2010 Illinois State Amateur qualifier results:
WEST FRANKFORT - Playing golf was the last thing on Blaze Ellis' mind a few days ago.
The Mount Vernon resident battled off the lingering effects of E. coli to fire a one-under par 70 at Franklin County Country Club on Monday and earn a spot in the Illinois State Amateur Championship.
The Illinois State Amateur Championship will take place Aug. 10 to 12 at Beverly Country Club near Chicago.
Also qualifying were Leighton Peavler of Catlin and Chris Brant of Edwardsville. Like Ellis, Peavler shot a 70 while Brant shot a 71.
Ellis was feeling so bad late last week he tried to withdraw from the tournament. He said doctors think he contracted the condition by eating undercooked meat.
"It was too late to get my money back," he said. "It turned out better than I thought."
Although not feeling 100 percent, Ellis was happy with his round.
"I hit it well," he said. "I probably only missed two or three greens. It could have been better. I missed quite a few putts."
Ellis was one of the first players in the clubhouse. He had to watch scores for a couple hours before learning his fate. This is the first time in three attempts he has qualified for the championship.
"My buddy, Lucas Cromeenes, qualified last year," Ellis said. "I caddied for him. I kind of know what to expect."
In the meantime, Peavler was also spent most of the morning watching scores.
"It was a little nerve racking I guess," he said. "You never know with this wind. I thought three or four under might be the number to shoot for."
A former SIU student who now lives in Catlin, Peavler said it was just fun to get back to Southern Illinois.
"I've been gone for a year and to come back down here ... it felt like home," he said.
Peavler described his round as solid.
"I hit the ball well," he said. "I couldn't get any putts to drop. I missed a lot of 10 to 15 footers. I hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens and had a lot of pars."
Two players, Chase Smith of Centralia and Wade Thompson of Mount Carmel, finished at 72. They will be alternates for the championship.
Bill Koeneman, a member of the Chicago District Golf Association, said Smith and Thompson might be added to the tournament field, depending on scores from other qualifiers around the state.
Two other area golfers, Tom Portner and Zach Barlow, will also compete in the Illinois State Amateur Qualifier. Portner earned a spot by virtue of points accumulated in Southern Illinois Golf Association events and Barlow won the SIGA championship last year.
A total of 24 players competed in the qualifier.