About Rory Spears

Rory spent over 8 years growing up working at Rob Roy Golf Club in Prospect Hts.IL, then two years at Chevy Chase in Wheeling. He has covered golf in Chicago since 1986. Rory was one of the initial members of WSCR all-sports radio Chicago and covered golf there for 5 seasons, before moving on to work for ESPN/Sportsticker and ESPN Radio. In addition to hosting Golfers on Golf Radio on WNDZ Am 750 Chicago, he writes for both the Chicago District (CDGA) Magazine, and formerly Chicagoland Golf. Rory has played over 525 courses in 39 states, and rates golf courses. He does golf course management and communications consulting, within the golf industry.

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU-U.S. OPEN CHAMPION

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU has won in Illinois twice, they were both big wins in his career, but none as big as winning the U.S. Open this past Sunday at Winged Foot.        ______________________________________________________________________

Bryson DeChambeau with the U.S. Open trophy.

BY: RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. You can follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, or friend him on Facebook, and connect with Rory on LinkedIn.

I didn’t know much about Bryson DeChambeau when he arrived at Olympia Fields in 2015 for the U.S. Amateur.

DeChambeau had already won the NCAA Championship that year while playing with his SMU team. As a result he was one of the top choices to win at Olympia Fields. But instead of attracting attention for his NCAA win, Dechambeau started getting noticed for the fact all his irons were the same length. Seriously kid-why.

But he had answers, and explanations, he majored in engineering, and was known to study about anything that could make him a better golfer. Even more interesting than the length of his clubs, was that he was putting new golf balls in the boiling pot, to see which ones floated the right way. The ones that didn’t were taken out of play, because they were not perfectly round.

DeChambeau explained how 4-5 new golf balls in every dozen, weren’t perfectly round. Yes even in a $50.00 dozen of Pro V1’s. I don’t know if he still does that, but I’m sure he made the R&D departments at places like Titleist and Callaway do some thinking.

DeChambeau was such a neat story, people started rooting for him to win his matches at Olympia Fields just to keep him around. The media liked him too, because you never knew what he was going to say. He attended SMU in Texas because his hero Payne Stewart did. Once that was known, his apparel was the next question because in some ways he resembled how Stewart dressed, Hogan cap and all.

DeChambeau always walked faster than his opponents all week long, he wanted them to feel like they had to catch up to him through the entire match. Nobody did, and he took home the Havemeyer Trophy, and was a USGA Champion.

Being an NCAA and USGA champion earned DeChambeau an exemption into the John Deere Classic courtesy of Clair Peterson and the JDC Championship committee. He made the most of it, and then he turned professional early when SMU’s teams got put on NCAA probation, and could not play in the the post season.

DeChambeau rolled in a big putt on 18 at TPC Deere Run, and then he waited to watch the groups behind him finish. When it was over Dechambeau had finished first. At the trophy celebration John Deere CEO Sam Allen told DeChambeau his hero Payne Stewart’s first win on the PGA Tour was in the Quad Cities too, it almost brought DeChambeau to tears when the emotion caught up with him.

What makes Dechambeau such a unique player is his scientific approach to the game, if you have a question he has an answer. His actions are well thought out.

Which brings us to his recent plan to put on 40 pounds and bulk up to Hulk size. His drives are longer and he hits them straight for the most part. The question now is how many golfers might try to follow his path to bigger and stronger.

If you have spent any time around DeChambeau as I have, you’ll find he is a good guy at heart. I know he said and done a few things that have upset the weak-minded ones on Twitter. Guess what-who cares. I really like his genuine approach to the game, his thoughtful answers in media sessions, and his down-to-earth personality. His work ethic is non-stop, he puts the time in to get better and he will do just that.

Whether you like his plan to hulk-up or not. Give Bryson a chance, he is a champion worth rooting for. He might not win 18 majors in his career, but I’m sure he will win more than one. Who else has won the NCAA Championship, the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Open besides DeChambeau, it’s a very short list-Jack & Tiger.

I can’t wait to see his approach in Augusta-it should be a fun Masters at Augusta National come this November. RS

CEO MIKE DAVIS TO DEPART FROM USGA IN 2021

WELCOME TO BLACKBERRY OAKS-Chad Johansen GM and Head Golf Professional. Play the Oaks, one of the Chicago area’s most fun golf courses-Blackberryoaks.com       ____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS-Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy and on Facebook or Linkedin. With USGA CEO & Executive Director Mike Davis (M) and Tim Cronin of the Illinois Golfer.

