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

THE ONWENTSIA CLUB of Lake Forest is welcoming back the The Western Junior.

THE 2021 Western Junior Championship is back at the Onwentsia Club, after the club was unable to host the championship in 2020, due to safety concerns from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“While we were greatly disappointed we were unable to conduct this year’s Western Junior, we’re grateful that Onwentsia has extended it commitment to support the championship by serving as our 2021 Western Junior host,” said Vince Pellegrino, Western Golf Association (WGA) senior vice president of tournaments. “We’re looking forward to welcoming some of the top junior golfers in the world to one of the most historic and time-honored courses in Chicagoland.”

As a result, Naperville that was to host the 2021 championship, will host in 2022, and Midlothian will now host in 2023.

The par 3, 9th hole at Onwentsia.

The 103rd Western Junior Championship will be played from June 21-24 in 2021.

It will be the first time since 1900, that Onwentsia has hosted a WGA golf championship.

Onwentsia Club was among the 11 charter clubs that helped establish the WGA in 1899. This helped expand golf around the Midwest during those years.

The second Western Amateur was contested at the club in 1900, the last WGA tournament played at the Onwentsia. In later years both the U.S. Open and the U.S. Amateur were held at Onwentsia.

“On behalf of the Onwentsia Club, our members and our staff, we are honored to host the 103rd Western Junior Championship,” said L. Peter Smith, club president. “In 2020, we celebrated our 125th anniversary. We cannot think of a better way to start the next 125 years than by welcoming the the oldest national junior golf tournament in the United States. We look forward to seeing golf’s rising stars compete for this coveted title.”

Since the first championship in 1914, the Western Junior has produced champions that have gone on to successful PGA Tour careers, such as Rickie Fowler, Hunter Mahan, Jim Furyk and Colin Morikawa. The Western junior has been played in 15 states and at several highly rated Chicago area clubs.

The clubs history dates back to 1893, when it was called the Lake Forest Golf Club, which was a short 7 hole course in the yard of Sen. Charles B. Farwell. In 1895 the club moved to it’s current location on Green Bay Road.

Famed architects have played a roll in the courses design and upkeep. Charles Blair Macdonald routed the original nine holes. In 1898 architects Herbert Tweedie, James and Robert Foulis added the second nine holes. With some renovation work done by Tom Doak in 1996.

Onwentsia has had 30 caddies go on to be Evans Scholars over the years, with the first being Charles Van Etten who attended Northwestern in 1948.

For more information, please visit TheWesternJunior.com

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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 WCPT 810AM 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.