LA GRANGE, Ill. (June 27, 2013) — Bryce Emory (Aurora Country Club) won the 94th CDGA Amateur Championship at Edgewood Valley Country Thursday, defeating Blake Johnson (Glen View Club) 2 and 1 in the 36-hole championship match. The Aurora native and recent Northern Illinois University graduate was the fifth seed in the match play portion of the event.
“It was a long week, we played more than 100 holes in four days,” Emory said, after winning the title on what was the 119th hole he played during the week’s 36-hole stroke play qualifier and four matches. “My first round I struggled, but I was patient and figured it out. All week I started out slow, then got in a groove and ended up on the right side of the match.”
In the first tour of the 6,807-yard facility, neither golfer was able to separate himself from the other, as no one held a lead of more than 1 up, with each golfer carding three birdies. However, when the golfers returned to the par-5 first a second time, Emory found his groove and would garner a lead he would never relinquish. After putting a tee shot in the fairway, Emory used a 7-iron from 205 yards and knocked it to 8 feet—a putt he would convert for eagle.
“That first round was a stalemate,” Emory added. “I was grinding. Blake (Johnson) played great, he never gave, hit the ball well, made pars and forced you to win holes.”
Emory played the first four holes of the second round at 3-under par, but Johnson hung right with him just one back. A Johnson bogey at the fifth hole gave Emory a 2-up lead, but Johnson would capitalize on an Emory bogey two holes later to cut the lead back to one. Emory would win the ninth hole with a par, then expand his lead to 3 up by dropping in a birdie on the 10th. Johnson would get one back on the par-3 13th, where Emory suffered one of his few hiccups en route to the title, carding a double bogey. As the opportunities for Johnson to get back into the match waned, Emory closed the door on the match at the 17th, rolling in a 40-foot birdie putt to seal the title.
“It’s always fun to play with these college kids, I had some advice from Steve Sawtell (two-time CDGA Amateur champion) and Dave Ryan (2012 CDGA Player of the Year), I just didn’t have enough game,” Johnson said, after becoming only the third mid-amateur to advance to the championship match in the past seven CDGA Ams. “You keep them honest. You go out there and hit your fairways, hit the greens and make your putts.”
Despite heavy rains which delayed the finish of the 36-hole qualifier on Monday and plagued the second and third rounds of match play on Wednesday, both players were complimentary of the club after completing the final in nearly perfect weather conditions.
“As much rain as we had, the course was in excellent shape,” the champion added. “It was challenging, the greens were soft but fast—it was very tough to two putt.”
The amateur golf season in the region continues in less than three weeks when Emory and Johnson are among the 137 golfers vying for the 83rd Illinois State Amateur Championship, July 16-18, at Aldeen Golf Club in Rockford.
View results for Chicago District Amateur Golf Championship