IPGA Professionals Win Emotional Radix Cup in Convincing Fashion

Jun 14, 2024

62nd Radix Cup Matches Full Results

RIVER GROVE, Ill. – Less than a week since its beloved former head golf professional, Steve Dunning, passed away at the age of 77, The Oak Park Country Club took its annual place in the local golf spotlight for the 62nd Radix Cup Matches on Thursday.

With the grand American flag behind the clubhouse billowing at half-staff, Dunning’s fellow Illinois PGA (IPGA) Professionals put on an impressive and dominant display in his honor, besting the squad of CDGA Amateurs, 16-2, for the largest margin of victory in the event’s history.

“Steve [Dunning] was great to me when I was first getting started here, and that meant a lot to me,” said Carson Solien (The Oak Park CC), the host club’s professional who earned 2.5 points alongside Jim Billiter (Ivanhoe Club). “We’ll miss him. He was an integral part of Oak Park and a great guy.

“[The Radix Cup] is one of the best days of the year for us.”

“[Oak Park] has always been a special place to us,” added CDGA Amateur Mike Henry (Weibring GC at ISU), who has longtime family connections to Oak Park and squared off against Dunning in his first Radix Cup in 2006. “Steve was the head pro for as long as I can remember. What a gentleman. It was awesome to play with him and I know our entire family spoke very highly of him.”

First played in 1962 in honor of the venerable Harry Radix, 59 of the event’s 62 iterations have been contested at The Oak Park Country Club. Meant to celebrate the spirit of camaraderie amongst all golfers, each side put forth teams of 12 based on performance in 2023 professional and amateur events.

Four of the IPGA duos took all three points from the better ball, Nassau matches. The perfect pairs were Brian Carroll (The Hawk CC) and Kevin Flack (Mauh-Nah-Tee-See CC), Andy Mickelson (Mistwood GC) and Jeff Kellen (North Shore CC), Chris Green (Glen View Club) and Tim Streng (Wildcat Golf Academy) and Kyle Donovan (Oak Park CC) and Chris French (Aldeen GC).

“We ham and egged it well,” said Green. “Every time I was out of position, Tim [Streng] was making birdies. I felt like the opposite was true for Tim. We had a lot of under par strokes out there today. It was a fun day and it’s nice to be on the winning side of this.”

The CDGA Amateur standouts were Henry and partner Derek Meinhart (Mattoon G&CC), who earned 1.5 points. A birdie from Meinhart on Oak Park’s par-4 finisher secured the In match for the downstate duo. The other half point was secured by Oak Park club champion Kevin Economos (The Oak Park CC) and Radix Cup debutant Will Hickey (Edgewood Valley CC).

“It’s great to meet a bunch of the team members and guys on the CDGA, and also a bunch of the pros, too,” Hickey said. “It’s a ton of fun.”

With the victory, the IPGA’s record in the event improves to 38-22-2. The CDGA holds a 6-4 edge in the last 10 iterations, including victories in 2022 and 2023.

The next IPGA event on the docket is the XXIO Illinois Senior Open, June 17-18 at Hawthorn Woods Country Club. The amateurs’ attention turns to the 104th CDGA Amateur Championship, June 24-27 at Beverly Country Club in Chicago.

 

*CDGA.com