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Len Ziehm On Golf

CDGA AMATEUR: Rain delay was a boost for Davan

Friday’s 36-hole championship match of the 93rd Chicago District Amateur was interrupted by a 2-hour 40-minute rain delay, and the break had a big impact on the outcome.

Michael Davan and David Lawrence, two players who just completed their collegiate eligibility with plans to turn pro in the fall, were locked in a tight battle when the rain pelted Cantigny’s Woodside and Lakeside nines in Wheaton.

Davan was 1-up with a drive in the fairway at the 12th hole when play resumed. He was ready for the match’s restart, Lawrence wasn’t. Davan put his first swing after the delay on the green with a 9-iron from 125 yards while Lawrence hit his 8-iron from 162 far left, into a tree stump. Davan won that hole and took the next two with birdies.

“During the delay I took a nap, and it seemed like it took me an hour and a half to wake up,’’ said Lawrence, a Moline resident and Ohio Valley Conference first-team selection for Eastern Illinois. “I went from 1-down to 4-down quickly.’’

Davan, from downstate Hoopeston and the Horizon League player-of-the-year for Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, never trailed. He went on to a 4 and 3 victory in the first of the Chicago District Golf Association’s two major tourneys. The Illinois State Amateur is in August.

“Rain delays can make for a difficult situation,’’ said Davan. “I knew the shot I had to hit, and doing it gave me momentum. I got on a little run, and that made me comfortable.’’

Lawrence, 6-down at one point, fought back to 3-down with four holes left. He had a 14-foot birdie putt that might have cut the deficit further, but his putt lipped out. Davan then rolled in a 12-footer for birdie to clinch the match.

Four state-wide qualifying round advanced 60 players to the four-day competition at Cantigny. Though he’s had wins in college and junior events, Davan made the CDGA Am – oldest amateur tourney in the Midwest – his first major win. It came after a runner-up finish in the Southwest Amateur last week.