U of I's Small leads way at IPGA Player Championship

The Illinois PGA will unveil a new format and site for its Players Championship next week at Conway Farms in Lake Forest.

The top 35 players on the Bernardi Player of the Year standings and the host professional received invitations to the 36-hole event Monday and Tuesday. The battle for the title and Player of the Year honors figures to center on the top five in the standings.

No. 1 is Illinois men's coach Mike Small, who won the IPGA Championship for the 13th time this year. Second is Medinah's Travis Johnson, the 2018 Player of the Year and runner-up to Skokie's Garrett Chaussard last year.

Mistwood's Andy Mickelson, who defeated Small in the Match Play Championship at Elgin Country Club, is third, and Butler National's Jeff Kellen is fourth. Chaussard lost the title match to Elgin's Jon Duppler in his bid for a Match Play three-peat but - being fifth in the standings - is in position to retain Player of the Year honors with a good showing at Conway Farms.

The section's Senior Division is busy as well. Michael Troy, of Zigfield Golf Club in Woodridge, defeated David Paeglow, of Kishwaukee in DeKalb, in the title match of the IPGA Senior Match Play Championship last week at Biltmore in Barrington.

Making that title match unique was that the sons of Troy and Paeglow are roommates at Illinois State and teammates on the golf team.

The Match Play was the last regular season event on IPGA Seniors' schedule, but not the end of the tournament run.

Virtually the same field of players battled for the Illinois Senior Open title, which was to conclude Tuesday at Royal Fox in St. Charles. After the Errie Ball Senior Player of the Year standings are updated the top 32 will advance to the IPGA Senior Players Championship Oct. 12 and 13 at Twin Orchard in Long Grove.

CDGA: The Chicago District Golf Association hosted a qualifier for the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball last week at Odyssey in Tinley Park with Michael Fastert of Wheeling and Dusty Drench of Davenport, Iowa, advancing.

CDGA's Members Appreciation Day is Oct. 8 at Glenview Park. Entries close Thursday.

At college: Northern Illinois men's coach John Carlson has scheduled the Heidi Wealth Management Series. Next event is Saturday at Michigan's Kingsley Club. Sites of the remaining events include Rich Harvest Farms, the Huskies' home course in Sugar Grove; Crystal Tree in Orland Park; White Eagle in Naperville; The Glen Club in Glenview; Black Sheep in Sugar Grove; and Chicago Highlands in Westchester.

First Tee: The First Tee of Greater Chicago is raising $1.5 million for its Waveland Capital Campaign to renovate and operate the facility at Chicago's Marovitz course. More than $230,00 was raised at a corporate challenge at North Shore Country Club in Glenview.

Luke Donald - the former Northwestern star and world No. 1 player and long time First Tee benefactor - will assist in the designing of an outdoor short game area.

"First Tee provides so many kids with opportunities I was so lucky to have growing up," Donald said.

Coming soon: Tour Edge, the Batavia club manufacturer, plans to unveil its largest product launch in the company's 34-year history. It'll be done in stages starting Oct. 6.

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