USGA CEO & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Mike Davis announces his departure from the United States Golf Association (USGA).

Davis who started with the USGA in 1990, and worked his first U.S. Open at Medinah later that year, has announced that 2021, will be his final year in Liberty Corner New Jersey.

Davis, 55 has announced he will become part of a golf course design team, with Tom Fazio II, named Fazio & Davis design.

In 2011 Davis became the USGA’s seventh executive director and in 2016 the USGA’s first CEO.

“Leading the USGA has been such an honor, and I’m grateful for the many wonderful years I have had with this great organization,” said Davis. “While I am excited for my next chapter, my work here is not done, and I look forward to furthering our mission to better the game over the next 15 months.”

Davis will spend those 15 months helping the USGA through the Covid-19 times, the USGA operational move to and creation of Golf House-Pinehurst. Davis will assist the organization in the selection of the new CEO.

USGA CEO & Executive Director Mike Davis

“Mike has been a transformational leader in golf and his actions to move the USGA forward have been numerous and decisive,” said USGA President Stu Francis. “These accomplishments include leading global rules modernization, the new world handicapping system, the ongoing Distance Insights project and the creation of the new USGA Foundation. In addition, Mike’s vision helped create four USGA championships, while ensuring a renowned line up of golf courses for all of the USGA’s championships. He is has been a strong advocate for the selection of public golf courses as U.S. Open sites.”

“During his tenure as CEO, Mike has assembled a strong, experienced leadership team, and worked collaboratively with our board to modernize and streamline the internal governance structures for the USGA, which created the space for the management team to lead the way and the Executive Committee to function primarily as a strategic board.”

The USGA Executive Committee will soon begin a search for the next CEO, with a candidate in place prior to the the 2021 U.S. Open in June.

Davis said he has had a longtime interest in golf course architecture, and decided this was the time to explore a career move to work more in course design and renovation.

THE GOG BLOG’S SUNDAY MORNING SHORT GAME-NEWS COLUMN

  ED STEVENSON (L) and RORY SPEARS (R) wrapped up the 30th season of Golfers on Golf Radio this past Saturday morning at WCPT Am 820, with guest host Len Ziehm. If you missed it catch the replay at Soundcloud.com/chicagosprogressivetalk or watch on the WCPT Am 820 Facebook page seen under the weekend show listings. #WCPT ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG-by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, and Facebook, Linkedin or Instagram.

THE WATERVIEW PUB at the Great Waters Golf Course at Reynolds Lake Oconee in Greensboro Georgia. The golf course was designed and recently renovated by Jack Nicklaus.

Great Waters has now been selected to host a recently added LPGA Tournament called the Drive-On Championship. It’s one of the tournaments added to replace LPGA events this year in both Japan and Korea. Championship week is October 22-25. For details on visit, membership or homeownership see ReynoldsLakeOconee.com.

TOPGOLF has announced they have added Monterrey Mexico to it’s list of newly opened facilities, as Topgolf continues to expand it’s global footprint. See Topgolf.com.

CHRIS CHARNAS and the Wilmette based LINKS CAPITAL ADVISORS have closed the deal on the sale of the Whispering Woods Golf Course in Whispering Pines North Carolina. If you are looking to buy or sell a golf course or golf courses, contact Chris at 312-543-7192.

2021 Senior PGA Championship at Southern Hills in Tulsa Oklahoma.

AFTER BEING CANCELLED in 2020 due to Covid-19, the Senior PGA Championship sponsored by Whirlpool is back in 2021.

Next yea’s championship will be played at the famed Southern Hills Country Club, in Tulsa Oklahoma from May 25th through May 31st.

You can now sign up to be a volunteer at the championship.

You can sign up through the links at srpga.com.

Do be aware that positions are going quickly, so if you would like to be a volunteer at the 2021 Senior PGA Championship do register before long. Srpga.com.

CDGA.org For everyone who plays the game.

The 34th Illinois Senior Amateur Championship was not an easy finish for champion Tim Sheppard (East Peoria-Pekin Country Club).

Sheppard held a three shot lead heading into the final day at Mt. Hawley Country Club in Peoria.

