Orland Park, Ill. – July 12, 2021 –
Kevin Flack (Mauh-Nah-Tee-See CC) won the National Car Rental Illinois Assistant PGA Professional Championship on Monday, July 12 at Crystal Tree Golf and Country Club. Flack’s win marked his second career victory at this event and second win in three years. He will be joined by Paul Schlimm (Chicago Highlands Club) and Michael Schachner (DePaul University) at the 45th National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship at the PGA Golf Club on Nov. 11-15.
“I played solid today,” said Flack. “This year was a little different than 2019 because I was playing with the lead the entire time. There was a little more back-and-forth in 2019. Roy Biancalana gave me good advice last week. He said that in order to play well you need to swing freely. I was feeling a lot of pressure from the first shot of the second round through the last putt. I took his advice and just tried to keep playing free and it paid off.”
Flack turned in a winning total of 9-under-par 135 to capture his second National Car Rental Illinois Assistant PGA Professional Championship. Flack led the field by two strokes following a first-round 6-under-par 66. His first-round featured eight birdies, including a bogey-free back nine.
His strong play continued in the second round despite the field making pushes to take the lead. Flack carded a bogey-free second round with three birdies. He made the turn at 8-under-par for the tournament and led by one stroke. A birdie at the 11th hole put him in a tie for the lead with seven holes to play. A strong short game down the stretch helped Flack clinch the victory as he parred each of the last seven holes, getting up and down on 16 to remain in the lead.
“I made everything I looked at in the first round,” said Flack. “I didn’t quite make as many in the second round, but I left myself in good spots to get up and down and made the birdies putt when I had them. I had a big up and down on 16 to keep the lead and that sort of propelled me to the finish.”
Schlimm made a strong push for the lead in the second round. He finished the first round in a tie for third after a 2-under-par 70. He started the second round four strokes behind Flack, but would close that gap quickly in the second round. He birdied his first two holes in the second to cut into the lead before going on a tear on the back nine. Schlimm birdied 11, eagled the par-5 13th hole, and made back-to-back to birdies on 14 and 15 to tie Flack at 9-under-par for the tournament. A bogey on the par-4 17th and few missed opportunities down the stretch left Schlimm one stroke shy of Flack. He finished the tournament in solo second with an 8-under-par 136.
Schachner, who was the runner-up in 2020, also made a push for the lead in the second round. He finished round one in solo second place after a 4-under-par 68. He made six birdies in round one and trailed Flack by two strokes. He birdied holes two and five in the second round before eagling the par-5 seventh hole and making the turn at 7-under-par for the tournament. Birdies on 10 and 13 got Schachner to one off the lead, but a bogey on 16 dropped him back to 7-under-par where he remained for the next three holes.
Jeremy Nevius (Bloomington Country), Chris French (Aldeen Golf Club) and Jeff Kellen (Butler National Golf Club) are the three Illinois PGA alternates for the 45th National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship.
The National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship brings together a field of 132 contestants representing the PGA of America’s 41 nationwide Sections and features a total purse of $150,000. All rounds will be played on the Wanamaker Course at PGA Golf Club. A cut after 36 holes of play will be made to the low 70 scorers and ties.
Begun in 1977, the National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship is modeled after the PGA Professional Championship, with a field of PGA Professionals and PGA Associates who advanced through 41 Section Championships conducted from May through October this year.
If eligibility is met and maintained, the champion earns a berth in the 55th PGA Professional Championship.
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