Lake Bluff, IL – John Varner (Beverly CC) defeated Jim Sobb (Ivanhoe Club), 1up, in the championship match of the 2019 Illinois PGA Senior Match Play at Shoreacres. The victory marks Varner’s first career Illinois PGA win.
The Championship Match featured a tight battle between Varner and Sobb in which Varner birdied the par-5 18th hole to win to the match.
“Today was a back-and-forth match,” said Varner. “I started off hot, but we both went a little sideways towards the end of the front nine. We both got aggressive on the back nine and started making some birdies. There weren’t very many holes that were tied today.”
Varner got off to a quick start to begin the final match, birdieing the first hole to go 1up. He extended his lead to 2up with a birdie on the par-4 third hole but would give up the lead after dropping the sixth and ninth holes.
After making the turn all square, Varner dropped to 1 down in the match following back-to-back birdies by Sobb on holes 11 and 12. Varner birdied the par-3 14th hole to tie the match but lost the par-5 15th hole to fall back to 1 down.
The 16th hole was won by Varner to get the match back to all square and the players tied the 17th hole to keep the match all square heading into the 18th hole. Varner birdied the par 5-18th hole to clinch his first career Illinois PGA victory.
Prior to taking on Sobb in the final match, Varner faced Mike Erwin (Chalet Hills GC) in the semifinals. Varner got out to a 1up lead after the second hole and never looked back, as he defeated Erwin 6 and 5.
Varner came into the weekend as the 56 seed. He defeated ninth seeded Kevin Marion (Old Elm Club) in the second round 3 and 2 and advanced to face Mike Kinasiewicz (Beverly CC) in the third round. Varner prevailed over Kinasiewicz 2up and moved onto the fourth round.
Varner’s fourth-round match took extra holes as he defeated Brett Packee (Northmoor CC) on the 20th hole to advance to the quarterfinals. Varner defeated top-seeded Roy Biancalana (St. Andrews G& CC) in the quarterfinals, 3 and 2, and proceeded on to the semifinals where he faced Erwin.
“I played great all week, said Varner. “I hit the ball well the entire event. My driver was good, I was putting great, everything just seemed to click this week, it was great.”
Illinois PGA Communications