FLAVIN WINS 87TH ILLINOIS STATE AMATEUR AT CALUMET

    ED STEVENSON Executive Director of the DuPage County Forest Preserve District welcomes golfers back to the Preserve at Oak Meadows in Addison starting August 7th, for details on times and more please visit DuPagegolf.com. (R) The new Par 5, 5th hole. ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy

Mother nature added a change to the 87th Illinois State Amateur at the Calumet Country Club. It forced today’s 36 hole finish to be an 18 hole finish, after heavy storms again hit the area last night and caused a 4 1/2 hour weather delay.

In the end Patrick Flavin of Highwood came from four shots behind to over-take runner up Jordan Hahn of Spring Grove by 1 shot.

“This is always a highlight of the summer,” said Flavin. “I’ve come up short the last couple of years (finishing 6th both years), so to win, I can’t describe it. I have a few college wins and those were big for me, but winning the Illinois State Amateur is unbelievable, it’s definitely top of the list of my accomplishments.”

With only 18 holes to play instead of 36, Flavin came out of the blocks on the Donald Ross designed Calumet course. Flavin birdied the four of the first seven holes, and Hahn who a 9 under par 61 in round two, made bogey on the fourth hole. Quickly his four shot was gone, and Hahn was down a shot. But Hahn did birdie the Par 3 ninth hole and both players were tied headed for the back nine.

The Calumet Country Club

After both players equaled each other on holes 10-11-12, Flavin broke through on the par 5, 13th hole with a birdie, and then after Hahn made bogey, Flavin had a two shot lead.

Hahn then made bogey on the 14th hole, and suddenly Flavin lead by three shots with four holes to play. Both players matched each other with pars on holes 15 and 16.

Now up three shots with holes left to play, Flavin decided to make it interesting when he left his tee shot in the bunker on the par 3 hole. Hahn then drained a 25 foot birdie putt, and Flavin could not get up and down from the bunker, and the lead was back down to 1 shot, with one hole to play.

Patrick Flavin with the Illinois State Amateur trophy. Photo courtesy of CDGA

But from there the drama only picked up, as Hahn hit his drive on 18 right own the middle. Flavin found the left rough and had a few trees in the way to the 18th green. It was then that Flavin hit what he called the shot of the day, when he hooked a 6-Iron from 188 yards and made on to the green. Flavin was able to make his two putt par, and when Hahn could only do the same, Flavin was the 2017 champion.

“I hit the right shot at the right time,” said Flavin. “Jordan was hanging right with me so I’m thrilled I was able to pull that shot off.”

CDGA.org

 

Flavin who was the co-leader after round one after a 63, actually lost ground with an even par round of 70 in round two. Trent Wallace of Joliet and the Illinois State University golf team finished in a tie for third with Charlie Netzel of Western Springs and David Perkins of East Peoria who were all five shots behind Flavin. Past champions Todd Mitchell of Bloomington and Quinlan Prchal of Glenview tied for eighth place at even par. 2014 champion Raymond Knoll was 9 over par and finished in 29th place.

The low 20 finishers who were 3 over par or better, earned exemptions into the 2018 championship, that will be contested at the Bloomington Country Club.

FARNSWORTH WINS ILLINOIS WOMEN’S OPEN

MISTWOOD GOLF CLUB, on Renwick Road in Romeoville, home of the Illinois Women’s Open and McWethy’s Tavern, see Mistwoodgc.com for tee times and more.     ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS Editor and Director of Content, follow Rory to Mistwood Golf Club, Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy.

 Alexandra Farnsworth has won the 23rd Phil Kosin, Illinois Women’s Open at Mistwood Golf Club.

Farnsworth who is heading into her senior season at Vanderbilt University in Nashville Tennessee, carded her second 5 under par 67 in the tournament, to defeat Northwestern Universities Hanna Kim by two shots.

Farnsworth had rounds of 67-74-67 to win the title. Farnsworth says her college career is filled with tournaments of where she finished in “second or third places finishes.” Last year she was the Commodores #1 player and advanced to the NCAA Regional’s as an individual, but did not qualify for the NCAA national championships at Rich Harvest Farms.

Farnsworth said she played well in round 1, but struggled in round 2. Sitting at the top of leader board after round 1, Farnsworth opened round 2 with a birdie on the first hole, but could not make another the remainder of the round. She had three bogeys, and rest pars in route to her 74, that left her just out of the final group. In fact her playing partners in Wednesdays third and final round finished 2nd and tied for third place.

