Keeping up with the champions
The 2014 Twin City Championship plays out Saturday at Urbana Country Club and Sunday at Lincolnshire Fields Country Club in Champaign. Staff writer Marcus Jackson caught up with the last three champions for their thoughts:
“It was a super-exciting deal, especially having Dad on the bag. It was one of those things he played growing up and always wanted to win. He came close a lot — I know he finished third at least once. For him to win it with me and to do it together was really a lot of fun. It’s one of those things I always believed I could do. I believed I could win the (Urbana) Club championship, but the Twin City was always this big event with a lot of people, so I never grew up thinking some day I would grow up and win that thing. One weekend things seemed to be going pretty well, and all of a sudden I was on the 18th green with a 2-footer to win.”
Tim Hoss Jr.
Champ: 2002, 2006, 2009, 2012
“The first one was really special. A couple of the other ones, I was playing well enough where I was trying to break the scoring record; I don’t think I’m at that level right now. I want to win it again because it’s such a big-time tournament. It’s such a good event. There’s so much tradition, and it’s a special weekend. It’s a great time of year and brings out a lot of really good players. I’ve been playing OK, and I’m looking forward to it and to getting out there. There are usually a lot of people out there and you feel a little bit of pressure, but it’s always a great feeling to win this one.”
Champ: 2004, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011
“It was very important to win the first time. It’s my favorite local event because it used to be on three different courses, so you had to have all facets of the game firing on all cylinders to win. When you played Lincolnshire, you had to have good control off the tee and good iron shots in. Champaign, you always had to be very straight off the tee and straight with your second shot, and the greens were difficult. Urbana was also a placement-style golf course with Lincolnshire. So I’ve always thought it was the best tournament to crown a champion. Winning always made me feel good and made me feel that my game was strong on almost all parts.”
Three others to watch
The 1999 Twin City champion can get hot, and when he’s on top of his game, the Urbana University High grad is usually within striking distance on the leaderboard.
Tim Hoss Sr.
Overshadowed often by his son, the older Hoss led the tournament after last year’s first round at Lincolnshire Fields before falling back Sunday. If he’s hitting it straight off the tee, watch out.
The former Champaign Central and Parkland standout made a serious run at the Twin City crown two years ago, and he’s got a strong enough game to be in contention during the last 18 holes.