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CDGA Amateur: Less outlasts defending champ in 37-hole final
- CDGA photo
- CDGA photo

GOLF, Ill. – In a championship match befitting of the venerable CDGA Amateur Championship's 100th iteration, Jordan Less (Elmhurst / Oak Brook GC) outlasted defending champion David Perkins (East Peoria / Quail Meadows GC) in 37 holes to hoist the Joseph G. Davis Trophy Thursday at Glen View Club.

Less and Perkins matched each other shot-for-shot throughout the majority of the afternoon, both rising to the occasion by playing some of their best golf. The duo combined to notch 23 birdies over the course of the match, which never featured a competitor leading by more than two holes. The entirety of the second 18 was played within a one-hole margin, with the deciding moment coming on the first playoff hole when a Less par secured the title.

“This is probably my first win since junior golf,” Less, a rising senior at Northern Illinois University, said. “Especially against David, the defending champion, it feels really good. We both played great. It was a great match and I'm thankful to be the champion.”

Despite admitting after his win that the circumstances were “the most pressure I've ever felt in a golf tournament,” Less excelled down the stretch. With the match even on the par-4 15th, the match's 33rd hole, Perkins looked primed to go ahead when his wedge approach was good for a tap-in birdie and Less' third from the greenside bunker left him with a 20-foot uphill bender. However, Less rolled in the putt to keep the match tied, before later staying even with a nervy 12-foot comebacker for par on 17.

“It's just staying neutral with your golf swing and knowing your tendencies,” Less said of his approach to handing high-pressure situations.

Two pars on 18 set the stage for the decisive first playoff hole. After Less found the fairway with his drive, Perkins' tee shot leaked right, with his view into the green slightly obstructed by trees. Perkins' punch shot landed on the green but rolled off the back, while Less' wedge approach left him just 12 feet for birdie and the championship. Perkins could not get up and down, making Less' two-putt par enough to finish the match.

“He had a wedge in his hand, so I expected him to hit a good shot, and again he executed well,” Perkins said of the match's 37th hole. “Once I missed the putt, I knew it was over. It was a tough way to lose.”

Perkins made a valiant effort to become the event's first back-to-back winner since Joe Affrunti in 2000 and 2001. The senior-to-be at Illinois State University notched 10 birdies over the course of the match's final 22 holes, including a stretch of four-straight from hole Nos. 20-23, but it wasn't enough to repeat.

“It was a pretty exciting match,” Perkins said. “Jordan played great, he's a good player. It was a fun day.

“In the last few days, it's been a lot of golf and I've played plenty of good golf,” Perkins added. “I think I did a pretty good job of defending and I'm proud of how I played this week. Hats off to Jordan.”

Less earned the No. 4 seed for match play with stroke-play rounds of 73 and 69 on Monday. His route to the championship match consisted of topping Nick Tenuta, 4 and 3, Charlie Nikitas in 19 holes and Bennett Cotton, 4 and 3. Perkins' 6-under total of 138 was good enough for the No. 2 seed in match play, before he bested Drew Shepherd, 4 and 3, 2016 CDGA Am winner Andrew Price in 24 holes and Eric Wessel, 7 and 5.

ABOUT THE Chicago District Amateur

Open to active CDGA members with an index 5.4 or below who have advanced through qualifying or meet exemption criteria. Format is 36-hole stroke play qualifying to determine the low 16 advancing to match play.

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