GOLF, Ill. – February 2, 2023 – Paul Schlimm, Jr. (Chicago Highlands Club) has won the 2022 Don Drasler Illinois PGA Assistant Player of the Year Award. This marks his first career Assistant Player of the Year honor.
“Winning this award means a lot to me, especially this year,” said Schlimm Jr. “Over the off-season I set some goals and being Player of the Year was at the top of that list. It took way more commitment in my golf game for me to achieve that goal. I cannot thank my boss, PGA Director of Golf Patrick Crow, and our home club Chicago Highlands Club enough for the support. Patrick gives me the best opportunity to not only grow in the PGA but become the best player I can. I think the support I receive from our members gives me that little extra bit of confidence to succeed on the golf course. I put a lot of hard work into my golf game this year, and this award shows me that I am on the right path.”
Don Drasler Assistant Player of the Year points are earned against other eligible players competing in the Assistant Division at Illinois PGA Stroke Play events, the Illinois PGA Assistant Championship, the Assistant Match Play, and the Illinois Open Championship. Players earn points based on their finish against the entire field. Points are also weighted based on the strength and size of the field.
“We have a very competitive group of Assistants and Associates in the Illinois Section,” said Carrie Williams, Executive Director of the Illinois PGA Section. “Paul showcased some fantastic golf throughout the season and played well at the Assistants events, winning one of the Majors. We congratulate him on his outstanding season and on winning this award.”
Schlimm Jr. played in 10 Illinois PGA events in 2022. He competed in the Main Division and Assistants Division in five events, and also appeared in the Illinois PGA’s only two Assistant-specific events. Despite playing in both the Main Division and Assistants Division, Schlimm Jr. was only eligible for Assistant Player of the Year points due to his Class B (Associate) Member Classification. Schlimm Jr. finished in the top 10 in the Assistant Divisions at five events in 2022 and also finished in the top 10 in the Main Division three times.
The 2022 season was highlighted by three victories for Schlimm Jr. He finished T1 at the Illinois PGA Stroke Play at Elgin Country Club and also won the Illinois PGA Stroke Play at Chicago Golf Club. Schlimm Jr. also won the season-long Illinois PGA Match Play Championship, which is one of two Assistant Major Championships on the Illinois PGA circuit.
Competitors of the Assistant Match Championship were responsible for scheduling the date and time of their matches for each round within the time frame set by the committee. Schlimm Jr. earned the third seed and defeated Matt Rion (Briarwood Country Club) and Cameron Beeler (Oak Park Country Club) to advance to the Championship Match where he defeated Kyle Donovan (Oak Park Country Club).
In addition to his victories, Schlimm Jr. also finished T3 at the Illinois PGA Stroke Play at North Shore Country Club and finished third at the National Car Rental Illinois Assistant PGA Professional Championship. As a result, Schlimm Jr. qualified for the 2022 National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship at the PGA Golf Club. The National Championship took place in November and Schlimm Jr. finished T37.
Schlimm Jr.’s season also qualified him for the Illinois PGA Royal Cup Matches team. The Royal Cup Matches is an annual event in which the top 10 Illinois PGA Assistant Professionals face off against the top 10 Wisconsin PGA Assistant Professionals in an 18-hole four-ball Nassau match play event. Schlimm Jr. was paired with Rion and the duo won all three points for the Illinois PGA on its way to victory. The Illinois PGA defeated the Wisconsin PGA in the 2022 Royal Cup Matches, 8 to 7, and marked the first time the Illinois PGA won this event outright since 2015.
“The biggest highlight for me has to be my win at Chicago Golf Club,” said Schlimm Jr. “When I saw that event on the schedule, it was the one I wanted to win the most. I was able to play well and made some clutch putts coming down the stretch to put up a good number giving me the victory. Qualifying for the National Assistants Championship is another event that stands out for the season. After qualifying last year, and unfortunately missing the cut I wanted revenge. I had the lead through the first round and was able to hold onto a qualifying spot in the second round to lock up a spot in Port St. Lucie. Lastly, winning the Assistant Match Play Championship meant a lot to me. I absolutely love match play, and it suits my game well. Thankfully, I was able to play some of my best rounds in the semifinals and finals to secure another win on the season.”
The Illinois PGA Assistant Player of the Year Award is named after Don Drasler. Drasler was a PGA Professional from 1965-2007 and served as the Assistant Professional at Old Elm Club for over 33 years. He was the consummate golf professional and a fixture at the Old Elm Club in Highland Park, Illinois. Don loved the game of golf and made it not only his life’s work but also his passion.
About the Illinois PGA/Illinois PGA Foundation
The Illinois Section of the PGA of America is a professional organization serving the men and women golf professionals in northern and central Illinois who are the recognized experts in growing, teaching and managing the game of golf. The Illinois PGA is responsible for the administration of competitive golf tournaments, educational opportunities, support programs and growth of the game initiatives. With over 840 members and apprentices, the Illinois PGA is one of the 41 regional Sections that comprise the PGA of America. The Illinois PGA Foundation focuses its community efforts on promoting the goodwill and growth of the game with an emphasis on activities that benefit youth. Foundation initiatives include: GolfWorks Illinois, Youth-based Scholarship Funds and the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame. For more information about the Illinois PGA and the Illinois PGA Foundation, please visit www.ipga.com and join us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
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Illinois PGA Communications