WESTERN GOLF ASSOCIATION TO CONDUCT SIX CHAMPIONSHIPS IN 2020

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BMW Championship at Olympia Fields tops lineup of stellar events

GLENVIEW, Ill. – (Jan. 21, 2020) – The Western Golf Association will conduct six golf championships in 2020, including the BMW Championship, the penultimate event of the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup Playoffs.

Also on the WGA schedule are the Evans Scholars Invitational on the Korn Ferry Tour and the annual Western Amateur and Western Junior. In addition, the WGA will partner again with the Women’s Western Golf Association to conduct the Women’s Western Amateur and Women’s Western Junior.

“We’re proud and excited to be hosting golf championships at all levels and for top men and women golfers,” said Vince Pellegrino, WGA senior vice president of tournaments. “We’re expecting excellent competition among some of the finest junior, amateur and professional golfers in the world.

“We’re also looking forward to conducting five of the six events in the greater Chicago region,” Pellegrino said. “Chicago-area golf fans won’t have far to travel to see some of the year’s finest golf championships.”

Olympia Fields Country Club in south suburban Chicago will host the WGA’s flagship event, the BMW Championship, on Aug. 18-23.

The lone WGA championship to be contested outside of Illinois will be the Western Amateur, set to be played at Crooked Stick Golf Cub in Carmel, Indiana. Crooked Stick hosted the BMW Championship in 2012 and 2016.

All proceeds from WGA championships will once again benefit the Evans Scholars Foundation as it provides full tuition and housing college scholarships to youth caddies with limited financial means.

“We not only provide golfers of all ages the opportunity to experience the thrill of competition, we’re raising funds for one of golf’s favorite and most impactful charities,” noted Pellegrino. “We look forward to fulfilling that mission once again in the coming year.”

Since 2007, the BMW Championship has raised more than $35 million for the Evans Scholars Foundation. This academic year, 1,010 Evans Scholars are enrolled at 18 universities. More than 11,050 caddies have graduated as Evans Scholars since the first two Evans Scholarship recipients enrolled at Northwestern University in 1930.

Following is the 2020 schedule for WGA and WWGA events:

Dates              Event                                      Host Club
May 20-24       Evans Scholars Invitational    The Glen Club, Glenview, Illinois
June 15-18      Western Junior                       Onwentsia Club, Lake Forest, Illinois
June 15-19      Women’s Western Junior       The Grove Country Club, Long Grove, Illinois
July 20-25       Women’s Western Amateur    Prestwick Country Club, Frankfort, Illinois
July 27-Aug. 1 Western Amateur                   Crooked Stick Golf Club, Carmel, Indiana
Aug. 18-23      BMW Championship              Olympia Fields Country Club, Olympia Fields, Illinois

Evans Scholars Invitational
The Western Golf Association will conduct the second annual Evans Scholars Invitational May 20-24 at The Glen Club in Glenview, Illinois, with all proceeds benefiting the event’s sole charity, the Evans Scholars Foundation.

The Evans Scholars Invitational is one of 28 tournaments on this year’s Korn Ferry Tour, the most since 2010. The Tour will feature $18,850,000 in official prize money, the largest figure on the Korn Ferry Tour in over a decade.

With 50 available PGA TOUR cards for the following season, the Korn Ferry Tour is the path to the PGA TOUR. Twenty-five TOUR cards are reserved for the leading money winners at the end of the regular season. Another 25 are up for grabs at the three-event Korn Ferry Tour Finals in August.

The Evans Scholars Invitational features a field of 156 golfers competing in the 72-hole stroke play event, with a cut to the top 65 and ties after 36 holes.

For more information on the Evans Scholars Invitational, including hospitality and ticket options, visit www.esinvitational.com.
Western Junior
Onwentsia Club in Lake Forest, Illinois, will host a Western Golf Association championship for the first time in more than a century when the 103rd Western Junior Championship is played there from June 15-18 this year.

Since its creation by the Western Golf Association in 1914, the Western Junior has been a proving ground for future PGA TOUR stars, including past champions Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk and Hunter Mahan. PGA TOUR stars such as Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Matt Kuchar also have competed in the Western Junior.

The Western Junior, the oldest national junior golf championship, has been played in more than 15 states and at several prestigious Chicagoland golf clubs, but never at Onwentsia, which was established in 1895.

Onwentsia Club was among 11 charter clubs that established the WGA in 1899 to help spread the game of golf across the Midwest. A year later, the club hosted the second Western Amateur. The U.S. Amateur and U.S. Open also have been played at Onwentsia.

The Western Junior features a field of 156 top junior players competing in the 72-hole stroke play championship, with the field cut to the low 44 and ties following 36 holes.