Sheppard a two-time CDGA Senior Player of the Year, and past champion in the senior amateur, didn’t get out to a great start in the last round.

Emotions caught up with him after his dog passed away unexpectedly early that morning. Sheppard admitted he was having a hard time focusing, and after he started +2 over the first seven holes. At the turn he told himself he needed to make some birdies. On the back nine Sheppard carded 4 birdies to hold off David Feder of Lincolnshire (Conway Farms), and four-time past champion Dave Ryan of Taylorville/Illini CC. Winning the championship in his backyard of Peoria has special meaning for Tim Sheppard.

NORTHBROOK based KemperSports Management has released information on it’s newest property additions. The team at KSM worked with Bandon Dunes during the recent men’s USGA Amateur Championship. KSM property Chambers Bay will host the 2021 USGA Four-Ball Championship. More details at kempersports.com.

V1 Sports-helping you hit it longer.

THE NEXT GOLFER TO HIT LONGER could be you.

V1 Sports tomorrow Tuesday at 7 Pm EST, will bring you a webinar on Zoom September 22nd.

Jamie Sadlowski the long drive champion of the 2008-2009 RE/MAX, gets a lesson from BodiTrak founder Terry Hashimoto to discuss the benefits to using “ground forces” to the golf swing. Including feet pressure and weight transfer.  Learn more about the seminar and V1 Sports at V1sports.com.

Cleveland Golf’s newly finished zip-core wedges.

CLEVELAND GOLF has added two new finishes to it’s line of ZipCore wedges.

The new finishes include the “T” mark, and come in Black Satin and Tour Rack.

“It’s got great lines and that classic look you’d expect from Cleveland,” said Graeme McDowell. “I love the way it feels. I love the way the ball comes off the face, and it’s exciting that you will be able to play the same wedges we play on tour.”

The Black Satin Wedges are priced at $149.99 MAP and the Tour Rack comes in at $169.99. More information at ClevelandGolf.com.

GOLFERS ON GOLF RADIO’S SEASON FINALE TODAY ON WCPT

WCPT AM 820-CHICAGO home of Golfers on Golf Radio in it’s 30th season. Golfers on Golf is (L-R), Rory Spears-Ed Stevenson and Bill Berger. season finale today at 10 AM.

TODAY AT 10 AM is the season finale of Golfers on Golf Radio, you can catch the show on WCPT Am 820 Chicago, Wcpt820.com, watch the show on Facebook Live at the WCPT Facebook page. You can use the Tune-In Radio APP on your phone, please search at WCPT820. If you need a mulligan visit the stations website and the facebook page and watch the replay. Or listen in at Soundcloud.com/Chicagosprogressivetalk.

Illinois Golf hall of Fame Inductee Class of 2019, Len Ziehm joins us as co-host from Florida for the finale

Our last show for the year includes guest host Len Ziehm from the main studio of LenZiehmongolf.com, in Port St. Lucie Florida, and the PGA Village.

We will hear from WFAN Radio in New York Ann Liquori, who checks in from Winged Foot and the U.S. Open.

We’ll add some comments from Illinois PGA Match Play Champion Jonathon Duppler, who won the championship on his home turf Elgin Country Club, and runner-up Garret Chaussard.

CLICK HERE to hear our U.S. Open interview with WFAN’s Ann Liquori.

It’s been a crazy year, so join us for the end of the round and what lies ahead. thanks for listening, Ed, Billy, Len and Rory.

DUPPLER WINS IPGA MATCH PLAY ON HIS HOME COURSE

THE ELGIN COUNTRY CLUB Founded in 1901-hosted the Illinois PGA Match Play Championship this past week-full details can now be located at IPGA.com #Golfmajor     _____________________________________________________________________

BY: RORY SPEARS Reporting from Elgin Country Club. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, or on Facebook or Linkedin.

ELGIN COUNTRY CLUB head golf professional Jonathon Duppler holds the Illinois PGA Match Play Championship trophy. After winning his first IPGA Section major championship.

THERE IS NOTHING like a home course advantage.

Elgin Country Club head professional Jonathon Duppler won his first Illinois PGA Section major Championship, when he defeated Skokie Country Club teaching professional Garrett Chaussard 3 & 2 in the title match.