Click here to hear interviews with champion Alexandra Farnsworth, runner up Hannah Kim and T-3 finisher Samantha Postillion.

Alexandra Farnsworth with the Phil Kosin Illinois Women’s Trophy on the stone bridge at Mistwood GC.

Farnsworths called her win a breakthrough that was needed, after coming close in college tournaments so many times.

Farnsworth learned about the Illinois Women’s Open from her former assistant coach at Vanderbilt, Amy Neff who is a past two-time champion of the IWO.

Since Farnsworth is an amateur, she did not receive the first place money of $5000.00 dollars.

In second place two shots back of Farnsworth was Kim, who had it going early on the front nine, but made a key double bogey on the short par 4, 10th hole that in the end kept her out of a potential playoff with Farnsworth.

Kim said,” this tournament for me is a tune up for the U.S. Women’s Amateur that will be played in my hometown of Chula Vista California, which I’m looking forward to. So I’m glad I could make it out to play here.”

Kim said she was pretty drained after the NCAA Championships at Rich Harvest Farms where her Northwestern team finished second in the country. Kim said she took two week off before playing in the Women’s Western Golf Association amateur championship at River Forest Country Club in June. She lost in a semi-final match at the WWGA Amateur.

Samantha Postillion the former University of Illinois golfer and daughter of Illinois Women’s Open Champion Kerry Postillion ( 3-time winner), finished third three shots back of Farnsworth at 5 under par. Postillion tied for low pro with Canada’s Vivian Tsui in third place. Tsui shot a 5 under par 67 in round 1, but could do no better than a pair of even par rounds in round 2 and 3.

The first and second place money was split and Tsui and Postillion each earned checks of $4,200.

University of Illinois women’s golf team member Dana Gattone of Addison was the low finisher that is also a Illinois resident, when she carded a one under par 71 in the final round good enough for fifth place.

This years field was up 14 players to a number of 78, from 2016 when 64 players tee’d off in round 1. For more information on Mistwood Golf Club, see Mistwoodgc.com.

 

FARNSWORTH AND TSUI LEAD PHIL KOSIN-IWO

            MISTWOOD GOLF CLUB on Renwick Road in Romeoville, your home for the 23rd Phil Kosin Illinois Women’s Open, for more information on Mistwood, visit Mistwoodgc.com or call (815)-254-3333. Mistwood home of McWethy’s Tavern & partner of MCQ’s Dome. ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy and to the Illinois Women’s Open at Mistwood Golf Club.

With the first 18 holes in the books at the Phil Kosin Illinois Women’s Open, there are two players at the top of the leader board with 5 under par 67’s.

Alexandra Farnsworth a senior at Vanderbilt University, and Vivian Tsui the reigning Canadian Women’s PGA Champion, and former member of the North Carolina State Wolfpack women’s golf team.

Ten players are under par and two more at even par, on the Ray Hearn designed Mistwood Golf Club.

Jessica Porvasnik a former member of the Ohio State Women’s golf team,who just won the Ohio Women’s Open two weeks ago, sits in third place one shot back after a 68.

The conditions at Mistwood were calm as the day went on, but a little breezy when the day first started. The round did not yield any aces or double eagles, but three players did record eagles on Par 5 holes.

Defending champion Stephanie Miller now a professional this year after graduating from Illinois, opened with a five over par 77 and has some work to do. Miller said she lipped out too many putts.

Click here to hear interviews with leaders Alexandra Farnsworth and Vivian Tsui, and defending champion Stephanie Miller.

Samantha Postillion daughter of past champion Kerry Postillion, and former Illini player was in a T-5 after a two under par 70. Illinois senior Dana Gattone set the early pace, and was the first player in the clubhouse under par with a 1 under par 71. Illinois alum Ember Schuldt a past low professional in the championship and runner up, opened with a 5 over par 77.

Northwestern’s Hanna Kim was 1 over par at 73. Past Champion Jenna Pearson was under par most of the round until the last three holes. The same story was Katie Pius who was even par for 16, but then bogeyed the last two holes to finish at 74.

The golf course was set up at just over 6,000 yards and the field size is 77 players, after there was one late W/D.

