THE SUNSET RIDGE COUNTRY CLUB, home of this weeks 116th Western Amateur now underway, The Sunset Valley Golf Course in Highland Park is reopening from renovation on Friday August 17th, with a “first on the Turf” outing for $1,000 per foursome. Public play the next day  _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation, follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy. With Patrick Flavin who is competing in the Western Amateur this week.

IT’S WESTERN AMATEUR WEEK at the Sunset Ridge Country Club.  Round one is in the books, and there is a 3-way tie for first place at 8 under par. Plenty of players broke par, including local favorite Patrick Flavin of Highwood, the reigning Illinois Open Champion who shot a four under par 67. A round he called solid, and a good start.

This Western Amateur is the last one in the area until 2021, when it returns to the very first course in Western Amateur history, the Glenview Club.  So get out and enjoy this championship at Sunset Ridge CC in Northfield before it wraps up on Saturday afternoon. the defending champion Norman Xiong has turned professional so there will be a new champion crowned this weekend. On Friday and Saturday the Western Amateur ventures into the world of online streaming. Great idea, see for details on where to see it. I will check in for the first time this week, tomorrow for Round 2.

ILLINOIS PGA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CARRIE WILLIAMS joins us in studio this Saturday morning for the live segment of Golfers on Golf Radio Am 750 WNDZ from 10-11 Am. Topics covered will include next weeks Illinois Open at the Glen Club and Ravina Green CC. The upcoming Centennial PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, the Illinois PGA Section, and other programs the IPGA is supporting.

CHICAGOLAND GOLF’S August issue hits the clubs and golf retail stores this week. I have a story regarding the reopening of the Schaumburg Golf Club’s first nine holes (of 27), and departure of the Western Amateur to Point O’Woods in 2019 and Crooked Stick in 2020.

CONGRATULATION’S to Northwestern Alum Hannah Kim the recent winner of the Phil Kosin Illinois Women’s Open at Mistwood Golf Club, who this past weekend won her second straight Women’s State Open, when she recorded a one-shot win in the Tennessee Women’s Open. Kim is headed to the LPGA Q-School this fall.

BIG 3 partner Len Ziehm and I will review all the new improvements at the Schaumburg Golf Club this Thursday morning, stay tuned.

Len and I are saddened at the news that former PGA Tour player Jarrod Lyle is in his final days. Lyle a really good guy, deserved better than three rounds of fighting cancer and later Leukemia in life. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and two daughters. Len and I had Lyle as a media day partner at the Glen Club in 2008, on a cold and snowy day. Our picture still hangs in my home.

Last week while on the air the news broke that Bruce Lietzke has passed away from brain cancer. Lietzke who I enjoyed interviewing back during the Western Open days was always to golf and cars with. Lietzke was 67, and a 13 time winner on the PGA Tour, that included two wins in the Canadian Open.

This week Len, Tim Cronin and I are looking forward to the Western Amateur, and the fact that there is no other tournament to cover this week. Amazing, and entire week without a scheduling conflict.

GOOD NEWS from Pinehurst, Course #4 renovated by Gil Hanse will reopen on September 20th, right about the time the new brewery opens as well. Timing is everything.

The Gog Blog is back this week, so stay clicked in. RS

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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 WNDZ Am 750 Chicago, he writes for both Chicagoland Golf and the Chicago District (CDGA) Magazine. Rory has played over 460 courses in 37 states, and rates golf courses. He does golf course management and communications consulting, in the golf industry.