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Golf: Chad Slutzky remains in first place at Illinois State Amateur

Updated: July 16, 2014 10:10PM



Chad Slutzky remains atop the leaderboard after two rounds of the 84th Illinois State Amateur, but the young guns have him in their sights.

“It’s be huge. It’d be he biggest win of my life, probably,” the 36-year-old trader said of his bid to become the first non-collegiate player to win this 72-hole tournament since 2004.

Slutzky followed his opening round of 6-under 66 at Cantigny Golf with a 1-over 73 Wednesday. It cut his lead in half. His 5-under 139 gives him a two-stroke lead over Glen Ellyn’s Kyle Kochevar (71-70-141), a redshirt junior at the University of Virginia, heading into Thursday’s final 36 holes.

“I do mostly mid-amateur events (featuring post-college players) and competing against the younger guys and leading after two rounds is incredible,” Slutzky said after recording 17 pars and a bogey.

Nine players among the 39 making the cut (6-over 150) are within four shots of the lead.

Naperville’s Raymond Knoll (Iowa) came back strong from an opening 75, firing a 5-under 67 to move into sole possession of third place at 2-under 142. He tied Gabe Aprati, of New Lenox, who moved up to a tie for 11th, with the best rounds of the day.

Aurora’s Thomas O’Bryan had the third-best round of the day with a 3-under 69 and heads a group of six players tied for fourth at 1-under 143. It includes Lockport’s Andy Mickelson, who had rounds of 71 and 72.

Alone in 10th at 144 is defending champ Tee-K Kelly at 144.

“(Tuesday) was really tough as far as the wind goes,” said O’Bryan, a Waubonsie Valley High School grad who plays at Wisconsin. “I did not see a 66 out there (Tuesday). That guy (Slutzky) was playing a different golf course than I was.

“(Wednesday) was a lot better. I hit all 18 greens. I didn’t make too many putts, but I didn’t have any three putts either, so that was good.”

The only other Southland player making the cut was Frankfort’s Glenn Przybylski, who had two rounds of 75 to give him 150.

Southlanders who came up short included Tony Ross (155, Lemont), Bryant Bolden (156, Mokena), Matt Ward (156, Plainfield), Mark Plaehn (158, Oak Lawn), Nick Corban (159, Plainfield) and Kevin Gorhacki (170, New Lenox).



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