Mistwood Golf Club is located on Renwick Road in Romeoville, the second round of the 23rd IWO is Tuesday and then after a cut down to the low 30 players and ties, the final round is played on Wednesday.

DECHAMBEAU WINS JOHN DEERE CLASSIC

   SHEPHERD’S ROCK (L) a Pete Dye design at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort is now open for play. The resort is in Farmington PA, and for more information please see Nemacolin.com. (R) The 16th hole on the Preserve at Oak Meadows in Addison, the golf course will soon open for play. For updates stay clicked in or visit DuPageGolf.com  _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory through the John Deere Classic, and on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy.

Bryson DeChambeau won for the first time on the PGA Tour, and for the first time since he won the 2015 U.S. Amateur at Olympia Fields, when he holed a 14 foot putt on the 18th hole to win the John Deere Classic over third round leader Patrick Rodgers by 1 shot.

DeChambeau carded rounds of 66-65-70-65 to win the championship. In Sunday’s final round, DeChambeau could only shoot an even par round score of 35, on the back nine he shot a 6 under par 30.

His winning birdie putt on 18 at first appeared that it would come up short of the hole, then in the last few inches it started to break away to the right side of the hole, and appeared that it could miss the hole. But it caught just enough of the edge to pop up and then fall back left into the cup. At that point all the birdie on 18 did for DeChambeau, was put him into a tie with second and third round leader Patrick Rodgers at 18 under par.

Rodgers playing the 17th hole that sits alongside of 18, had already hit his drive left and into the trees off the tee. As he prepared to hit his second shot he heard the roar from the gallery of DeChambeau making his birdie. Rodgers then tried to hook a shot down the fairway towards the 17th green, but hit it just solid enough that the ball ran into the right rough across the fairway.

Rodgers third shot found the front of the 17th green, but left him a short chip over a bunker to a tucked right side pin placement. The chip did not carry as far as Rodgers wanted it to, and kicked right along the fringe leaving Rodgers about 15 feet for par. The putt lipped out and DeChambeau had a one-shot lead.

Off the tee on 18, Rodgers missed the fairway right and wound up in the trees and rough, where from there he hit his second shot just over the back of the green. His chip for birdie slid just past the hole and DeChambeau had claimed his first PGA Tour win.

Bryson DeChambeau holds the John Deere Classic trophy on the 18th green of TPC Deere Run.

With the win DeChambeau earned a spot in this weeks Open Championship at Royal Birkdale. His first appearance in the championship, he earned 500 Fed Ex Cup points moving him up to 34th on the list. Final rounds of late seem to be good ones for Bryson, in the last three PGA Tour events, he is now 15 under par in the final round. DeChambeau becomes the 19th player to make the John Deere Classic their first PGA Tour title. DeChambeau was overcome by emotion during the trophy ceremony when told by John Deere CEO Sam Allen that, DeChambeau’s idol the late Payne Stewart won his first PGA Tour title in the Quad Cities.

DeChambeau became the tenth first time winner on tour this year, and is the 13th player under the age of 25 to win this year. He became the first player to win a million dollars by winning the championship, as John Deere raised the purse to $1,000,008 this year, after being in the $800,000 dollar range in previous years.

Rodgers by finishing in second place, had his career best finish on tour. His previous best was T-4 at the Farmers Insurance Open earlier this year. Wesley Bryan and Rick Lamb tied for third place, with Steve Stricker and Zach Johnson heading up a group tied for 5th place.

At one point during the final round three time champion Steve Stricker, and past champion and JDC board member Zach Johnson sat one and two on the leader board, and that had the galleries at Deere Run buzzing. Both both had late bogies and ran out of holes, only to see Dechambeau and Rodgers race past them.

Maverick McNealy and Northbrook Illinois native, and University of Illinois Senior Nick Hardy were paired together in rounds 3 & 4, they were the two amateurs to make the cut and play the weekend. McNealy finished as the low-amateur at 9 under par, two shots ahead of Hardy. McNealy then told the assembled media, that he would love one of the tournaments tee markers tractors as his trophy.

University of Illinois alum Brian Campbell finished at 13 under par and tied for 12th place, while Wheaton native Kevin Streelman fell back to a T-44th place with a 1 over par 72 final round score.

Next years John Deere Classic will again be played in July, according to Clair Peterson the tournament director.