For more information on the Western Junior, visit www.thewesternjunior.com.

Women’s Western Junior

The Grove Country Club in Long Grove, Illinois, will host the 94th Women’s Western Junior Championship from June 15-19, 2020, the first time the club has hosted a WWGA championship.

The Women’s Western Junior features an outstanding field, and many competitors go on to become top amateur and college players. In 2020, for the second time, the WGA will conduct the event in partnership with the WWGA.

The Women’s Western Junior field will be comprised of 78 top-ranked amateurs up to 18 years old with a handicap index of 14.4 or lower. Practice rounds are set for Monday, June 15. The competition will open with 36 holes of stroke play June 16-17 to establish 16 match play qualifiers. Match play is set for June 18-19.

For more information on the Women’s Western Junior, visit www.womenswesternjunior.com.

Women’s Western Amateur
Prestwick Country Club in Frankfort, Illinois, will host the Women’s Western Amateur from July 20-25, 2020.

The Women’s Western Amateur features an outstanding field of promising golfers, with many competitors starring in collegiate and professional tournament play. This will be the first time Prestwick Country Club has hosted the prestigious amateur championship. The club opened in 1964 and embodies a Larry Packard course design.

The Women’s Western Amateur field will consist of 120 amateurs with a handicap of 5.4 or less. Held without interruption since its founding, the event is one of the oldest annual championships in women’s amateur golf. The first and second day will each consist of 18 holes of stroke play. After the second day, the field will be reduced to the top 32 players for the match play portion of the championship.

For more information on the Women’s Western Amateur, visit www.womenswesternamateur.com.

Western Amateur
Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Indiana, will host the 2020 Western Amateur from July 27-Aug. 1, the first time the championship will be played in central Indiana.

Founded in 1899, the Western Amateur features one of the deepest and strongest fields in amateur golf as well as the game’s most grueling format. It is the world’s third oldest amateur championship behind the British Amateur (1885) and the U.S. Amateur (1895), and attracts top-ranked golfers from around the world. Past champions include Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.

The Western Amateur has never been played at Crooked Stick and has been contested in the state of Indiana just two times in its storied history, in 1938 and 1951 at South Bend Country Club.

Crooked Stick has twice been home to the WGA’s BMW Championship. The club hosted the penultimate event in the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup Playoff in 2012 and 2016.

Competition includes two 18-hole stroke play rounds on Tuesday and Wednesday followed by a cut to the players with the low 44 scores and ties. Those who make the cut then play 36 holes of stroke play on Thursday, with the low 16 advancing to match play on Friday. The first two rounds of 18-hole match play on Friday narrow the field to four semifinalists, who compete in a pair of 18-hole matches on Saturday morning. Winners of the two morning matches then play in the 18-hole championship match Saturday afternoon.

For more information on the Western Amateur, visit www.thewesternamateur.com.

BMW Championship
The 2020 BMW Championship will be hosted by Olympia Fields Country Club in Olympia Fields, Illinois, from Aug. 18-23. The event is the penultimate event in the PGA TOUR FedExCup Playoffs, with the TOUR’s top 70 players vying to earn a spot in the season-ending TOUR Championship.

The 2020 BMW Championship will mark the sixth time the event has been contested at Olympia Fields, and the first since 1971 when Bruce Crampton claimed the title. Other past champions of the event at Olympia Fields are Jock Hutchinson (1920), Walter Hagen (1927), Macdonald Smith (1933) and Jack Nicklaus (1968).

Olympia Fields has a rich championship tradition of offering a challenging test for the world’s top players. Most recently, Olympia Fields has hosted the 2003 U.S. Open, the 2015 U.S. Amateur, and the 2017 Women’s PGA Championship.

The event will be played on Olympia Fields’ famed North Course, designed in 1923 by professional golfer and course architect Willie Park Jr. With the hosting of the U.S. Amateur in 2015, Olympia Fields joined only eight other American clubs – including Winged Foot, Oakland Hills and Cherry Hills – that have hosted the U.S. Open (1928, 2003), the U.S. Senior Open (1997) the PGA Championship (1925, 1961) and the U.S. Amateur.

For more information on the BMW Championship, visit www.bmwchampionship.com.

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Glen Turk is a Wisconsin native who has been the Senior Writer/Editor of Midwest Golfing Magazine since 2006. Besides being an avid golfer, Glen enjoys traveling, music, and cheering on the finest professional sports team of all-time, the Green Bay Packers. Glen’s ultimate golf goal is to play in all fifty states and currently he is more than half way there. His other dream, albeit far-fetched, it to record an ace in all seven states of our distribution area. Thanks to an ace in Illinois in 2015, and one in Michigan in 2016, he has three down, four to go!

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