URBANA — Earlier this year, it had gotten to the point where after just about every competitive round of golf he played, CG Facer was beyond frustrated.
So his dad Andy, who also serves as his golf coach and caddy, had a heart-to-heart with him.
“I said, ‘Buddy, how bad do you want to keep doing this?’ ” Andy Facer said. “It started to break my heart to see him so upset all the time, and I told him, ‘I don’t know if this is necessarily healthy for you.’ ”
CG assured his dad he wanted to get it figured out, and somewhere along the way he’s tightened things up. The recent Urbana High graduate won the Urbana Country Club championship earlier this month, and in 36 holes on Sunday at his home course, Facer followed up his 3-under 69 with a 76 to hold off a back-nine surge from Christian Khachaturian to win the 85th Twin City championship.
“It’s a ton of fun and it’s great to get my name out there and do something,” Facer said. “To be able to come out and grind out a couple of rounds feels great. It doesn’t matter what level, winning the club championship and then winning this is so much fun.”
That Facer’s game is where it is today didn’t just happen. He’s worked at it. And then worked at it some more.
“No one in the history of Champaign-Urbana has worked harder at his golf game than CG Facer,” local golf great Joe Thompson said.
If the weather allows it in February and March, Facer is on the range or the practice greens working on something with his dad. When the sun is setting and Dad is ready to go, CG has just one more thing to work out, or challenges Dad to a putting contest.
After struggling with his putter during Saturday’s opening round at Lincolnshire Fields, CG sat around the house for about an hour then darted to Stone Creek to work on the greens.
“He just loves to practice,” Andy Facer said. “He never loses his enthusiasm for the game and that leads him to working.”
CG carried a business-like approach with him on the course all day Sunday, his straight-faced expression didn’t change until his par putt on 18 dropped, and only then did he allow a smile to break through.
“If we hit bad shots we’re not going to get too rattled, and if we hit good shots we’re not going to get too excited,” he said. “We’re going to play steady and if good things happen, great, but we’re not going to change our game or expression about it.”
Andy Facer is proud of the golfer his son has become, but even more proud of the young man he’s growing into. CG will be a freshman at Brigham Young this fall on an academic scholarship in the school’s honors program and he will attempt to join the Cougars’ golf team as a walk on.
“We want him to go and thrive and grow and be honest and friendly to people and respectful and if he happens to play great golf along the way, that’s cool,” Andy Facer said.
CG earned his victory on Sunday. He entered the final 18 holes with a 6-shot lead on four-time champion Tim Hoss Jr. and 7 on 16-year-old Christian Khachaturian.
Khachaturian, who finished as the junior champion, narrowed the gap to 1 going to the 18th hole before making a triple-bogey 7.
“I just had to play my own game and if he beat me he beat me. He didn’t, but he sure tried,” Facer said. “He’s a really tough competitor, give him credit. You want to talk about someone for future Twin Cities and golf in the local area, he’s going to be there and you’re going to know his name whether you want to or not.”
Tim Hoss Sr., the 18-hole leader of the tournament, followed up his 75 from Saturday with a 79 on the opening 18 Sunday to win the senior championship.
Jeff Trigger followed up Saturday’s 82 with a 76 Sunday to win the super senior championship.