ROCKFORD – There are lots of talented golfers around the Rockford area, but three of the best put on a show in Elgin Monday. Kevin Flack, Chris French and Jeff Kellen were grouped together and finished 1-2-3 in the Illinois PGA Assistant Professional Championship. Flack battled back in the middle and late part of the 2nd round, as he and French each finished -6 after two rounds to force a playoff. They were even through the first three playoff holes, but Flack hit a birdie on the 4th playoff hole, and French fell just short, hitting for par, giving Flack the championship. But French and Kellen, who finished third, all qualified for the National PGA Assistant Professional Championship tournament later this year.
“We all play together a lot throughout the summer,” Flack said while playing a round at Mauh-Nah-Tee-See, where he works. “We always have good games going. I think it’s made us better. It’s fun to see three Rockford guys on top of that leaderboard. That was pretty cool.”
French is the assistant pro at Aldeen, and he’s proud to represent Rockford on big stages like this.
“I think it speaks volumes about the type of players we have in Rockford,” French said. “I don’t know if it’s the right word, but we’re kind of dominating the assistants tournaments and all the other PGA tournaments this year. It feels good that we’re all from a town like Rockford that we get a lot of support from.”
Kellen says playing with those guys helps build a competitive camaraderie.
“Because we practice together we all want to beat each other really bad,” Kellen, who works at Mauh-Nah-Tee-See, said. “But we’re all excited for the other guys when they play well so it’s a lot of fun.”
They plan on spending the week together in Florida for the national tournament in November. They’ll be competing hard against, but also rooting on, one another.