GLENVIEW, Ill. – April 10, 2017 – This year’s Illinois Open Championship will achieve two noted milestones: marking the 10th time The Glen Club will host the championship round, the most of any course through the event’s 67-year history, and the return of Briarwood C.C. as an Illinois Open tournament site for the first time in more than 50 years. The last time Deerfield-based Briarwood C. C. was a host site was in 1966 when local PGA professional Emil Esposito won his first of two Illinois Open Championships (‘66/’74).
“We are thrilled to announce two outstanding championship sites to host the 68th Illinois Open Championship,” said Carrie Williams, executive director of the Illinois PGA. “The Glen Club has been a longtime partner of the IPGA and is home to our Section headquarters, and Briarwood has both tremendous history and a membership and staff excited to welcome back the state championship of golf. The two courses will provide challenging play and their close proximity to one another will ease logistics for players, fans, sponsors, staff and officials. ”
In order to increase opportunities for competition for PGA Professionals, non-PGA professionals and amateur golfers throughout the state, the Illinois PGA doubled the starting field size of the Illinois Open in 2014, necessitating two courses to accommodate the first and second round. The 2017 starting field will be comprised of 264 participants who will qualify in one of eight qualifying events conducted from June 26 to August 3 in addition to those exempt from qualifying. The first and second round will be held Monday, August 7 and Tuesday, August 8 at The Glen Club in Glenview, Ill. and Briarwood C.C. in Deerfield, Ill. For the first and second round, participants will play one round each at The Glen Club and Briarwood C.C. Following 36 holes of play, the field will be cut to the low 50 players plus any competitor within 10 shots of the lead. The championship round will be contested on Wednesday, August 9 at The Glen Club.
The Tom Fazio-designed Glen Club opened in 2001 as part of The Glen which transformed the former Glenview Naval Air Station into a multi-use development including homes, condominiums, a downtown shopping center, golf course and more. The course routing features dramatic elevation changes – up to 40 feet on certain holes – mature trees and natural areas, lakes and streams. Many elements of a superb Fazio design are here and offer a challenge in many forms, from the classic perched greens undercut by bunkers to peninsula greens surrounded by water. The Glen Club is currently ranked 90th on Golf Magazine’s Top 100 Courses You Can Play list and No. 2 on the publication’s list of Best Courses You Can Play In Illinois. The course measures 7,170 yards from the back tees playing to a par 72.
“We take great pride in hosting the Illinois Open at The Glen Club,” said Josh Lesnik, president of KemperSports, which manages the club. “We’ve enjoyed a longtime relationship with the Illinois PGA that includes being the home of the Section headquarters, home of the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame and now as host of the Illinois Open Championship for the 10th time.”
“The golf committee and membership are extremely proud that the Illinois PGA has selected Briarwood as a companion site to The Glen Club for the Illinois Open this year,” said Louis Bucksbaum, golf committee chairman, Briarwood C.C. “With one of the leading superintendents in the business we are certain the course will be in excellent condition and prove to be a challenging test to the state’s best golfers.”
Founded in 1921 as Briergate C.C. and designed by the premier architectural firm of Colt and Alison, Briarwood C.C. was reconstituted and renamed in 1958. The course measures over 6,900 yards from the back tees playing to a par of 71. It is known for its outstanding condition and offers a stern test that, nonetheless, will yield good scores to those who are playing well.
Carlos Sainz, Jr. from Elgin, Ill. (Larkin H.S./Mississippi State) is the defending Illinois Open champion. He won the 2016 tournament with a score of 197 (17-under) which set a new tournament record.
The Illinois PGA and 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.www.ipga.com and join us on Facebook, Twitter (@illinoispga) or Instagram.