LIBERTYVILLE, Ill. (Aug. 30, 2007)-- This year marked the largest field to date for the 5th Annual Merit Amateur held at the Merit Club in Libertyville, IL. Playing a stableford format over 54 holes, 28 teams from 9 different states competed in the event with 8 teams making up the senior division and 20 teams for the Mid-Am division.
In the Senior Division, the team of David Moe and Dick Forrestal held off some fierce competition from Bev Hargraves/Jud Grace and Bobby Forster/Steve Friend to capture their first Merit Am title at -3 points. Defending champions Gus Kozina/Fred Lukasik were in the hunt after day one, but were unable to mount a comeback to repeat as champions.
The Mid-Am division provided was drama-filled as five teams were within seven points of the lead headed into the final 27 holes. The team of Brad Rendell and Scott Willie captured the lead after day one with +14 points followed by 2004 Champions John Gregorio and Craig McConnell with +13 points. Newcomer teams Marty Rifkin/Bill Miller and Erik Ciotti/Mike Affeldt made great first impressions with +11 and +10 respectively on the first day. But in the end it was the team of Chris Beto and Eric Burch coming from behind to capture the 5th Merit Amateur, and Beto’s 4th title in 5 years with a grand total of +19 points.