Western Golf Association returns to site of the 1915 and 1931 Western Junior
GLENVIEW, Ill. (May 23, 2023) – The Western Junior, the oldest national junior golf championship in the country, will return to Midlothian Country Club in Midlothian, Illinois, for its 105th edition on June 19-22, 2023.
The event will feature an international field of 156 top junior players all vying to have their name etched on the Milt Woodard Trophy alongside some of the game’s greatest players.
First held by the Western Golf Association in 1914, the Western Junior has served as a proving ground for many future PGA TOUR stars, including past champions Collin Morikawa, Rickie Fowler and Jim Furyk. Major champions Tiger Woods, Hale Irwin and Scottie Scheffler also competed in the Western Junior.
Midlothian is hosting the championship for the third time. DeWitt Balch won the first Western Junior held at Midlothian in 1915, and Robert Cochran followed with a win in 1931. The historic Chicagoland club has been home to a number of prominent national championships, including the Western Open (1901, 1969, 1973), Western Amateur (1901, 1917) and U.S. Open (1914). Walter Hagen, Francis Ouimet and Billy Casper all claimed titles at Midlothian.
“We’re excited to bring the Western Junior back to Midlothian, a club with a rich tradition of hosting our nation’s most famed championships,” said Vince Pellegrino, WGA senior vice president of tournaments. “The players who have won at Midlothian are among the best in golf history, and we are confident this course will provide a great test for the next generation of stars.”
In addition to being one of the founding clubs of the WGA in 1899, Midlothian was one of the first 18-hole golf courses in the country. Sitting 18 miles southwest of Chicago, Midlothian gained notoriety by easing the travel concerns of members by establishing its own railroad system. The addition made Midlothian the only golf club in the world besides St Andrews Links in Scotland to own a railroad.
Herbert J. Tweedie completed the original course design in 1898, and legendary architect Donald Ross added his influence prior to the 1914 U.S. Open. In 2022, Raymond Hearn finished a complete renovation that solidified Midlothian’s championship pedigree. Hearn lengthened holes, renovated 82 bunkers and created new sightlines and shot-making options designed to place a premium on strategy and challenge the best players in the game.
“I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the history of Midlothian Country Club than by welcoming the world’s top junior players for a championship of this magnitude,” said Club President Matt Barry. On behalf of Midlothian Country Club, our members and staff, we are honored to host the 105th Western Junior.”
In addition to hosting high-level championship golf, Midlothian has been a steadfast supporter of the Evans Scholars Foundation, a charitable organization administered by the WGA that has awarded full tuition and housing college scholarships to more than 13,000 caddies since 1930.
Midlothian Country Club has had 159 of its caddies graduate as Evans Scholars, beginning with Robert Adams, who earned an Evans Scholarship in 1946 to attend Northwestern University. Nineteen current Evans Scholars caddied at Midlothian Country Club.
The Western Junior will feature 72 holes of stroke play with a 36-hole cut to the low 44 players and ties. Attendance and parking are free. For more information, visit www.thewesternjunior.com.