Winfield's Kevin Streelman wasn't the only Illinois golfer earning a trip to the Masters. D.A. Points, the former University of Illinois golfer, also did it by winning the Shell Houston Open on Sunday.
Like Streelman, Points will be making his second Masters appearance next week; both missed the cut in 2011. Unlike Streelman, his recent victory wasn't his first on the PGA Tour. He won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 2011.
Since that win, though, Points had missed 17 of 25 cuts, including seven of nine this year. When he did survive the 36-hole cuts this season, he finished tied for 63rd and tied for 68th. At Houston, though, he birdied the first five holes en route to a first-round 64, then finished off the win with up-and-down pars on the last two holes Sunday after enduring a three-hour rain delay.
The clincher was a 13-foot par-putt on the last hole, one of many he made playing with a 25-year-old Ping putter his mother once used.
Cog sets the pace:
First competitive events of the Chicago season will be Saturday and Sunday when Cog Hill conducts Spring Scrambles. They'll be held on the Nos. 1 and 2 courses on Saturday and the Nos. 2 and 3 courses on Sunday. Entry fee is $60 per team. The Lemont facility has three of its four courses open. No. 4, Dubsdread, longtime site of the PGA Tour's BMW Championship, will open on April 13 with a $155 greens fee, cart included. The other Jemsek Golf facility, Pine Meadow in Mundelein, opens on Thursday.
Ready to go:
Course operators have been stymied by fluctuating temperatures this spring, but the following courses have announced their openings: Oak Meadows in Addison; Maple Meadows in Wood Dale; Green Meadows in Westmont; Settler's Hill and Tanna Farms in Geneva; Foxford Hills and Cary Country Club in Cary; Zigfield Troy in Woodridge; Chevy Chase, in Wheeling; Arlington Lakes in Arlington Heights; Schaumburg Golf Club; and Shepherd's Crook in Zion.
Cantigny in Wheaton is set to open Friday. Fox Run in Elk Grove has nine holes open and the back nine, renovated by Aurora architect Greg Martin, will hold a grand reopening on April 21.
The Sportsman's and Anetsberger courses in Northbrook, will open on Thursday.
Most courses will base their openings on the weather, so a call ahead is advised.
Eagle Ridge, Illinois' premier golf resort in Galena, will open its South course on Monday, then The General on April 15, and the East course on April 22. The North layout is open year-round.
French Lick Resort, in Indiana, will open its Golf Academy on Friday.