2015 Ill. Mid-Am champ Chadd Slutzky (CDGA photo)
FLOSSMOOR, Ill. — During the Illinois State Mid-Amateur Championship’s five-year run at Flossmoor Country Club, the best finish Chadd Slutzky could muster was fourth place in 2011 and 2013. That all changed on Wednesday when the 38-year old Deer Park native worked overtime to defeat defending champion Andrew Price in a three-hole aggregate playoff. Slutzky used an 8-foot birdie on the third playoff hole for a bogey-par-birdie finish, besting Price (bogey-par-par) by one shot.
“This is awesome,” Slutzky said following the playoff. “Definitely my biggest win. I’ve done some USGA events and made match play, but this is the biggest win by far.”
After an opening round 75 on Tuesday, Slutzky carded seven birdies en route to a second round 68 to earn a spot in the final group on Wednesday. A pair of birdies on the front nine helped him keep pace with second round co-leader Price, but recovering from an errant tee shot for an eagle at the 553-yard, par-5 10th helped launch him to the top of the leaderboard.
“10 was interesting because I drove it right into the trees, but I had a pretty good lie and 270 (yards) to the pin so I hit hybrid and it ran probably 50 yards to about 3 feet,” Slutzky said of the eagle.
After a birdie at the 12th, Slutzky struggled down the stretch with bogeys at the 15th, 16th and 17th before righting the ship and matching Price with a birdie at the 18th.
“I just started bogeying coming in, it was tough,” Slutzky added. “Maybe some nerves, but I wasn’t making great swings.”
The defending champion Price opened the week with a 1-over 73 before using five birdies to card a second round 69 and entered the final round with a share of the lead. Trailing by three with five holes to play, Price parred four straight holes before narrowly missing a 25-foot eagle putt which would have clinched victory. In the playoff, Price went blow-for-blow with Slutzky before his tee shot on the final hole found the left rough, forcing him to lay up.
“It was a good week, I hit it well, I hit a bunch of greens, just didn’t make the putts,” Price said. “I like this golf course, it fits my eye, the greens here are in great shape, firm and fast, which I like.”
Glenn Przybylski finished third, five shots back of the lead duo. Derek Meinhart captured fourth another shot back and Tim Sheppard finished fifth, seven shots in arrears of the leaders.
The low 21 finishers (20 and ties) earned exemptions into the 2016 Illinois State Mid-Amateur Championship.
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