RODGERS LEADS JOHN DEERE CLASSIC AFTER 54 HOLES

  SHEPHERD’S ROCK the new Pete Dye Golf Course, and one of his last new designs has opened at the Nemacolin Woodlands Reosrt in Farmington PA., come play it and it’s sister course the Dye designed Mystic Rock Golf Course. The Double-Dose of Dye golf package is available, see nemacolin.com. (R) THE PRESERVE at Oak Meadows will be opening soon, stay clicked in here or DuPagegolf.com for opening day details.     ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory to the John Deere Classic, and on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy

With 54 holes down and just 18 holes to go, Patrick Rodgers holds a 2 shot lead over Scott Stallings and Daniel Berger, and heads to the final round of the John Deere Classic looking for his first PGA Tour victory.

The Avon Indiana native who spent three years at Stanford before turning professional, broke many of Tiger Woods records while at the school.

For the first three rounds Rodgers scores of 65-64-68 have left him at 16 under par for the tournament. Rodgers a former Nike equipment player is now playing Callaway equipment, and has made a good transition. Rodgers will play in the last group on Sunday with Berger teeing off at 12:40 local time. With a win Rodgers would become the 10th first time winner this year on the tour.

Johndeereclassic.com

Stallings who said he got off to a “funky start” in Round 1, rallied late to get back to even par.

“I just kept working on my speed and finally some parts started to fall,” said Stallings. “It’s amazing the kind of confidence you get when some putts go in.”

Berger shot an 8 under par 63 on Saturday and didn’t feel like he played that well, that left him thinking if he could be better on Sunday he might have a chance to win.

Click here to hear interviews with leader Patrick Rodgers and University of Illinois Senior Nick Hardy.

Hardy along with Maverick McNeely are the two amateurs that made the cut, and will play for bragging rights of low amateur on Sunday. Hardy is second this week in driving distance at 315.20 yards, he leads the field average by 23 yards. Brandon Hagy is first at 324 yards.

Because of the size of the third round field with over 80 players, the tournament had a third round cut that eliminated 8 players, a ninth player Robert Garrigus was DQ’d for a scorecard violation. the field for the final round will be only 73 players, with Michael Kim going off first as a single at 7:20 Am.

Brian Harman 2014 John Deere Classic Champion, rallied with a 63 that equaled the low round of the championship. Six former JDC champions tee’d it up this week on Thursday. Three time champion Steve Stricker had his best round of the week, when he carded a six-under par 65 in the third round, Stricker is now at 8 under par headed into the weekend.

Past champion Zach Johnson who was in contention starting Round 3, fell back after only shooting a 1 under par 70. Johnson is currently five shots behind Rodgers.

 

RODGERS LEADS JOHN DEERE AFTER 36 HOLES

  SHEPHERDS ROCK AT NEMACOLIN WOODLAND’S RESORT in Farmington PA. is now open for play. Check out the resorts Double-Dose of Dye golf package, for more information see Nemacolin.com. THE FRENCH LICK RESORT, home of the Pete Dye Course and the Donald Ross Course celebrating it’s 100th birthday. See Frenchlick.com ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory from the John Deere Classic and on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy.

Patrick Rodgers has lead the John Deere Classic before, it was in the third round on Saturday, and he was still in college at Stanford at the time.

Rodgers the guy who broke most of Tiger Woods records in college, is still looking for that kind of success on the PGA Tour.

This year he is settling in with new clubs, after his previous brand Nike went out of business. Now he plays Callaway and he is playing them well. His first two rounds of 65-64 have Rodgers at 129 and 13 under par. He has a 2 shot lead over Bryson DeChambeau, who is still best known for winning the 2015 U.S. Amateur at Olympia Fields. Three shots back is John Deere Classic board member and past champion Zach Johnson.

While Johnson held up the end of the tournament for the Iowa side, there was a group from Illinois, that was fired up on Illini day playing in front of the galleries of Orange and Blue.

Illinois based touring professionals Kevin Streelman and Mark Wilson were in the field and after 36 holes Winfield’s Streelman still is, and Wilson is not and will head back to Elmhurst. Streelman is at 6 under par and tee’s off the third round at 10:30.