Chaussard was the two time defending champion in the event, but Chaussard won both of his titles at Kemper Lakes Golf Club in Kildeer. Elgin Country Club stepped up when the championship had to be moved, after a date change from May to September because of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

CLICK HERE to hear interviews with IPGA Match Play Champion Jonathon Duppler, and runner-up Garrett Chaussard.

Elgin Country Club professional Jonathon Duppler rolls in an eagle putt on the 14th hole to take a 3 Up lead in the championship match.

After upsetting Medinah professional Travis Johns a past champion who won at Kemper Lakes in 2010 in the semi-finals, Duppler earned a ticket into the championship match with Chaussard.

Chaussard had wrapped up his semi-final match against St. Charles Country Club professional David Burdick 3 & 2, and had a chance to catch his breath before Duppler eliminated Johns.

When Duppler moved into the championship match, the small group of Elgin CC members that had been following Duppler in his matches all week, really started to grow.

As the championship match moved along, an army of over 25 golf carts was following the two players, and more members and course workers joined in walking along.

Duppler wasted no time sending a message to Chaussard that he was ready, when he eagled the first hole to go 1 Up. Duppler’s birdie on the third hole, coupled with Chassard’s short miss for par on the fourth hole, left Duppler 3 Up early into the match.

Garrett Chaussard hits his drive on the par 3, 9th hole that found the green.

Chaussard started to make a comeback winning the 8th hole, but Duppler birded the par 3, 9th hole and regained his 3 Up lead at the turn.

Then Chaussard won the tenth with a par, only to have Duppler win the 11th with a birdie.

Chaussard then made a birdie putt that did a full circle around the cup before falling on the 12th, and Dupplers lead was back down again to only 2 Up.

After halving the the 13th hole, Duppler drained an eagle putt from 25 feet on the 14th hole, to go 3 Up once more, but now with only 4 holes to play.

After missing the fairway on the 14th, Chaussard hit an outstanding approach to the back-upper tier of the green. His 6 foot birdie putt cut Duppler’s lead to 2 Up.

But Duppler’s par on the par 3 16th hole, was enough to close out the match, after Chaussard 3-putted from the green’s back fringe.

Duppler was immediately greeted by one of the club’s bartenders, who had brought out the champagne. Some of which was consumed, while some was sprayed on Duppler.

With the success of winning on his home course, Duppler said he would speak the clubs board of directors about having Elgin Country Club host the championship again in the future. The victory earned Duppler a ticket to Conway Farms Golf Club, and the Illinois PGA’s final major of the year, the Players Championship, which this year has only a field of the top 35 players in the year’s point standings.

ZIEHM & SPEARS PODCAST SERIES 2020-VOLUME 27

ELGIN COUNTRY CLUB hosts the Semi-Finals and Finals of the Illinois PGA Match Play Championship tomorrow starting at 8 AM. Chaussard vs Burdick-Duppler vs Johns ______________________________________________________________________

LEN ZIEHM & RORY SPEARS have teamed up to provide the Chicago area’s and beyond most complete weekly golf report, with the Ziehm and Spears Podcast.

CLICK HERE to hear week 27 of the Ziehm & Spears Podcast Series 2020-Volume 27.

This week Len and Rory talk the U.S. Open at Winged Foot. The Illinois PGA Section Match Play Championship at Elgin Country Club. Some upcoming travel notes. The news coming form the University of Illinois and the Atkins Golf Course.

Recapping the Evans Scholars Invitational. A few equipment thoughts on what’s coming out now by Titleist, for their players in time for the U.S. Open.

The LPGA add’s a tournament at Ryenolds Lake Oconee in Georgia. The Symetra Tour adds Mission Hills Inn and Resort to their schedule.

How the golf season is heating up, and not slowing down for Mid-September.

All this and more. Thanks for listening-Len & Rory.

TOP SEEDS ADVANCE TO SWEET 16 AT IPGA MATCH PLAY

ELGIN COUNTRY CLUB is host to this weeks Illinois PGA Match Play Championship.    _____________________________________________________________________

BY: RORY SPEARS-reporting from the Elgin country Club in Elgin Illinois. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Skokie Country Club’s Garrett Chaussard is the #1 seed for this weeks IPGA Match Play

GARRETT CHAUSSARD the Skokie Country Club teaching professional is back for a crack at a three-peat, in the Illinois PGA Match Play Championship.

