Weldon Welcomes a Win at the Southern Illinois Amateur
Mount Vernon, IL - Players gathered at Green Hills Golf Club to crown a new Southern Illinois Amatuer Champion. The skies were partly cloudy with temperatures in the 70s. Forty players teed it up - 26 in the open division, 14 in the senior division - for the two rounds today. The open division completed 36 holes, while the senior division was slated to play 27 holes. The course played to a par 71. The first group began the day at 7:30am. The senior division completed both of their rounds by 4:42pm and the open division was finished by 6:35pm.
At the conclusion of Round 1, Kyle Weldon of the Metropolitan eClub was leading the championship at three-under (-3) par. Weldon had five birdies helping place him at the top of the leaderboard. Kyler Spencer of Nashville Golf Course turned in a first round score of one-under (-1) par to sit in solo second going into the final round. Matt Hefley of the SIGA eClub found himself in solo third after Round 1 with a score of even (E) par.
Going into the Final Round, Weldon knew he would need to stay under par. Returning a second round of one-under (-1) par, Weldon was able to bring his total to four-under (-4) par and place a small cushion between him and the rest of the field. Though many tried and got close throughout Round 2, by the end of the day, the closest player was Brandon Bullard of Green Hills Golf Club. After Round 1, Bullard was two-over (+2) par, but he rallied back for the second round. With a Round 2 score of four-under (-4) par, Bullard pulled himself into solo second place at two-under (-2) par. Drew Denton of the SIGA eClub was in the same boat as Bullard after round 1, but came back in round two to shoot two-under (-2) par, bringing his total to even (E) par and into third.
The senior division put up some great rounds in Round 1. Six players carded scores under par, but leading the pack was Tony Nolfo of the Metropolitan eClub. Nolfo returned an eighteen hole score of six-under (-6) par with only one bogey and featuring an eagle on Hole 10. Two shots back, Joseph Malench of the Metropolitan eClub completed the first round with a score of four-under (-4) par. Tom Portner of Green Hills Golf Club was not far behind with a score of three-under (-3) par on his home course. David Rudd of the Country Club of St. Albans and Buddy Allen of the Metropolitan eClub would both go into the second round with a score of two-under (-2) par.
Throughout the final nine holes, players continued to fight and move up and down the board. At one point, Malench and Portner sat tied at the top at four-over (-4) par. Going into the last hole, Nolfo had regained the lead at five-under (-5) par with Malench on his heels at four-under par. Portner and David Pfeil of The Legends Country Club were close behind at three-under (-3) par with one to play. Nolfo soared through the final hole to make birdie and bring his final total score to six-under (-6) par. With this birdie, Nolfo secured the win as no one else could catch him. All making par on the final hole, Malench finished in solo second at four-under (-4) par while Pfeil and Portner finished tied for third at three-under (-3) par.