University of Illinois players and there was five of them, still have a few here for the weekend. Steve Stricker at 2 under made the cut on the number after a four under par 67 (11:10 for round 3). University of Illinois Sr. Nick Hardy is five under par and tee’s off at (9:30 for round 3). Hardy’s current Illini teammate Dylan Meyer shot even par and misses the weekend, along with Pekin’s D.A. Points. Brian Campbell also made the cut and will tee off at (10:20).

In all, 84 players made the cut, so the PGA Tour is starting players later in the morning (9:30 Am), but sending them off both tees. Hardy along with Stanford alum Maverick McNealy who is still an amateur are the two amateur’s around for the weekend. both players are tied at 5 under par.

Defending Champion Ryan Moore still not 100 percent as he recovers from an injury that kept him out of the U.S. Open, shot even par in Round 2, but was at 3 over par and missed the cut by 5 shots.

There is network TV coverage all weekend, and for more information please visit Johndeereclassic.com

Don’t forget Golfers on Golf Radio on Am 750 WNDZ tomorrow morning at 9 AM for more on the John Deere Classic.

JOHNSON WINS SR. LPGA AT FRENCH LICK RESORT

  SHEPHERD’S ROCK at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort is now Open For Play. This NEW Pete Dye designed golf course is one of the last by the Hall of Fame designer and architect. It sits side by side with the with the #1 in Pennsylvania rated Mystic Rock Golf Course, Shepherd’s Rock should join your must play list. For more see Nemacolin.com. ______________________________________________________________________

THE FOURTH HOLE of Shepherds Rock, the new Shepherd’s Rock logo and your’s truly with Mike Jones Director of Golf at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, on the first tee.

(Reporting from French Lick Indiana) By Rory Spears, Editor and Director of Content, follow Rory to the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington PA., to the French Lick Resort in French Lick Indiana, and on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy.

She did it before and she can do it again. Trish Johnson had won before on the Pete Dye Golf Course at the French Lick Resort, when she won the 2016 Legends Tour tournament championship. This time the win was a little bit bigger than that. Johnson won the Sr. LPGA Championship, and it’s the first major championship in senior women’s golf. Next year with the addition of the U.S. Sr. Women’s Championship at Chicago Golf, the ladies over 50 will have two majors to play for. Those between 45-49 will have a return to French Lick to look forward to playing in.

With 36 holes in the books, it appeared that Trish Johnson of Bristol England was in great shape to win the inaugural Sr. LPGA, and when it was done that’s exactly what she did. It didn’t come without a few interesting moments for Johnson, but she survived multiple challenges to hang on for a 4 shot victory.

Afterwards Johnson was still critical of her play, saying how she tried to give away the championship. But she did say that her driver the key to winning.

2017 Sr. Lpga Championship winner Trish Johnson, holds the trophy in front of the Pete Dye Pavilion at the French Lick Resort.

“I hit my driver well all week,” said Johnson. “If you can give yourself only short irons into these greens it’s a big advantage.”

Johnson went on to add that she now has a new favorite golf course, and it replaces an icon in the sport of golf.

“When people ask me what my favorite course is I have always told them St. Andrews,” said Johnson. ” Now it’s this one here in French Lick.”

For the win Johnson collects the first prize of $90,000, after her three rounds of 67-72-73 were good enough to defeat runner-up Michelle Redman.

Redman now the women’s golf coach at the University of Minnesota, who played her college golf at Indiana at some support from the locals, and said she heard them around the course. Final day attendance was around 2,500, that might have been more but temperatures reached into the low 90’s on the Dye Course that has few if any trees or places of shade. Redman took home $54,397 for second place. Helen Alfredson was third.

Chicago area native Nicole Jeray who sat in fourth place much of the day, was seventh after a tough bogey-bogey finish. Jeray took home one of her bigger checks on tour earning $16,827

Click here to hear interviews with Trish Johnson, Michelle Redman and Berwyn’s very own Nicole Jeray.

The championship and the French Lick Resort and Cook ownership group donated $200,000 to the Riley’s Children’s Foundation. Making the total donation over a few tournaments played at French Lick now over $700,000.

The championship created a new level in senior women’s golf, one that many felt was long overdue. Play the Pete Dye Course at French Lick, see Frenchlick.com and make your reservations and tee times today.

