The Slattery name has been big in Rockford golf for many years, but it was never more prominent than it was Sunday when a pair of Slatterys won Rockford’S biggest golf tournaments on the same day and on the same course.
In the morning at the Aldeen Golf Club Jesse Slattery won the women’s city championship by defeating Natalie Hooper in match play 4-and-3. Six hours later her older brother Kyle followed up by winning the men’s city championship.
Was this the greatest day in the history of the Slattery family in terms of golf?
“Definitely!, said Ed Slattery the father of Jesse and Kyle. “It’s nice to see both kids do so well on a day like today.”
Ed caddied for Jesse. He let out a, ‘Thatta girl!’ when she won.
When Kyle won his Ed was the first member of the family to give Kyle a hug.
“It’s really cool for my family,” said Kyle of the two championships. “My dad has definitely taught us how to play golf. He’s still my swing coach. He’s still Jesse’s swing coach so it’s a good day for him. I think he’s very proud.”
Ed Slattery is the long-time pro at the Mauh-Nah-Tee-See Country Club in Rockford. He has worked with both Jesse and Kyle since they were young. So young that they can’t remember the first time they picked up a club, but Ed says he never forced the game on his children.
“We made it available to them when they were little…three-four years old. We got some little clubs and made it available and they ended up liking it.”
“I was probably three, four (years old),” says Jesse. “I didn’t start playing tournaments until later, but my dad definitely got us started hitting balls in the backyard. It’s something we’ve been doing for a long time.”
Their mother Susan was of course at the Aldeen Golf Club Sunday to witness the dual championships and so was older brother Sean. He also enjoys playing golf, but he’s better known for having been an All-Missouri Valley Conference kicker for Illinois State last fall in his senior year.
Jesse’s golf accomplishments before Sunday included a NIC-10 championship at Boylan. She also won the Junior Girls Golf Classic in Rockford two years ago.
Kyle was a NIC-10 champion at Boylan and he was a key player on the Titans’ state championship team in the fall of 2013. He is also a standout golfer for SIU-Edwardsville. He has won the men’s city tournament three times in the last four years.
Sunday though is a day that will be hard for even this family to top.
“This is a special day that we’ll never forget,” says Jesse.
“I’m just proud of both of my kids,” says Ed.
The only other two members of the same family to win the Rockford mens and women’s city championships in the same year are the late husband and wife tandum of Alex and Mary Welsh. They both won championships in 1950, 1952 and 1957.