Well-timed birdie bomb leaves Farnam with Illinois Am title
Ethan Farnam (CDGA photo)
Ethan Farnam (CDGA photo)

It has been a few years since Ethan Farnam found the top of an Illinois amateur leaderboard. Even then, it was at the Illinois Junior Amateur back in 2015. On Thursday, though, Farnam outplayed a far more experienced field and with the only sub-70 round of the day at Cantigny GC in Wheaton, Ill., and won the Illinois Amateur by two shots.

The championship was shortened to 54 holes due to an excessive heat warning in the area, and the third and final round went off in a steady 20 mph wind. Farnam, a rising junior at Saint Mary’s College, had opened with rounds of 69 and 70 which put him in the final round but still four shots back.

Second-round leader David Perkins, a rising senior at Illinois State, had built that lead to six shots after the third round began.

“He takes a six-stroke lead and right there I'm just like, ‘Ick. This is going to be tough,' ” Farnam told the CDGA. “He's going to either have to give me something or I'm going to have to really give him something, and kind of both things happened.”

The tide began to turn on the par-3 eighth, where Farnam stuck a 6-iron tight and converted the birdie, which, coupled with a Perkins bogey, put him within three strokes. Farnam got one closer by rolling in a birdie putt on the par-5 11th after striking a wedge from 75 yards to two feet. Both players narrowly missed birdie opportunities on No. 12 before the championship-altering 13th.

There, Farnam dropped a 70-footer for birdie while Perkins made double bogey. It was a three-shot swing, and he beginning of the end for Perkins, who parred out for 75.

Farnam made birdie again on the next hole, which all but sealed the deal. His closing 69 left him at 8 under for the week while Perkins was at 6 under.

“It's definitely a large spring board. I've been trying to tell myself that I've been playing good and use that as my spring board, but to finally get on top of the leaderboard at the end of the tournament, I can pull from this and know I got it in the tank, I know what I'm doing and I can do it.”

Quotes and information from CGDA used in this report

Results: Illinois State Amateur
1ILEthan FarnamCrystal Lake, IL30069-70-69=208
T2ILDavid PerkinsEast Peoria, IL20068-67-75=210
T2ILJordan LessElmhurst, IL20073-67-70=210
T4ILParker WisdomBloomington, IL10070-69-73=212
T4ILJake EricksonSpringfield, IL10073-68-71=212

View full results for Illinois State Amateur

ABOUT THE Illinois State Amateur

Must be a resident of the state of Illinois and advance through an 18-hole qualifier prior to the event. Format is 72-holes of stroke play over three days. The low 35 after round 2 will advance to the 36-hole final day.

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