The first round of the 95th Illinois PGA Section Championship is in the books, and it was a very eventful day on and off the golf course. At about 1:20 p.m., today’s round featured the first total solar eclipse in 37 years which was witnessed by many but did not hinder play.
Medinah Country Club #1 was in absolute superb condition, and received high marks from all of the players. The golf staff and grounds crew did an incredible job preparing the course for Championship play.
Jim Billiter (KemperLakes GC), led off the morning wave with a 31 on the opening nine, which included five birdies. Billiter then played his back nine at even par to finish the day at 67 (-4) and capture a share of the lead with Adam Schumacher (Indian Hill Club).
Schumacher teed off on the 10th in the morning wave, and was one over through his first three holes. On the short par 4 13th, he drove it just short of the green then holed a putt from there for eagle. After jumping from 1 over to 1 under, Schumacher proceeded to play the next 14 holes in 3 under par to equal Billiter’s 67.
Brett Walker (Conway Farms GC) and Sean McLeod (Medinah CC) were the only other two to break 70 in the morning wave. Both carding 69s.
In the afternoon, Dakun Chang (Twin Orchard CC) and Brian Carlson (River Forest CC) led the way with a pair of 68s. Chang carded an eagle on No. 13 and five birdies during his round. Carlson only carded one bogey during the round, along with four birdies.
The average score during Round 1 was 76.77, around 6 over par. There were a total of five eagles on the day, which all came on holes 13 and 17.
Tomorrow’s conditions should be a bit different as rain is expected throughout the night. During the day on Tuesday weather is expected to be similar to what the players experienced today. With softer greens (pending rain), players can put up some good scores again for Round 2.