Wednesdays third round wrapped up a long week of golf, that included a Symetra Tour event played last Friday and over the weekend on the resorts Donald Ross Course now 100 years old. The Sr. LPGA Championship was the first of a 5 year deal, dates not yet announced for 2018. But the championship is expected to be played earlier on the calendar in 2018 so not to be back-to-back with the U.S. Senior Women’s Open.

THE GOG BLOG’S SATURDAY MORNING SHORT GAME-GOG RADIO

   THE PRESERVE AT OAK MEADOWS-coming soon. Will open this summer. Stay clicked into DuPagegolf.com and this website for the announcement about when play will start and how to book tee times. The Symetra Tour is playing the 100 year old Donald Ross Course this weekend at the French Lick Resort, see Frenchlick.com for details about the tournament and the Sr.LPGA Championship that starts on Monday.       ______________________________________________________________________

         The French Lick Resort, home of the Pete Dye Golf Course in French Lick Indiana. The Gog Blog by Rory Spears, Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory to the French Lick Resort, and on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy. Frenchlick.com

GOLFERS ON GOLF RADIO THIS morning at 9 AM on Am 750 WNDZ. Our guests include Brendan Sweeney of the French Lick Resort, former Illinois PGA Professional Mike Jones from the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington PA, opening a brand new Pete Dye Golf Course this weekend. Clair Petersen tournament director of the John Deere Classic, stay on the tee, at WNDZ.

Your hosts are Ed Stevenson, Bill Berger and Rory Spears.

FRENCH LICK CHAMPIONSHIP WEEK IS UNDERWAY, for all the details follow Lenziehmongolf.com veteran scribe Len Ziehm is in French Lick covering all the action.

Stories and reports coming up from the Nemcolin Woodlands Resort as the brand new Pete Dye Courses opens for play. See nemacolin.com. Former Illinois PGA professional Mike Jones is the Director of Golf at Nemacolin.

The John Deere Classic tee’s off this week on Thursday from TPC Deere Run, for tickets see johndeereclassic.com.

KLEIN CREEK Golf Club in Winfield is for sale through Evanston based Links Capital Advisors and Chris Charnas. Asking price in the 5 million dollar range. For more information visit Linkscaptialadvisors.com.

More news coming up.

2018 KPMG TICKETS FOR KEMPER LAKES ON SALE

  THE NEW CLUBHOUSE DESIGNS FOR THE PRESERVE AT OAK MEADOWS, coming soon see DuPageGolf.com for more details. THE DONALD ROSS course at the French Lick Resort is celebrating 100 years, and the Symetra Tour is there today. For more details on next weeks inaugural Sr. LPGA Championship visit Frenchlick.com         ______________________________________________________________________

THE CHALET AT NEMACOLIN WOODLANDS RESORT IN FARMINGTON PA., The Gog Blog by Rory Spears, Editor and Director of Content, follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy. Shepherds Rock by Pete Dye. Opening this week at NWLR.

The 2017 KPMG Championship has putted out, and Danielle Kang has won her first major championship. Can she do it again when the championship returns in 2018.

Well in 2018 the KPMG Championship will return to the Chicago area, this time up north in Lake County at the Kemper Lakes Golf Club in Kildeer.

Your chance to attend the championship is now a reality. Tickets for the 2018 KPMG Championship are now on sale at KPMGWomensPGA.com.

You can also now register to be a volunteer for the championship as well.

TICKET PRICES FOR 2018 HAVE BEEN SET: Grounds ticket good for any day $35. A weekly grounds ticket is $79. Tuesday-Wednesday grounds ticket is just $15. Thursday-Friday grounds ticket is $25. Saturday and Sunday grounds ticket is $30.

Click here to hear from 2017 KPMG Champion Danielle Kang, welcoming fans to Kemper Lakes in 2018.

KPMGWomensPGA.com

Juniors 17 and under, are admitted for free, if they come with a ticketed adult. There is a limit of four kids per adult. The championship is offering daily grounds tickets to current and retired members of the armed forces.

“This championship would not be possible without the help and support of the Chicago community,” said 2017-2018 Championship Director Matt Larson. “We could not be more thrilled to call the north suburbs of Chicago our home next summer, and we look forward to another memorable, but distinct experience for fans and volunteers.”

Volunteers can apply from a base of 25 different committees, that offer a variety of experiences for those that apply and work the championship. All positions do get filled on a first-come first-served basis.

