Perkins knocks off ISU teammate Wallace for CDGA Amateur crown  

Writing from Deerfield, Illinois

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The ducks that inhabit Briarwood Country Club were loving it on Thursday.

Eventually, David Perkins of East Peoria did as well. He outlasted Illinois State teammate Trent Wallace of Joliet to capture the 99th CDGA Amateur Championship on the 23rd hole of the rain-soaked title match.

Originally slated for 36 holes and trimmed in half before play began because of the ominous and on-target weather forecast, it began to look as if it might go 36 after all, so evenly matched were Perkins, who nips at the ball, and Wallace, who bludgeons it.

They played 11 holes in the morning before play was suspended at 9:45 a.m., and 12 more in the afternoon. More often than not, they were both on the fairway and on the green, and someone was making a long putt.

Perkins, moving into his junior year with the Redbirds, won it by sinking a 15-footer for birdie on the par-5 fifth hole during the hardest rain of the afternoon session. Wallace, a senior in the fall, had just missed his birdie bid from about 16 feet.

“I knew if I kept doing what I was doing, I’d stay in the match,” Perkins said. “It’s hard (to play Wallace) because in the back of my mind, he’s my teammate and I want to see him succeed. It’s different, that aspect. It was competitive and fun.”

“It is a little hard, because you know how they play, what to expect, and Perk doesn’t really miss fairways and greens,” Wallace said. “I knew as soon as he got the opportunity he was going to take advantage, and I was trying to get there first. Props to him for getting it done.”

The softened course aside, the quality of play was remarkable. Perkins scattered six birdies across his card on the scheduled 18 and scored 4-under 67, with the usual concessions. Wallace, with six birdies in his first 16 holes went out in 3-under 33, totaling 3-under 68. Their best-ball was 9-under 62.

Perkins led 1 up when play was suspended, and promptly won the 12th hole with a 20-foot par-saving putt after a bunker shot to go 2-up. Wallace answered, winning three of the next four holes with birdies to go 1 up, his first lead of the match.

“It was a great spot, and he birdied 17, a really good birdie,” Wallace said.

Perkins answered back with a birdie 3 on the 17th to square the proceedings, and after each bogeyed the last, it was back to the first tee. They parred the first four holes – Wallace doing go on the par-5 third after hooking a layup into the water – before Perkins ended it on the fifth.

“I thought I had him there,” Perkins said. “And on the first playoff hole, he drove it down the middle and I drove it right, and got up and down. Those were two good opportunities.”

Perkins’ name is now on a trophy with Chick Evans, Frank Stranahan, Marty “Fat Man” Stanovich and Joel Hirsch.

“I’m just honored to win this event,” Perkins said.

A few miles away, the Western Golf Association wasn’t so lucky. The continual rain washed out the final 36 holes of the Western Junior at Evanston Golf Club, leaving Jeff Doty of Carmel, Ind., the winner on his 36-hole aggregate of 7-under-par 133. He beat Karl Vilips of Lathain, Australia, by a stroke. Third-round play had begun but was suspended at 9:14 a.m. and never resumed.

– Tim Cronin

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