WOODSTOCK – After shooting a 4-over-par 76 during the the first round of the McHenry County Men’s Amateur Golf Tournament, Tom Sweetwood of Johnsburg fired a 71 to force a one-hole playoff at Crystal Woods Golf Club on Saturday.
Sweetwood defeated Crystal Lake’s Griffin Bauman, who shot a tournament-best 70 in the second round, in a sudden-death playoff after Bauman’s approach from the tee went out of bounds on the course’s par-5 No. 2.
Sweetwood reached the green in two shots and made par on the hole to win his fourth amateur trophy in 16 years. He also won the title in 1999, 2000 and 2005.
Both Sweetwood and Bauman recorded two-day totals of 147.
“I started out a little shaky today,” Sweetwood said. “I was two over for the first four holes and then started to hit the ball a little more solid. I birdied 7 and 8 to get back to even. From there, I hit the ball pretty good. I was hitting my wedge shots a lot better than yesterday, which made a big difference.”
Sweetwood defeated Bauman with about a dozen spectators watching, including his two daughters.
“I don’t get to play much competitive golf anymore,” Sweetwood said. “Being a father with two kids and having a full-time job, it’s hard to find time for golf. But I enjoy playing in this event every year. I enjoy the people. I enjoy the competition.”
After going even on the front nine, Sweetwood came back with a 35 on the back nine, including birdies on 10, 13 and 14. Bauman carded a 34 on the back nine to put him in position to play for the title, but couldn’t solve the second hole.
“That hole has always given me problems in the past,” said Bauman, who won the tournament in 2009. “It just doesn’t set up well for me. I kind of pushed the drive and the wind was going from left to right, too, and it just ballooned out of bounds.”
Greg Bauman (148), who won the tournament in 2006, fired a 73 and was one shot off the pace, finishing third. Alan Pondel and Dan Pondel each finished with 150s in fourth place, and Riley Bauman and Brent Filetti carded 152s in sixth.
Hampshire’s Jeremy Yoder shot a 79 in the final round to finish with a two-day total of 156 and claim the A Flight championship. Greg Pondel (159) was runner-up, Ron Jania (163) took third and Ruben Escamilla (164) was fourth.
“I just wanted to play the best I could,” said Yoder, who was playing in his second Amateur. “I didn’t want come out here and attack the pins or anything, I just wanted to play my game and it worked out for me.”
Denny Scott shot an 81 and finished with a two-day score of 161, winning the B Flight by eight strokes. Keith Steinwehe (169) was second and John Goorsky (177) placed third. Scott played with a group from the A Flight following a scheduling error, but used different tees.
“They were a great group of fellows – wonderful to be with,” said Scott, playing in his third Amateur. “Of course I’m playing from a different set of tees, so I didn’t want to get in their way and interfere with their game. But it worked out perfect. Everybody had fun and I brought a lot of luck to the other players, they said.”
Franklin Phillip entered the final round in a first-place tie with Alan Corbin in the C Flight and posted a two-day total of 183 for the victory. Paul Facianna (186) overtook Corbin (191), who finished third, for second place.