Volunteer fee for adults is $130, but if you are a returning volunteer from 2017 your cost is only $100. Adult volunteers are required to work 4 shifts and a total of 16 hours. Junior volunteers from ages 14-21 must work three shifts and or 12 hours. All shifts last 4-5 hours.

Volunteers receive a Ralph Lauren golf shirt, outerwear item and hat. Volunteer credential good for all six days, meal and water vouchers. Free parking and shuttle service, and (1) official 2018 KPMG championship program.

The dates for next years championship are June 26 to July 1.

 

 

THE PRESERVE AT OAK MEADOWS-COMING SOON

  PAM MILLER OF ANTIGUA holds up more of the 2017 line from a leader in golf apparel, More on Antigua coming soon Antigua.com and ShopAntigua.com for all your golf apparel needs. The Symetra Tour and Sr. LPGA Championship converge on the French Lick Indiana in just a couple of days. Visit Frenchlick.com for details. #Itsamajor ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory to The Preserve at Oak Meadows, and Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy On the 3rd hole bridge.

PRIOR TO ROUND 4 OF THE KPMG Championship at Olympia Fields, I took a tour of The Preserve at Oak Meadows, that will be one of the best public courses in the Chicago area in the days ahead.

My radio partner at Golfers on Golf Radio (Saturday mornings 9 Am AM 750 WNDZ) Ed Stevenson, who is now the new Executive Director of the DuPage County Forest Preserve District, was kind enough to find a golf cart and play tour guide.

Ed unlocked the gate to the newly paved parking lot, and I pulled in past where the new clubhouse will go when built. The old Oak Meadows pro shop building still stands, and after a quick look at some clubhouse drawings in the pro shop, off we went to the golf course.

The Par 5, 5th hole over the creek, and back up the hill into the wooded area of the Preserve.

There has been some talk of late wondering why the golf course is not open yet. There was hope at one time that the window between Memorial Day and Mid-June, might get opened for play.

Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. The second hope was maybe around the fourth of July. That didn’t happen either.

In my opinion that’s a good thing. There are just enough spots on the course and around the course not ready yet for an army of golfers to be trooping all over it. The good news is, that day is coming, and it’s coming very soon. MAYBE by the end of July. But as someone who has played a fair amount of courses on opening day, or in advance of the grand opening, The Preserve could really use another 3 to 3 1/2 weeks of warm grow-in weather before the doors fully open. As a golfer paying a green fee, your first experience will be a better one if you give it another 25-30 days.

You remember the old third hole at Oak Meadows, now it’s the seventh hole at The Preserve.

Stevenson is anxious, as are county officials to get golfers out enjoying the golf course again. Stevenson says, “we can’t wait to welcome back the golfers.”

With how long the process has been, since the fire that burned down the old clubhouse, trust me, everyone involved with the Oak Meadows project can’t wait to see the tee sheet full of names.

In order to give the Preserve all the time it needs to grow in properly, play MIGHT be limited to a certain amount of rounds per day for awhile. Not a bad idea. I saw the reversible course “The Loop” at Forest Dunes in Michigan last year three days after it opened in late June. My opinion was that the course should have stuck to it’s original plan and opened on Labor Day weekend. By Labor Day weekend it was in great condition, not so much in June.

DuPage County Forest Preserve District Executive Director Ed Stevenson stands on the bridge between holes 2 & 3 on the Preserve.

Even though the Loop was open in June, rounds per day were limited to just 16, then 24 by August, and 32 in September. There were no limitations this year from it’s opening day in late April.

In fact some new courses that open in the mid to late part of golf season, Mike Keiser’s Sand Valley in Wisconsin is a perfect example, call the first year limited play, or preview play. Then the following year is the Grand Opening Season. It wouldn’t be a bad idea for Stevenson to follow that concept.

The Par 5, 15th hole will be a solid test for golfers, who will be hoping for a supporting west to east wind.

Like any restoration or renovation project, the work has to start somewhere, and then end somewhere else on the course.

The work started on the Par 4, 16th hole, and the last two holes to be completed were holes 3 and 4. As a result the 16th looks like play should have started on it weeks ago, and holes 3 and 4 look like they need another month. The fourth hole might have to be cart-path only for all of 2017, which might be the smart play.

The Par 4, 16th hole is a solid closing hole, that will generate talk among golfers on the best way to play it.

