The Chicago District Golf Association Amateur started in 1914 and was first won by the legendary Chick Evans. The four day event is put on a pedestal by local golfers due to its longevity and prestige.
“It would definitely be a big feather in the cap," said Todd Mitchell, the event's runner up. "As far as history goes, we go out here to compete and have fun against everyone else. It would validate what I’ve done throughout the years, I haven’t really had much success in this event and it’s definitely one that I would like to win so it would mean a lot to me personally.”
Robert Markionni, the Executive Director of the CDGA, stressed the potential for the winners of this tournament stating, "we have had amateur’s in the past that have won and gone pro in the past. You’re never sure, go back a few years and names like Lance Tanbrook and David Oberon both won this event and both went on to play in the PGA tour. Some it can be a spring board, some it can be a lifelong amateur."
“This is an event that can define their career with a victory,” stressed CDGA Senior Managing Director, Matt Baylor.
The players have to earn the trophy through a grueling process. They begin with 36 holes of stroke play on Monday. The low 16 then advance to a match play bracket, which will start with two rounds on Tuesday before the semifinals on Wednesday. Finally, a champion is crowned on Thursday following a taxing 36 hole championship match.
“I don’t care who you are, its tough on the body. Mostly focus, just have to focus on eating and staying hydrated,” insisted Kyle Slattery of SIUE's men's golf team.
Baylor, emphasized just how tough this process can be. “I think just being mentally and physically prepared. You’re going out there on Monday and you’re playing 36 holes. It’s a lot of golf in 4 days and a lot of these guys came out on Sunday and played a practice round so that’s 5 days that you’re constantly going.”
A tournament that is rich in history is slowly evolving, attracting a younger demographic.
“When you look at the players competitive golf has brought to the forefront the college age and high schoolers, they can move the ball pretty well and they don’t have any fear. They’re out there and they’re willing to tackle anybody,” said Markionni.
Lake Bluff native, Andrew Price, played his best golf of the week Thursday, tallying only three bogeys compared to five birdies and an eagle on his way to a 4 and 3 victory over Mitchell.