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Len Ziehm On Golf

Schiene replaces Kaufmann as men’s coach at DePaul

Marty Schiene spent 15 seasons playing on the professional golf tours around the world, qualified for four U.S. Opens and won the Illinois Open three times. Now he’s landed a job that he calls “a dream come true.’’

Schiene will take over as head coach of the DePaul University men’s team at the end of the 2016-17 season. Betty Kaufmann announced her retirement after 19 seasons as the Blue Demons’ head coach last week. Kaufmann’s tenure came to an end when the Blue Demons finished fourth in the Big East Conference tournament on Tuesday. They led going into the final round before Marquette rallied to win the event for the third straight year.

Kaufmann, one of the very few women to coach a men’s college team in any sport, did lots of good things while guiding the Blue Demons. The Golf Coaches Association of American named her teams Academic National Champions four times.

She also established an indoor facility on the school’s Chicago campus and established a partnership with Ruffled Feathers in Lemont for outdoor practice and the home site of the school’s John Dallio Memorial tournament. This season’s team opened the season by winning the Dallio event.

Schiene began his coaching career with five seasons as head man at Chicago State and spent one season as associate coach for both the men’s and women’s teams at Loyola before becoming Kaufmann’s assistant this season. Both Kaufmann and Schiene have also been successful teachers at various golf facilities around the Chicago area.

“I hope to build on the tremendous success coach Kaufmann has had over the years in keeping a high academic standard and being a very competitive golf team,’’ said Schiene, an All American while playing collegiately for Illinois. His Illinois Open wins came in 1991, 1992 and 1997.

Illini, NU await NCAA invites

The Northwestern and Illinois women’s teams received their invitations to the NCAA tournament last week and the men’s teams at both schools should receive theirs on Thursday.

On Sunday the Illini and Wildcats finished one-two in the Big Ten tournament at Baltimore Country Club and Dylan Meyer of Illinois was the individual winner. Meyer’s first-round 63 was a Big Ten record and his title was the seventh straight for the Illini in the Big Ten tournament. Illinois has won the event three straight times and eight times in the last nine years.

Illinois coach Mike Small and Luke Donald, a former NCAA champion for Northwestern, will be featured in The Golf Channel’s selection show on Thursday. They’ll throw out the first pitch at the Cubs-Phillies game at Wrigley Field and then Donald will sing at the Seventh Inning Stretch.

Meanwhile, the NU women will begin their bid for a spot in the NCAA finals in a three-day regional in Athens, Ga., and the Illini women will put their hopes on the line at Albuquerque, N.M. Both regionals start next Monday (MAY 8). The men’s regionals are May 15-17.

Then competition switches to Rich Harvest in Sugar Grove, which will host the women’s finals from May 19-24 and the men’s finals from May 26-31.

Here and there

Klara Spilkova, the first golfer from the Czech Republic to win a professional tournament, has accepted a special exemption to compete in next month’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Olympia Fields.

Brad Hopfinger, one of the few golfers to win both the Illinois State Amateur and Illinois Open, and Michael Schachner, a member at host club Ivanhoe, have received the first two sponsor exemptions into the Web.com Tour’s Rust-Oleum Championship.

The 66th Illinois PGA Match Play Championship, first of the section’s four major tournaments, begins on Monday (MAY 8) at Kemper Lakes in Kildeer. The first local qualifier for the U.S. Open will also be played on Monday at Midlane, in Wadsworth.

Mission Hills, which operated mainly as a private club in Northbrook since 1926, has undergone an ownership change and the Northbrook facility is now operating as a nine-hole public facility.

LPGA teaching professionals Tina Favia and Gay Crain are offering a short game clinic for high school age girls at Cantigny Youth Links, in Wheaton.

The Chicago State women’s team has been invited to the 31st PGA Minority Collegiate Championship, to be played at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, FL, from May 11-14 and Elijah Collins, of Lake Forest, was invited to compete in the men’s competition as an individual.

Foxford Hills, in Cary, will hold its Par Under the Stars moonlight outing on May 13.