Scot Frankenreider (Chicago District Golf Association Photo)
Last September at Riverside Golf Club, Scot Frankenreider emerged victorious from a three-hole aggregate playoff to capture the 36th Illinois State Senior Amateur Championship.
Despite the win, Frankenreider, in the midst of his first season back competing in CDGA-administered events in nearly a decade, admittedly “stumbled” to the finish on the final day after holding the lead the first two days.
It wasn’t that his game was lacking or that he couldn’t withstand the pressure cooker that is elite amateur golf. It was that he didn’t meet the most simple requirement to compete in the event.
That finish prompted the 56-year-old to work on making “a couple of tweaks” to his swing this season, with the hope of mitigating those problems should he be in a similar situation again.
Those changes manifested in the form of another title Wednesday, as Frankenreider captured the 37th Illinois State Senior Amateur Championship at Rockford Country Club. A final-round 3-under 68 and a three-round total of 207, was good enough for a seven-shot victory over Glenn Przybylski. Frankenreider was the only player in the field to finish the event under par in his title defense at 6 under.
Frankenreider, who held the lead after each of the first two rounds again this year, stated on Tuesday that some nerves had also played a factor in last year’s edition. Playing in the final group Wednesday with Brad Kay and Tim Sheppard, both senior champions in their own right, Frankenreider’s opening drive found the trees left of the fairway. While a Sheppard birdie applied pressure, a par by Frankenreider helped calm any anxiety.
“I was in the trees and had to chip out, hit a so-so chip,” Frankenreider told the CDGA. “I had an 8-to-10-foot downhill putt after [Sheppard] had made birdie to climb a couple closer. I think once I made that par on the first, I felt a lot better, and from there on out, I was really calm all day.”
His first red figure of the day came on the par-3 fourth, before a bogey on the par-4 No. 7. Frankenreider’s aforementioned ball-striking and length off the tee, another arrow in his quiver, showcased themselves with a slew of birdies on Rockford’s back nine. He birdied the par-5 No. 10 and par-3 No. 11 before another birdie on the par-5 No. 15.
Following Wednesday’s final round, Frankenreider had led after each of the last six rounds of play in the Illinois State Senior Amateur - three this year and three last year. For somebody who took some time away from the game to care for his family, his return to the competitive senior golf scene, and specifically this week at Rockford, has showcased the current state of his game and how he attacks a golf course.
“On this course, there were some lines that I could take because of my length, that I could really forget about some trouble and just swing away,” said Frankenreider. “It was nice, I cut a couple of corners. [My] iron play was great too, distance control was phenomenal today.”
The Peoria native is the first player to go back-to-back in the Illinois State Senior Amateur since Dave Ryan in 2015-16 and just the fifth all-time to do so. With two titles under his belt, along with valuable lessons learned from both victories, Frankenreider knows a third title isn't out of the question next year.
“Hopefully, keep heading in the right direction,” he said. “Getting back in and putting myself in these situations, the more you do it, the easier it gets.”
Coming up, Frankenreider will highlight a field of seniors who will compete in the eighth and final CDGA Championship of the 2023 season, when the 8th CDGA Senior Amateur Four-Ball Championship is contested at Elgin Country Club, Oct. 2-5.View results for Illinois Senior Amateur
ABOUT THE Illinois Senior Amateur
Open to senior amateurs who are residents of the
state of Illinois. A 54-hole event with the entire field
playing 36 holes over the course of two days and the
low 30 and ties play the final 18 on the third day.
View Complete Tournament Information