SAVOY, Ill. – The season’s first Great Lakes regional tournament brought some drama, a tight finish, and an eventual sudden death playoff for the medalist position.
The first day, played at The University of Illinois’ Blue Course, was headlined by Illinois State A’s hot start, which was led by Eric Hogenkamp’s scorching back nine 32 that set the pace for his first day 74. The team itself (388) led the tournament by 10 after the first day, surpassing Purdue’s 398. Notre Dame’s A and B teams trailed in 3rd and 4th, while IUPUC, Illinois State B, Northwestern, and Bradley filled out the field. Notre Dame A’s Brian Miller led the individual field by 1 after Day 1 with a brilliant 73, highlighted by an eagle on the 9th hole and a steady rest of the day.
However, Day 2 was not short of drama, as the early morning start on the Orange Course saw Purdue make a strong comeback. Led by eventual champion Aaron Amick’s 75, the Boilermakers shot 393 on Day 2 for a team total of 791. Illinois State’s normally steady roster yielded some uncharacteristically high scores, but 79s from the pairing of Hogenkamp and Dylan Granquist and a comeback round of 78 from Brian Day sealed the tournament for the Redbirds, who finished two shots ahead at 789. The rest of the field stayed steady in their positions, with Notre Dame A taking home the possibly important 3rd place Nationals qualifying point. In the individual tournament, Miller fell behind into 4th place, while Amick and Hogenkamp played solid golf and tied for the lead at 153 over the two days. Amick’s par on the playoff hole won him the trophy as Hogenkamp’s four foot par attempt slid just right of the hole. Notre Dame B’s Will Murphy proved himself worthy in his first ever tournament with a solo third place finish, ending up one off the pace at 154. The rest of the all-tournament team was Bennet Rieke (Purdue), Granquist, Jason Plepel (Purdue), and Wes Greene (Notre Dame A).
The tournament ended well, and we hope the excitement carries on to next weekend’s event at Legends Golf Club in Franklin, IN. Keep an eye out for the Great Lakes next week, as the two defending National Finalists (ND A and Purdue) will try and knock relative newcomer ISU A from the regional pedestal. The #RoadtoJersey has only just begun.
***Connect with RC Sean Flanagan on Twitter @NCCGAGreatLakes.