Chaussard has a shot to win as the tournaments #1 seed, and he has moved into the Sweet 16. But Chaussard gets another past champion in the match play championship, Glen View Club’s Kyle Bauer right out of the blocks at 7:45 AM.

To play Bauer, Chaussard fought a tough match with Biltmore’s Doug Bauman, before coming out on top 4 & 2.

Bauer had to put on his rally cap-three down at the turn to White Pines new head professional Andrew Godfrey. Bauer rallied on the closing holes for a 2 & 1 win.

Bauer’s staff at the Glen View Club plays each other in another morning match, Round of 16, when Jim Billiter takes on Chris Green.

Illinois PGA section champion Mike Small, who held off Mistwood’s Andy Mickelson at Medinah, get’s a rematch with Mickelson on Thursday morning, Mickelson admitted he was hoping to not have to play Small until maybe the final four.

Small won his match 6 & 5 over Brett McClellan of Twin Orchard Country Club. Getting done early, had Small off to the range and putting green for 2 more hours of practice after a quick lunch and media interviews.

2010 Match Play Champion Travis Johns and the 2019 IPGA Player of the Year, had to hold off a charging Roy Biancalana, winning 2 UP, after making birdie on 17, and hitting his approach shot in on the par 3-18th (back nine first match) within 10 feet. When Biancalana missed his 25 foot birdie putt on the final hole, he conceded Johns putt for a birdie 2 to end the match.

John’s fellow professional at Medinah Country Club Rich Dukelow, who admitted he is not a fan of match play, held off Ivanhoe Club’s Michael Strain in 20 holes. Jim Sobb the Director of Golf at Ivanhoe who has won both the match play and senior match play championship in years past, lost 1 Up to Butler National’s Jeff Kellen. Sobb was 1 Up at the turn, in a match that went back and forth the entire round.

Click hear to hear interviews in order with Garrett Chaussard, Mike Small, Andy Mickelson, Travis Johns and Rick Dukelow.

Johns also talks about the U.S. Open this week at Winged Foot, and the success of the IPGA’s Birdies for Charity fundraising event last week at River Forest Country Club.

Elgin Country Club head professional Jonathon Duppler remains in the mix, after defeating Bill Sakas of the Glencoe Golf Club 4 & 2. Duppler is getting support from Elgin CC members out following his matches around the golf course.

Golfers on Golf will return to Elgin Country Club for the semi-finals and championship match on Friday. With updates tomorrow on the matches right here, so stay clicked in.

TITLEIST ADDS NEW DRIVERS & JUSTIN THOMAS INSPIRED PUTTERS

ELGIN COUNTRY CLUB founded in 1901-hosts the IL. PGA Match Play Championship  _____________________________________________________________________

BY: RORY SPEARS, DIRECTOR OF CONTENT and CREATION for Golfers on Golf. You can follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or Facebook and LinkedIn/Instagram.

THE TITLEIST TSi Drivers are here, and staff players have them for this week’s U.S. Open at Winged Foot.

Titleist has used the week leading into the 120th U.S. Open at Winged Foot, to add new drivers and putters into the bags of their staff players.

Titleist says they are the most played driver on the PGA Tour over the last two years.

The new Titleist TSi drivers are in play in the PGA Tour and the European Tour. Stay clicked in to Titleist social media outlets to learn more about the process, and when you can order the new TSi in your pro shop or golf retail outlet.

The new Justin Thomas inspired Scotty Cameron Phantom 5X.5 putter.

The new Justin Thomas inspired, Scotty Cameron design will launch a limited run of the putters coming up later this month.

This limited run of only 2020 putters will be available on September 22nd, and will come with a circle JT on the bottom heel of the putter.

MAP $850.00

The putter combines a high-MOI wingback head style, with a welded small slant neck, which produces an arced putting stroke, that usually found in a blade type putter.

“This was an extremely cool project for me to work on with Scotty. When I first saw the 5.5, I immediately noticed how nicely it sits down on the green. The neck just makes it sit so square. In the beginning, I was only thinking it would give me something different to look at for a couple of weeks-yet here I am-four-something years later and still using it. So, I guess it’s worked out pretty well for me.”

Thomas will be using the putter at this weeks U.S. Open.

