feagles leads Illinois with rounds of 76-71 and is +3, for 36 holes on the par 72 golf course.

The Big Ten is lead by Ohio State, that is in a 3-way tie for seventh place. Ohio State and Illinois are the only Big Ten schools that qualfied for the national championships.