Jason Krich -- Vic Lowensten TEAM Champions
Bloomington, IL - The 2017 Midwest Open traveled to Bloomington, Illinois as The Den at Fox Creek hosted the weekend event. The Midwest Open, now in its 5th year, aims to give the Golfweek Amateur Tour members a Midwest regional event that allows the players to play like the pros.
The Open, which was sponsored by Buffalo Wild Wings, took place over three days starting Friday with a TEAM competition. Thirty-four 2-player teams teed it up in a better ball competition as they chased $1200 in visa gift card prizes. Saturday then started the two day individual event where 120 players from 6 different Golfweek Tours competed for a chance at a prize pool of $5000 in visa gift cards. The Den at Fox Creek rolled out a tough challenge as the course played fast and firm. Windy conditions all weekend long added to the difficulty level along with a challenging course setup. The players enjoyed the weekend long festivities that included a pairings party hosted by Buffalo Wild Wings.
In the Team competition on Friday, Jason Krich (Chicago) and Vic Lowensten (Chicago) took home the hardware as they shot 33-30-63 to win by 1 shot! Both players played well, and a birdie (net eagle) on #18 was the difference in the tournament! Second place honors went to Tyler Carpenter (Chicago) and Jason Sanoshy (Chicago) as they shot 33-31-64.
In the Championship flight, Ben Kilborn (Chicago) started round 2, six shots off the lead, but a magnificent second round - 3 over par 75 - gave Kilborn his first Golfweek Tour victory. "It was a tough day out there with the wind, but I was able to control my ball for most of the day" said Kilborn. Second place honors went to Matt Minder (St.Louis) as he finished 2 shots back, shooting 80-82-162.
In the A flight, Dan Passero (Chicago) also made a day two comeback to claim the title. Entering the final round 4 shots back, Passero needed a good start to get back into contention. With birdies at 2, 4, & 5 Passero found himself in a tie as he stepped onto the 10th tee. George Tudor (Chicago) made his own charge taking a 1 shot lead after 14, but in the end Passero finished strong playing the difinal 4 holes in 2 over par to take home the trophy. "It was a great battle out there with George, I'm fortunate that's he a fierce competitor and a great guy to play with" said Passero. Mark Lohrding (St.Louis) and Matt Thompson (St.Louis) finished in a tie for 3rd finishing with a total of 165.
In the B Flight, it was truly a wire to wire victory for Tyler Carpenter (Chicago). It was a consistent weekend for the tour rookie as he shot 83 on Friday to lead his team to the TEAM Tour Title. Then he shot 83-81-164 to win on the weekend besting the 42 player B Flight field. Second place honors went to Ryan Arnold (Milwaukee) as he notched his best finish in his rookie season with a 83-83-166 weekend. Luke Andros (St.Louis) another tour rookie, finished in 3rd place finishing with a 168 total.
In the C Flight, Bob Peterson (Milwaukee) shot the round of the day in Round 1 in the C flight, then backed it up with another good round on day 2 to take home the victory. Peterson shot 85-87-172 to win his first major victory of his Golfweek Tour career. Rob Maguire (Chicago) and Dave Czerniak (Chicago) put some pressure on the leader but fell a bit short. Maguire shot 92-82-174 to finish in second place and Czerniak shot 92-84-176 to finish in 3rd.
In the D Flight, Luke Barritt (Milwaukee) jumped out to the lead after a very nice round 1 score of 88 and held on for the victory backing that up with a day 2 score of 89 to win by win by 2 shots. Steve Minder (St.Louis) shot 90-89-179 to finish in second place. "It was a fun day out there, we competed" said Minder. Third place went to John Trongale (Chicago) as he made a jump up the leader board carding an impressive final round 82, to finish with a 181 total.
"It was a fantastic weekend for all the players that teed it up" said Tour Director Rob Maguire. "Thank you to the Den for being such a great host -- we can't wait to see how the summer shapes up for all the players back on their home tours" said Maguire.
With The Open being a double-point event the "Cup" races in all flights have really tightened up. Check your local schedule for the next tournament -- many registrations are closing this week!