Putter length is 34.5 inches, with a 10 gram stainless steel heel and toe weights for proper balance. The JT inspired 5.5 Phantom comes with a new Pistolero Plus grip in the color of cement gray with black letters. There is also a Justin Thomas Inspired headcover that comes with the putter.

For more details please visit Titleist.com.

ILLINOIS PGA STROKE & MATCH PLAY CHAMPIONSHIP

THE ELGIN COUNTRY CLUB founded in 1901-hosts this weeks Illinois PGA Section Stroke and Match Play Championship, play starts Tuesday and runs through Friday.      _____________________________________________________________________

20218 & 2019 IPGA Match Play champion Garrett Chaussard of Skokie Country Club.

HE’S BACK & GOING FOR THREE IN A ROW.

Skokie Country Club’s teaching professional Garrett Chaussard is biding for a three-peat.

One problem that Chaussard could have is that this Stroke/Match Play Championship is on a new venue Elgin Country Club, not Kemper Lakes Golf Club where Chaussard won both of his major match play titles.

The field of over 80 players starts on Tuesday with a new format for the match play championship. A day of stroke play.

The day of stroke play determines the 64 players who advance to the match play, and their seeds heading into round 1 of the matches.

Elgin Country Club is a 119 year old club, and the best way to describe the golf course is that it’s hilly. Where Kemper Lakes had plenty of water, Elgin has plenty of hills, that require downhill tee shots, and plenty of uphill approach shots.

The par 4, 10th hole behind the flag and looking back towards the tee.

The greens will reflect the change in terrain, with putts taking off and rolling in one solid direction. Uphill or downhill and left to right. Throw-out the seeds here, anyone can win and somebody not expected to be one of the favorites, might do just that.

Severe water will be found on the par 3, 16th hole, that looks a little like one of Medinah’s Course #3, par 3 holes. The 12th hole has a small pond left of the green that should not come into play all that much.

Click hear to hear Garrett Chaussard speak about both the Illinois Open and defending his title in the IPGA Match Play championship.

Stamina could come into play for players who win a few matches, but have to play most of the 18 holes, or extra holes and might have to go on and play two-matches a day.

The par 3 16th hole, could decide plenty of matches, especially if pins are placed upfront on the green.

Match play begins on Wednesday, with the round of 64 and then 32.

Thursdays matches take the field from 16 to 8 players, and then from 8 players to the remaining four players.

The semi-finals will be Friday morning with the 18 hole championship match on Friday afternoon.

The yardage will play at 6,430 yards, and to a par of 72.

IPGA.com and Golfersongolf.com will both have results from the championship. You will be able to hear from the winner next Saturday on Golfers on Golf Radio Am 820 WCPT.

THE GOG BLOG SPEAKS OUT-IT’S U.S. OPEN WEEK.

THE FRENCH LICK RESORT has three golf courses, 2 hotels, a casino-sportsbook, and spa open for business. Ready to book your next play and stay see Frenchlick.com.  ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS-Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy and on Facebook or LinkedIn. With the U.S. Open trophy.

IT’S NOT BIG and it’s not heavy like the Stanley Cup or the Wanamaker trophy.

But it’s something pretty special to wrap your hands around. The U.S. Open trophy will go to the best player in the field this week at Winged Foot Country Club in Mamaroneck New York.

Could it be Phil Mickelson this time, since Phil would never let people down at Winged Foot. A great funny ad by the folks at Callaway Golf, kudos to Lefty for playing along. If you haven’t seen it you should, look it up on-line.

It seems weird having the U.S. Open at a time when the NFL is heading for week 2, and the NHL is almost headed into the Stanley Cup finals. Major League Baseball is in the stretch drive for the post-season and here comes the U.S. Open. Next thing you know the Masters will go head to head with the start of the college basketball season, instead of being played right after the final four.

In a year that’s been strange and different, the U.S. Open brings us back to something that’s traditional. This year only 144 players instead of 156 get to play in the U.S. Open, (a smaller field due to less daylight) and this time around, nobody made it into the field through qualifying. There won’t be an 18-hole playoff on Monday, if there is a tie at the end of play on Sunday night. But in this case, let’s hope the tee-times start early enough on Sunday, so there is time for a playoff before it’s get dark. TV are you listening. NBC is back with the U.S. Open on it’s network this year. Fox is gone and now locked in on the NFL.

