The IPGA Senior Players Championship concluded on Tuesday at Twin Orchard, in Long Grove, and the key players in it headed for Port St. Lucie, FL., for the Senior PGA Professional Championship, which begins its 72-hole run on Thursday.
Ten IPGA members are in the field for the 50-and-over national tourney at PGA Golf Club, and they included five of the top seven on the Errie Ball Player of the Year point race prior to the 36-hole competition at Twin Orchard. David Paeglow, head pro at Kishawakee in DeKalb had the local award all but locked up before play began at Twin Orchard with only second place Roy Biancalana, a teaching pro at Blackberry Oaks in Bristol, having a remote chance to catch him.
Paeglow protected his lead by finishing fifth at Twin Orchard. Biancalana was third as Kevin Healy, of Black Sheep in Sugar Grove, won the title. Healy was the only player to finish under par in the 36-hole competition. All three hurried to O’Hare afterwards to catching their flights for the national event in Florida.
Last year Biancalana tied for 22nd and Paeglow tied for 49th in the national tournament. Paeglow, 53, won the Illinois Senior Open this year, was second in the IPGA Senior Match Play and tied for second in the IPGA Senior Championship. He also won two of the section’s senior stroke play events. The highlight of Biancalana’s season was a victory in the Illinois Super Seniors Championship.
While the IPGA doesn’t make its Player of the Year awards official until a banquet in mid-November, the winners are determined on point standings after the tournament season is over.
Ironically neither Paeglow, Healy nor Biancalana may be the section’s best bet in the national event in Florida. Mike Small, though beaten out by Paeglow for senior honors, still was the IPGA over-all Player of the Year. A 13-time winner of the IPGA Championship, he skipped the local finale at Twin Orchard to get ready for another run at a national title.
Small, the University of Illinois men’s coach, is a three-time winner of the PGA Professional National Championship.
Illinois club pros also qualified for the national event in Florida are Ivanhoe’s Jim Sobb, Bilmore’s Doug Bauman, Chicago Golf Club’s John Guyton and Beverly’s John Varner. Also making the trip to Florida were David Hannon, from Links & Tees, and Kevin Rafferty, of Golf Galaxy in Vernon Hills.
HERE AND THERE
Tim Sheppard, of East Peoria, and Tom Kearfoot, of El Paso, won the Chicago District Senior Amateur Four-Ball title for the third time in the event’s five-year history, beating Mike Karney, of Crystal Lake, and Mike Mcloone, of Arlington Heights, in the championship match. The event at Aurora Country Club was the fourth and final championship on a CDGA schedule that was heavily modified by pandemic issues.
Onwentsia, in Lake Forest, has agreed to host the Western Junior championship in 2021. The club was to host this year but was canceled because of the pandemic. Naperville Country Club, which was to host in 2021, will now be the site in 2022 and Midlothian will take it in 2023.
Toptracer — a popular attraction at the Mistwood Golf Dome, in Bolinbrook — is being added to the Mistwood Performance Center, in Romeoville, as well. The Performance Center will also have winter hours this year.