Golf: Carlos Sainz Jr. in contention at Illinois Open
By Rick Armstrong email@example.com July 17, 2012 9:14PM
Carlos Sainz Jr. of Elgin watches his tee shot on the ninth hole at the Illinois Open on Tuesday in Glenview. | Donnell Collins~For Sun-Times Media
ILLINOIS OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
The Glen Club, Glenview
7,208 yards, par 72.
Cut is scores of +3 or better
1. Eric Meierdierks, Wilmette 68-68—136 -8
2T. Travis Johns, Oswego 66-71—137 -7
2T. Max Scodro, Chicago 67-70—137 -7
T4. John Callahan (a), Hinsdale 72-67—139 -5
T4. Vince India, Deerfield 70-69—139 -5
T4. David Cooke (a), Bolingbrook 70-69—139 -5
7. Brett Tomfohrde (a), Hinsdale 69-68—137 -4
T8. Thomas O’Bryan (a), Aurora 69-72—141 -3
T8. Curtis Malm, Aurora 73-68—141 -3
T8. Mike Small, Champaign 69-72—141 -3
T8. Griffin Bauman, Crystal Lake 72-69—141 -3
T8. Carlos Sainz Jr., Elgin 70-71—141 -3
Jonathan Parsons, Bartlett 74-70—144 E
Jordan Wetsch (a), St. Charles 76-69—145 +1
Scott Cahill (a), Algonquin 73-70—143 +2
Eric Winters (a), Elgin 72-76—148 +4
Wes Apple (a), St. Charles 72-78—150 +6
Dan Scardina, Bartlett 74-77—151 +7
Michael Sainz (a), Elgin 73-79—152 +8
Drew Chuipek, Algonquin 76-76—152 +8
Josh Kopka (a), Carpentersville 79-75—154 +10
Mike Picciano, Carpentersville 77-82—159 +15
Michael Holevas, Elgin 82-80—162 +18
Updated: August 19, 2012 6:30AM
While he’s enjoying the nomadic life of a young golf pro, Carlos Sainz Jr. was happy to come home this week for the 63rd Illinois Open Championship in Glenview.
“It’s awesome, being close to home and having my mom and pops get a chance to watch me and my best friend (Nick Blazakis) caddie for me,” Sainz Jr. said Tuesday after he shot 1-under 71 at the Glen Club.
He finds himself in a group of nine golfers tied for eighth place at 3-under par, five strokes behind leader Eric Meierdierks of Wilmette, who capitalized on back-to-back eagles at the 534-yard (par 5) 14th and 358-yard (par 4) 15th to complete his second straight round of 4-under 68.
Meierdierks, who won this event in 2010, holds a one-stroke lead over first-round leader Travis Johns, who followed his opening 66 with a 71 and stands at 7-under 137.
“I’ve been playing E golf tour, Canadian Tour, Nationwide Tour and Web.com events, any tour I can make some money at,” said Sainz Jr., the 26-year-old Larkin High School and Mississippi State University graduate who has been piling up the miles on his car.
“I’ve been driving to most of them. It’s a difficult lifestyle but I enjoy it. As long as I keep improving, seeing better scores and make more money I’ll keep working at it.”
Younger brother Michael Sainz was also in the event, playing in the threesome behind Carlos, Johns and Matt Slowinski of Glen Ellyn. Michael Sainz, who opened with a 1-over 73, followed up with a 79 to finish at 8-over 152.
Michael Sainz birdied two of his first three holes Tuesday but made the turn at even par and then went 5-over through the next four holes.
Carlos Sainz Jr. led all Elgin-area competitors and was joined by amateur Jordan Wetsch of St. Charles who shot 69 and made the cut at 145. Bartlett’s Jonathan Parsons (even-par 144) and Algonquin amateur Scott Cahill (143) also will play today’s final round.
Elgin’s Eric Winters followed his opening 72 with a 76 and missed the cut by one stroke.
“I hit the ball very well today, I hit 18 greens in regulation, drove the ball pretty good,” said Sainz Jr. “I had 37 putts, so I had a lot of chances, I just didn’t capitalize on them. Either I had the speed and not the line or I had the line and not the speed.
“If there had been more holes maybe I would have made some putts but there’s only 18. I did what I needed to do to at least shoot under par but it definitely could have been a lot better.”
Sainz Jr. thinks it’s possible someone can come from behind and win. If he hits the ball as well as he did Tuesday it could be him.
“That (round) easily could have been 8-under today on a routine putting day,” he said. “It’s encouraging.”