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71ST ILLINOIS OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP RESTRUCTURED AMIDST COVID-19 PANDEMIC

May 29th, 2020

Author: Kevin Quinn

State Championship to be Contested at White Eagle Golf Club with Field of 156;
Tournament Qualifiers Reduced from Eight to Four
 
 
GLENVIEW, Ill. – May 29, 2020 – The Illinois PGA announced today that the 71st Illinois Open Championship will be restructured due the COVID-19 pandemic. Among some of those changes will be a reduced field size from 264 to 156 players, and all three rounds of the Championship will be played at White Eagle Golf Club in Naperville on August 3-5, 2020, with no companion course. The tournament qualifying events have been reduced from eight to four with the first qualifier to be held at Flossmoor Country Club on July 14.  

"Despite having to make a difficult decision to change the format this year, White Eagle Golf Club is extremely excited at the opportunity to showcase our newly renovated facility and provide a high-end experience for those playing in our state championship of golf,” said Curtis Malm, Director of Golf at White Eagle Golf Club and Illinois PGA Opens Chairman. “The Illinois PGA and White Eagle Golf Club will be working diligently to provide the best, and safest Illinois Open possible.

The original host sites for the 71st Illinois Open were both White Eagle Golf Club and Stonebridge Country Club. White Eagle Golf Club was set to be the Championship course, hosting the final round as well as the first two rounds, along with Stonebridge Country Club which would serve as the companion course for the first two rounds. In efforts to provide the safest environment possible, the Illinois PGA and its Member Tournament Committee elected to reduce the field size and host the event at one site for 2020. The Illinois PGA and Stonebridge Country Club officials are working together to bring the Illinois Open back to the Aurora facility at a future date.
 
“The Stonebridge Country Club members and staff are disappointed not to be able to host the 71st Illinois Open this year, but amidst everything going on with COVID-19 we fully support the decisions that have been made by the Illinois PGA Section and its Tournament Committee,” said Andrew Stevens, Head PGA Professional at Stonebridge Country Club. “We are hopeful to bring the event to Stonebridge in the future."

“We are thankful to the Stonebridge membership and Head PGA Professional, Andrew Stevens, for their understanding as we work through this unprecedented time to stage the best possible Illinois Open Championship at this time. We are hopeful to bring the event back to Stonebridge in the near future,” said Carrie Williams, Executive Director of the Illinois PGA. “We are confident this revised format will provide a competitive test for players and continue the tradition of crowning a champion of Illinois golf.”

All players that have previously earned exemptions into the 71st Illinois Open will remain exempt. The full exemption list for 2020 Illinois Open can be seen here.

The Illinois PGA will administer four (4) qualifying events with the first event taking place at Flossmoor Country Club on Tuesday, July 14. In addition, the Last Chance Qualifier event will now be held as a regular qualifier with the number of qualifying spots being allocated based on a percentage relative to the field size. Below is the complete list of qualifying events:

2020 Illinois Open Qualifying Schedule
July 14th, 2020 – Flossmoor Country Club – 56 Spots Available
July 16th, 2020 – Deerpath Golf Course – 90 Spots Available
July 22nd, 2020 – The Hawk Country Club – 88 Spots Available
*July 29th, 2020 – Willow Crest Golf Club – 89 Spots Available
 
The deadline to register for a qualifying event, or for an exempt player to register for the 71st Illinois Open is Wednesday, July 8 at 11:59 p.m. All qualifying events that were scheduled to take place prior to July 14th have been cancelled. Participants that have registered for a qualifying event that has been cancelled have until July 8 to contact Illinois PGA Tournament Director, Brad Slocum, to transfer into another qualifying event. If participants do not notify the Illinois PGA by this date, their entry fee will be automatically refunded. Participants that have registered for a qualifying event on or after July 14 will remain in their respective event and no further action is needed at this time.

About the Illinois PGA/Illinois PGA Foundation
The Illinois Section of the PGA of America is a professional organization serving the men and women golf professionals in northern and central Illinois who are the recognized experts in growing, teaching and managing the game of golf. The Illinois PGA is responsible for the administration of competitive golf tournaments, educational opportunities, support programs and growth of the game initiatives. With over 840 members and apprentices, the Illinois PGA is one of the 41 regional Sections that comprise the PGA of America. The Illinois PGA Foundation focuses its community efforts on promoting the goodwill and growth of the game with an emphasis on activities that benefit youth. Foundation initiatives include: GolfWorks Illinois, Youth-based Scholarship Funds and the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame. For more information about the Illinois PGA and the Illinois PGA Foundation, please visit www.ipga.com and join us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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CONTACT:
Kevin Quinn
Illinois PGA Communications
708.336.1294 mobile
kbquinn@pgahq.com