MT. VERNON —
Tom Portner is hoping his home course experience pays off this weekend.
The Mt. Vernon golfer missed the cut at this week's Illinois State Amateur held in Rockford this week, but he returns ready to play the Southern Illinois Golf Association Championship. The event is being held at Green Hills Golf Club.
“This is my home course for sure. It has been for a long time,” Portner said. “(I) had good success here in the Green Hills (Amateur) and SIGA.”
Portner has experienced plenty of recent and historical success on the Mt. Vernon course. The last time Green Hills hosted the championship, he won. Mostly recently Portner won the Green Hills amateur in a playoff over Matthew Williams about a month ago.
“The fairways are perfect. The course is in really, really good shape,” Portner said. “So you'll get what you deserve up there. You won't get any bad breaks.
“It is playing more difficult. There's no doubt about that. The greens are quicker, and they've been firming them up a little bit for these tournaments”
Portner traveled north to Rockford earlier this week and competed in the state amateur. He missed the cut after two rounds and finished tied for 79th out of 125 competitors. He shot a 158 overall after a first round score of 77 followed by an 81 in the second round.
“I didn't play well,” Portner said. “The heat wasn't an excuse, I just did not play well this week. I've been playing real well leading up to it so my expectations were pretty high and just didn't get it done. (It's) a funny game. You just don't know what you're going to get one day to the next. Unfortunately this week, it wasn't my best.”