Dan Hicks will be in the booth, and most likely be back to rooting on Tiger. Without Johnny Miller to reel him in unfortunately, maybe NBC can have Johnny stop by the booth for the weekend. It wouldn’t be a bad idea. Len Ziehm and I will discuss the U.S. Open more in detail later this week on our podcast Volume 27, do stay tuned-in.

ONE FINAL THOUGHT on the U.S. Open. I’m all for the expanded presence of the USGA in Pinehurst the home of american golf, and Pinehurst No.2 getting 4 more U.S. Open’s. But the talk of keeping the U.S. Open in just a six or seven course rotation does more harm than good. There are plenty of good courses around the country that have the overall size and footprint to handle a U.S. Open. The shortlist of courses being mentioned leave out the Midwest, and the West Coast minus Pebble Beach. The sport of golf needs it’s majors spread around the country to grow the game. Sports like Tennis get hurt because there is only one major in the USA, and it’s always in New York.

THE EVANS SCHOLARS INVITATIONAL at the Chicago Highlands Golf Club, finally had some good weather on Sunday. The players were due, after three days of rainy, windy and cooler weather.

When it was over, Curtis Thompson had his first win on the Korn-Ferry Tour. Thompson is better known for being the brother of Lexi Thompson the LPGA star. His sister wasted no time in calling her brother and her former caddie after he clinched the title.

The end of the ESI marked the end of two straight weeks in Illinois for the Korn Ferry Tour, two weeks that did not stand out for the native Illinois players on the tour. Brad Hopfinger finsihed T-4 three shots back, and Nick Hardy was T-13 and six shots back, both made late charges on Sunday for respectable finishes but it wasn’t enough.

IF THE Korn Ferry Tour gets back on it’s normal schedule in 2021, where does the ESI championship go, back to the Glen Club, or back to Chicago Highlands. Maybe a rotation of clubs is a possibility. A rotation of local clubs is the same plan that people here in the Windy City would like to see for the BMW Championship. In 2021 the BMW drive’s off to the burbs of Baltimore and Caves Valley Country Club. I was there for the inaugural LPGA International Crown in 2014 and Caves Valley is a great facility. It’s just that it’s not here in the Chicago area.

The 2022 BMW is up for grabs I hear. It could be back in Chicago or maybe again out of state, discussions are on-going with clubs in and out of town. Stay tuned.

ELGIN COUNTRY CLUB is the home for this weeks Illinois PGA Match Play. I’ve asked people in the past, what’s Elgin Country Club like. The answer was always, it’s very hilly. I played the course last week, and guess what. It’s very hilly. Some of the biggest elevation changes I’ve seen on a golf course in Illinois.

This type of golf course with a real risk-reward design in match play, can lead to some real upsets, so throw out the seeding and get ready for a few unexpected results. Two-time defending champion Garrett Chaussard of the Skokie Country Club will have his hands full going for three-in-a row.

IT FIGURES rain would have to pop-up last Tuesday as the Illinois PGA was playing the 10th edition of it’s Birdies for Charity (BFC) fundraiser at River Forest Country Club in Elmhurst. Kudo’s to the professionals about 35 of them, and former Chicago Bear Patrick Mannelly of Golf 360 who came out to raise money for four outstanding charities. Here is to dry-rounds in September of 2021. The 10 year total is now over $2 million dollars raised.

I’M PUZZLED that yet again when the coaches were announced for the Palmer Cup at Rich Harvest Farms in 2021, that none of our local coaches were selected. I don’t know if they turned down the chance, of just weren’t selected. No coaches from Illinois or Northwestern, or even the Big Ten coaching in this major event here in Illinois. Leaves you wondering what is going on with the selection process. No knock on the coaches selected, but a local coach or two from Illinois would be a great choice.

GOLFERS ON GOLF RADIO wraps it up for 2020, this Saturday morning from 10-11 Am on AM 820 WCPT, or WCPT820.com or watch us on Facebook Live the WCPT page. Len Ziehm joins us as guest host via the phone, as we putt out on 18 for the radio edition of our show. This website goes all year round-and the Ziehm and Spears Podcasts will run through early December. Make sure you catch the season finale, with a great round table of golf discussion for the last 30 minutes.

The GOG blog returns tomorrow. RS