Rockford, Ill. (WIFR) In it's 41st year, the Rockford Pro Am remains the longest running and free-standing pro-am golf tournament in the nation, and it's just that kind of success that keeps the professionals coming back year after year.
"Obviously it means a lot that everyone wants to me to come back and play in this event," said Brittany Lincicome, pro-golfer with the LPGA Tour. "This event is unlike any other. Fans get to walk right in the ropes with us and get to talk with us a little bit and interact, and I think it's fun for them to kind of get to see what we do on a daily basis."
For repeat golfers that keep coming back to the Rockford Pro Am, like Lincicome and Boo Weekley with the PGA Tour, they say the best part is being able to talk with the fans.
"Out here we want people to ask questions, we want people to get into our heads to understand what we do, what we're thinking, why we do this and do that," said Weekley. "But at the same time, you get to meet so many different people, you'll never know the opportunity. That's what makes life so great to be able to come out and play golf, and enjoy it."
Another returning golf-pro is D.A. Points, who played with Alpine Bank's sponsored high school team, says he enjoyed getting the opportunity to teach these young athletes and offer advice on how to improve their game.
"I've been a pro 17 years, I've been doing this a while and it's one of those things that I feel like I have some pretty good information that I could hopefully share with these young kids," said Points. "That whether they play professional or college golf or just for fun that I could maybe make the game a little more fun and maybe they can understand it a little bit better."
Jackson Cadwell of Hononegah, Jacob Dykstra of Belvidere North, Kristen Sayyalinh of Guilford, and Caitlin Schoepfer of Lutheran were all chosen to participate in this year's Pro Am and say getting hands-on training with a pro is something they'll never forget.
"Actually playing with them is just so crazy because they're so good and I'm only 17," Schoepfer said. "Playing with someone of that caliber at my age is just such a great experience."
Scott Stallings (-7) 64
Chad Collins (-6) 65
David Hearn (-5) 66
Ryan Brehm (-5) 66
Steve Wheatcroft (-4) 67
Ken Duke (-4) 67
Boo Weekly (-4) 67
Mark Wilson (-4) 67
Martin Piller (-3) 68
Troy Merritt (-3) 68
Kevin Streelman (-3) 68
Max Homa (-3) 68
First Place (-17)
Pro: David Hearn
Amateurs: Jeremy Dobrowolski, Steve Hahn, Greg McMaster & Arlen Mollen
Second Place (4 way tie, tie broken by scorecard playoff) (-16)
Pro: Brittany Lincicome
Amateurs: Al Castrogiovanni, Frank Graceffa Jr., Dale Johnson & John Murphy