Carroll takes down Small in playoff to win his first IPGA title
Brian Carroll, of The Hawk Country Club in St. Charles, deprived Mike Small of a 14th Illinois PGA Championship on Wednesday at Makray Memorial in Barrington.
Carroll, winner of the IPGA Match Play title in May, padded his lead in the Player of the Year standings when he took down Small in a three-hole aggregate score playoff.
In the playoff Carroll went birdie-par-birdie while Small strung together 3 pars.
The key to victory for Carroll, however, was his play on Makray's back nine. He made 5 birdies in posting a 31. Highlighting his charge was a 70-foot birdie putt on the par-3 17th hole.
Small, meanwhile, had 4 birdies in the last six holes of regulation play, but a double bogey at No. 13 killed his chances to win.
Carroll shot 67 on Wednesday while Small posted a 68.
Makray hosted the tournament for the first time, and Carroll grew up just 20 minutes away in Crystal Lake.
"I never played here or even saw the golf course until a practice round a month ago," Carroll said.
Small, the 56-year old University of Illinois men's coach, had an eight-year win streak in the tournament from 2003-2010 and added victories in 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2020 after that. Carroll and Small finished the regulation 54 holes in 6-under-par 207.
They had a 2-stroke edge on third-place finisher Jeff Kellen of Butler National in Oak Brook.
Curtis Malm, of White Eagle in Naperville, was another stroke back in fourth place. Malm was bidding to complete the IPGA Grand Slam, having previously won the Illinois Open, IPGA Match Play title and IPGA Players Championship.
Roy Biancalana, a teaching pro at Blackberry Oaks, who was coming off a win in the Illinois Senior Championship, was another stroke back in fifth place.
Kyle Donovan, an assistant professional at Oak Park Country Club, was bidding to be the first champion to win in his first appearance in the tournament since Small did it in 2001.
Donovan slipped to a 75 in the final round and wound up in a tie for sixth with Mistwood's Andy Mickelson. They finished at 1-under 212.
The IPGA Championship was the third of the section's four major tournaments of the season. The IPGA Match Play was held in May and the Illinois Open earlier in August.
The last of the IPGA majors is The Players tourney, which will be held Sept. 26-27 at Lake Shore, in Glencoe.