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    Mike Small wins record sixth straight Illinois PGA
    Mike Small ends the summer with a major tournament victory.

    Mike Small ends the summer with a major tournament victory.

    Aug. 27, 2008

    Medinah, Ill. -

    Story courtesy Illinois PGA. For complete information visit

    It wasn't easy but Mike Small's consecutive winning streak continues after he captured the Nadler Golf Cars 86th Illinois PGA Championship/PPNC (PGA Professional National Championship) at Medinah (Ill.) Country Club.

    Small, 42, University of Illinois men's head golf coach, won his sixth consecutive Illinois PGA Championship title and record seventh title overall after carding an even-par 71 in the final round. His margin of victory was one stroke over Country Club of Decatur head golf professional Steve Orrick.

    Smalland Orrick approached the 186-yard, par 3 18th with Small maintaining a three-stroke advantage. Orrick, who was first on the tee, hit a shot that landed in the center of the green, 12 feet from the hole. Small struck a six-iron but it didn't quite have the distance, and his ball landed in the water hazard that protects the front of the green.

    "I hit a bad, bad shot," said Small. "I didn't realize the water went that far up on the left side of the green. Regardless, it was a bad shot."

    Small was forced to take a drop and nearly holed the approach, as his ball landed near the hole and came to rest 10 feet above the cup.

    "Being three down and heading to the final hole I didn't really think I had a chance," said Orrick. "Then I saw [Small's ball] splash and I said to myself 'Wait a Minute."

    Orrick needed to make birdie and Small would have to miss his bogey putt to force a playoff. However, Orrick didn't play enough break in the downhill birdie putt and had to settle for a tap-in par. Small, knowing he still had a two-stroke cushion, gently lagged the downhill bogey putt and tapped in for double-bogey and the Championship.

    "I had a good chance there at the end and just misread the putt," Orrick went on to say.

    Small has been dominant in the Illinois PGA Championship. His only blemish in the past eight years was a playoff loss to Bo O'Link head golf professional Gary Groh in 2002 at Kemper Lakes G.C.

    "Steve played really well," Small reflected on the final round. I'm just lucky there weren't any more holes the way I was hitting it at the end."

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