Golf: Glenview's Ramsey wins CDGA tournament over longtime rival, partner and friend

As the father of 12- and 9-year-old boys, Glenview's John Ramsey is deeply familiar with the dynamics of a sibling rivalry.

The unconditional bond augmented by a profound competitiveness.

In his relationship with Chadd Slutzky of Deer Park, Ramsey considers himself the 9-year-old. While the Ramsey-Slutzky duo has combined to win three Chicago District Golf Association Amateur Four-Ball Championships and qualify for three U.S. Four-Ball Championships as a tandem, Slutzky has been the more accomplished solo player, winning the 2022 CDGA Player of the Year award and owning four CDGA-administered individual titles compared to Ramsey's one.

On May 17 at Libertyville's Merit Club, however, it was the little brother who "came out swinging."

Mere hours before boarding a flight together to head to Kiawah Island, South Carolina, for this year's U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship, Ramsey got the best of "big brother" Slutzky, winning the championship match of the eighth CDGA Mid-Amateur Championship in 19 holes.

"We've had a few (wins) together, but he has a bunch on his own, so it felt good to go out there and get a second one myself," said Ramsey, who also claimed the 2020 Illinois State Mid-Amateur Championship.

"It's been a few years since the first one. It's nice to validate the first one with this one," he said.

In the first matchup in a CDGA-administered event between the two cohorts, who deemed the experience "weird," Ramsey admittedly was nervous early on. Slutzky won the first two holes to gain an early 2-up advantage.

"When you go up against somebody like him, you can't make a lot of mistakes," Ramsey said of his slow start. "I stayed in it and tried to battle."

Ramsey began his fight back with a birdie on the par-4 fourth. From there, the rest of the match was played within a one-hole margin.

Still 1 down at the turn, Ramsey gained his first advantage with pars on Nos. 10 and 11. After a setback on the par-5 12th, Ramsey bounced back by driving the green on the water-lined par-4 13th hole and two-putting for birdie.

After tying the par-4 14th, Slutzky and Ramsey rotated hole wins on Nos. 15-17 to set up an even match on the tee box of the par-5 18th.

Fittingly, the duo found themselves side by side 40 yards short of the 18th green laying two.

"You really couldn't have drawn it up any more perfectly," Ramsey said.

Both players got up and down for birdie, sending them back to No. 18 for a 19th hole. This time, both players found the green in two - Ramsey, however, was below the hole, while Slutzky had a difficult downhill eagle putt from the back of the green.

"I had a good feeling that, if I could get up and down for birdie, that the two-putt for him was going to be difficult," Ramsey said.

Slutzky went first and ran his putt about 8 feet beyond the hole. Ramsey lagged his to "gimme" range, and when Slutzky missed his comebacker, "little brother" was triumphant.

After a quick lunch, the friends headed to Midway Airport to board a flight to South Carolina for the U.S. Four-Ball, where ultimately Ramsey and Slutzky did not reach match play.

Asked if he'd bring up his CDGA Four-Ball title during the trip, with his trademark laugh Ramsey said: "The entire time."

Glenview's John Ramsey displays the trophy he earned for winning the eighth Chicago District Golf Association Mid-Amateur Championship May 17 at Libertyville's Merit Club. Courtesy of the Chicago District Golf Association
Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.