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ELEVEN ILLINOIS PGA PROS TO COMPETE IN PGA PROFESSIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP AT BAYONET BLACK HORSE

June 15th, 2018

Top 20 Finishers to Earn Automatic Berth in 100th PGA Championship at Bellerive CC in St. Louis
 
GLENVIEW, Ill. – June 15, 2018 – The Illinois PGA Section will be well represented at the PGA Professional Championship (PPC) that runs Sunday, June 17 to Wednesday, June 20 at the Bayonet Black Horse courses in Seaside, California. Eleven Section members join the tournament field which consists of 312 PGA Professionals from around the country. A $50,000 check awaits the overall champion, while a top 20 finish earns an automatic berth in the 2018 PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, Mo. August 9-12.

Three-time PGA Professional champion (2005, 2009, 2010), Mike Small (University of Illinois Golf Club) highlights the field of Illinois PGA Section participants.  As a past national champion, Small earned an exemption into the event.  The top-10 finishers at the previous year’s Illinois PGA Section Championship automatically qualify for the PPC.

Other top players from the Section competing include 2017 Illinois PGA Champion Adam Schumacher (Indian Hill Club) and Jim Billiter (Kemper Lakes Golf Club). Billiter will be playing for the fifth year in a row and qualified by earning a fifth place finish at the 2017 Illinois PGA Championship. He was also the 2017 Illinois PGA Player of the Year.

“I’m honored to qualify with the amazing strength in our Section. I have never played Black Horse and I’m excited to play for the opportunity to qualify for the PGA Championship,” said Billiter. “It’s just really exciting and quite an honor and it keeps PGA Pros on the map with all the coverage. People might see us on TV and decide to take lessons. It’s great to be a part of.”
 
Schumacher will compete in his third PPC and second in a row, having also qualified in 2015 and 2017. “I’m honored to be a part of this event. It is such a great learning experience and gives me the opportunity to play alongside the best PGA Professionals in the country,” said Schumacher. “Last year I made both cuts and this year my goal is to make both cuts again and to finish in the Top 20. The members and staff at Indian Hill have been an incredible support for me while I’ve been preparing for the tournament and I look forward to competing again this year.”

In 2017, the PPC was held at Sunriver Resort in Sunriver, Oregon. The Illinois PGA Section top finishers were Small at T3 (285), Billiter T35 (292), and Curtis Malm (White Eagle GC) finished 71st (303). 

Following is a recap of the 11 Illinois PGA Professionals finish in the 2017 Illinois PGA Championship and recent career highlights:
 
Simon Allan
Flossmoor Country Club - PGA Director of Golf
2017 Illinois PGA Championship: 74-74-69 = 217 (T10)
  • Top 10 finish at 2017 Illinois PGA Championship at Medinah Country Club
  • Top 5 finish at 2015 Illinois PGA Championship at Medinah Country Club
  • Won 2016 Stroke Play #2 event at Westmoreland Country Club
 
Kyle Bauer
Glen View Club - Head PGA Professional
2017 Illinois PGA Championship: 70-72-73 = 215 (T6)
  • Won the2015 Illinois PGA Players Championship at Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa
  • Won 2016 Match Play Championship at Kemper Lakes Golf Club
  • Finished 3rd in 2017 Player of the Year standings
 
Doug Bauman
Biltmore Country Club - Head PGA Professional
2017 Illinois PGA Championship: 70-70-73 = 213 (T3)
  • Five top 5 finishes in 2017 season
  • 2016 Illinois Senior Open Champion at McHenry Country Club
  • Finished top 10 in the 2016 Illinois PGA Player of the Year standings
 
Jim Billiter
Kemper Lakes Golf Club - Head PGA Professional
2017 Illinois PGA Championship: 67-67-80 = 214 (5)
  • Won 2017 Match Play Championship at Kemper Lakes Golf Club
  • Won two Stroke Play events and finished T3 in one other in 2017
  • 2017 Illinois PGA Player of the Year  
 