From the tour I took with Stevenson, here is my evaluation of the Preserve’s 18 holes.

Like any course I have my favorite holes, they fit your eye or you know they are just fun to play, or will be fun to play.

The greens are really all in great shape, and most tee boxes are good as well. A few holes have maybe, 1 of 5 tee boxes that still need some time or touch up.

Hole 1, Par 4, with less trees on both sides of the fairway, I’m looking forward to it. There are a few spots left to grow in, but it shouldn’t take them long to look great.

Hole 2, Par 5, This holes looks ready to play except for a thirty yard stretch down the left side of the fairway that doesn’t get a lot of sunlight.

Hole 3, Par 3, a couple of small areas around the green need some grow in, but this hole is mostly ready to go.

Hole 4, Par 4, the short par 4, only about 301 yards.  This hole needs some time in the fairway, part of the back tee box isn’t quite ready. There is room on the back side of the cart path behind the current back tee to add another tee box, and that might be the right call in the long run. The big hitters will try and cut the left corner, but you better be long to try that.

Hole 5, Par 5, maybe my favorite hole on the course, looks ready to go. Uphill Par 5, a solid hole that has a slight dogleg right built in.

Hole 6, Par 4, the old second hole at Oak Meadows. From 200 yards in looks great, in the fairway in front of the tee box, and one tee box need a little time yet.

Hole 7, Par 4, the old third hole at Oak Meadows has had the fairway raised to avoid flooding, and with multiple tee boxes on different angles will be a great hole. This hole has a few spots by the wetlands that need a little time to finish growing in.

Hole 8, Par 3, is in very good shape, has 1 tee box left that needs to fill in. Sits out in the open and the wind could have fun with your tee shot when it blows hard.

Hole 9, Par 4, this demanding dogleg left will be a tough finishing hole on the front nine, bring your big stick and hit it. The hole is in pretty good condition for play.

Hole 10, Par 3, previously a par 4, the hole has been shortened but will play tough especially to a back right pin. During my tour on a Sunday morning, the maintenance staff was out top dressing this green. But it looked pretty good.

Hole 11, Par 4, this straight-away hole looked in good shape and is about ready for play right now.

Hole 12, Par 5, dogleg right still has a couple of grow in spots, especially back left of green.

Hole 13, Par 4, has a great bunker pattern and will be a fun hole, if you avoid the sand. This hole is in very good shape.

Hole 14, Par 4, this tight hole is not driver friendly, and a back pin here will be a challenge, hole has a few rough spots yet, but not too bad.

Hole 15, Par 5, I love this Par 5, good wide fairway and golfers should get a tailwind from the west on most days The green is well bunkered. It’s condition is pretty good.

Hole 16, Par 4, a tee shot over wetlands to a fairway that splits the trees and and the creek running down the right. A possible signature hole. A small area in front of the green in a valley area, needs some work but won’t take long

Hole 17, Par 3, this former short par 4, is now a Par 3, that plays just under 200 yards from the tips. The hole is in great shape and could be played today.

The 18th green at the Preserve is the old 18th green from Oak Meadows, but has recaptured the size that was lost over the years.

Hole 18, Par 4, this hole has a few spots to grow in near places where trees got taken out, one area near front of the green (About a 10 x 15 yard area) needs some touch up. But new tee boxes here will make this hole fun to play, for those who want to finish on a good note.

The expanded putting green is coming in nicely and so is the driving range, now complete with a fairway, practice bunkers and chipping greens. A new trailer is on site for when the course opens so there will be a 19th hole. There is some general landscaping to be done around the property, and some tree trimming to be done on several holes. All will be in place by opening day.

The first proposed sketches of a new clubhouse by Architect Dan Wohlfeil.

The DCFPD is hoping for a new clubhouse to be opened for use at some point in 2019. The county has started the process by working with Dan Wohlfeil who has done several other area clubhouses, including the newly completed clubhouse at Mistwood Golf Club in Romeoville that has opened to rave reviews.

What I didn’t find in my tour of The Preserve was a bad hole, and for that a tip of the cap or golf visor to architect Greg Martin and his team.

While I don’t speak for the county, from what I saw it appears that before the end of July The Preserve should be open for some limited golf. I plan to report more after I tour the course again around July 20th. Until then follow updates on DuPagegolf.com.