KANKAKEE — For the 59th year in a row, the Kankakee Country Club managed to crown another pair of champions Sunday during its annual Clive Rollison Memorial Golf Tournament. The special two-day event featured 88 golfers grouped into teams of four playing two-best balls during 36 holes.
“Over the years, it’s built up a lot of tradition,” Kankakee Country Club committee member and golf pro Kevin Fitzgerald said. “It’s the 59th year we’ve done this, and so there’s a lot of history here at the Club. And because it’s the grand finale event of the year, people want to be here for it, and it has a lot of support from the membership, both golfers and nongolfers.”
Unlike last year’s event that saw the top two teams being separated by only two strokes, this year’s event turned out to be a blowout, as the foursome of Daniel Lateano, Brian Meyer, James Lopez and Dave Taylor ran away with the championship after a solid Day 1, when they shot a combined score of 23 under par through the first 18 holes.
“After Day 1, I wouldn’t say we were confident, but we weren’t taking anything for granted,” Meyer said.
The foursome continued its hot start by shooting a combined score of 20 under par on championship Sunday to secure first-place honors with a combined score of 43 under par, which was good enough to best the second-place team by a total of 10 strokes at the end of the two-day competition.
“I think team-wise it was awesome,” Lateano, the team captain, said. “We all played outstanding, and it was an unbelievable experience. These guys all stepped up, and we killed it.”
Although it was the fourth Rollison championship victory for Lopez in his career, it was the first time Lateano, Meyer and Taylor were able to call themselves champions.
“This is my 28th year in this event and my first win,” Taylor said. “I’ve had six second-place finishes, with two of them coming only one stroke shy of the winning group.”
The talented foursome noted the key to the victory was their short game.
“Hands down, all four of us putted unbelievably,” Lateano said. “Everyone’s short game was on point.”
The team of Ron O’Connor, David Tyson, Mark Smith and Dennis Stuth entered the second day in a two-way tie for second place at 16 under par but managed to eventually separate themselves from the pack to secure second place with a team score of 33 under par.
“We got three guys [who] are 70 years old or older,” Stuth said. “So, it feels nice to beat some of the young guys.”
Taking third was the team of Bruce Dickstein, Edward Glazar, Steve Smith and Kyle Vaubel, who also entered the final day in a three-way tie for third at 15 under par. They surged from the pack with a Day 2 score of 13 under par, which allowed them to take third at 28-under.
In fourth at 26-under was Ed Cervony, Bob Grady, Ken Tousignant and Jeff Walter. The team entered Sunday in second place after a solid start with a Day 1 score of 16-under but fell slightly behind Sunday.
Fifth place was occupied by two teams as Jake Cooke, Jeff Chiero, Nick Elliott and Brett Gordon tied with the team of Jorge Contreras, Dave Gibson, Jerry Kuntz and Brian Scott with team scores of 24 under par.
Two more squads tied for a share of seventh place after each team carded 22 under par for the tournament. Those were Team Foley (Brian Foley, Mehmet Sipahi, Kevin Pinski and Mike Pinski) and Team Magruder (Ryan Magruder, Tim Milner, Greg Walter and Steven Posey).
Rounding out this year’s Top 10 teams were Team Joritz (Mark Joritz, Al Messier, Andrew Smith and Steve Lemenager), which took ninth at 21-under; and Team Brock (Joel Brock, Robert Gessner, Jeremy Campbell and Brian Brown) and Team Devereaux (Don Devereaux, Kyle Joern, Frank Hasik IV and Dan Tamez), which each finished at 20-under to take a share of 10th place.