Brian Carroll
Royal Hawk Country Club - Head PGA Professional
2017 Illinois PGA Championship: 72-72-73 = 217 (T10)
  • Semi-finalist in 2018 Match Play Championship at Kemper Lakes Golf Club
  • Finished 4th in 2017 Player of the Year standings
  • Won two Assistant Stroke Play events in 2015
 
Dakun Chang
Twin Orchard Country Club – PGA Assistant Professional
2017 Illinois PGA Championship: 68-69-77 = 213 (T3)
•In 2018, has earned top-five finishes in four events
•Finished 6th in 2017 Illinois PGA Player of the Year standings
•Won 2017 Stroke Play event #3 at Onwentsia Club
 
Connnie DeMattia
Cantigny Golf Club - PGA Director of Instruction
2017 Illinois PGA Championship:  73-73-72 = 218 (T13)
  • Finished Top 20 in 2017 Player of the Year standings
  • Top 10 finish at 2016 Match Play Championship at Kemper Lakes Golf Club
  • Won 2010 Illinois PGA Teacher of the Year award
 
Chris Green
Glen View Club - PGA Director of Instruction
2017 Illinois PGA Championship: 71-79-68 = 218 (T13)
  • Finished 2nd at 2018 Match Play Championship at Kemper Lakes Golf Club
  • Currently in 2nd place for 2018 Illinois PGA Player of the Year standings
  • Finished top 5 at the 2017 Illinois PGA Players Championship at Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa
 
Adam Schumacher
Indian Hill Club - Assistant PGA Professional
2017 Illinois PGA Championship: 67-73-69 = 209 (1)
  • Won 2017 Illinois PGA Section Championship at Medinah Country Club
  • Won 2017 Illinois PGA Players Championship at Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa
  • Finished second in the 2017 Illinois PGA Player of the Year standings
 
Mike Small
University of Illinois Golf Club - PGA Professional
University of Illinois Head Men’s Golf Coach
2017 Illinois PGA Championship: 71-70-74 = 215 (T6)
  • Won 2016 Illinois PGA Championship at Olympia Fields Country Club
  • Finished T3 at the 2017 PGA Professional Championship at Sunriver Resort Crosswater Club
  • Named 2018 Midwest Region Coach of the Year by Golf Coaches Association of America
  • Named 2018 Big 10 Coach of the Year
 
Brett Walker
Conway Farms Golf Club – Assistant PGA Professional
2017 Illinois PGA Championship: 69-70-73 = 212 (2)
  • 2nd place finish at 2017 Illinois PGA Championship at Medinah Country Club
  • Tied for 5th place at 2018 Match Play Championship at Kemper Lakes Golf Club
  • Currently in 10th place for the 2018 Illinois PGA Player of the Year standings
 
About the Illinois PGA/Illinois PGA Foundation
The Illinois Section of the PGA of America is a professional organization serving the men and women golf professionals in northern and central Illinois who are the recognized experts in growing, teaching and managing the game of golf. The Illinois PGA is responsible for the administration of competitive golf tournaments, educational opportunities, support programs and growth of the game initiatives. With over 840 members and apprentices, the Illinois PGA is one of the 41 regional Sections that comprise the PGA of America. The Illinois PGA Foundation focuses its community efforts on promoting the goodwill and growth of the game with an emphasis on activities that benefit youth. Foundation initiatives include: GolfWorks Illinois, Youth-based Scholarship Funds and the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame. For more information about the Illinois PGA and the Illinois PGA Foundation, please visit www.ipga.com and join us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
 
About The PGA Professional Championship
Begun in 1968, The PGA Professional Championship provides additional playing opportunities for PGA Professionals. The showcase event for PGA Professionals features a 312-player field representing 41 PGA Sections competing at the peak of their games, and with its 20 top finishers earning a berth in the PGA Championship.
 
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CONTACT:
Palmer Moody
Illinois PGA Communications
(847) 729-4145 direct
(847) 804-2721 mobile
pmoody@pgahq.com