Aug 22, 2015

Mike Small seeks record 12th Illinois PGA Championship

GLENVIEW, Ill. – The 93rd installment of the Illinois PGA Championship & PGA Professional National Championship (PNC) qualifying is scheduled to take place Aug. 31-Sept. 2 at Medinah (Ill.) Country Club on the newly renovated Course One. The Championship is the premier member event on the Illinois PGA calendar.

Last year at Stonewall Orchard Golf Club, Mike Small, PGA men’s head golf coach at the University of Illinois, recorded a 54-hole-total of 200 (67-67-66) and won his record 11th Illinois PGA Championship title by five strokes over Steve Orrick, Country Club of Decatur (Ill.). Small’s 54-hole total of 200 tied his own record set at the 2010 Illinois PGA Championship on the South Course at Olympia Fields (Ill.) Country Club. His 16-under-par also set a record for the Championship in relation to par.

“It feels good to be able to play good golf again and put up three solid rounds in a row,” said Small following his victory last year at Stonewall Orchard. “This is the one that means a lot to me because we’re PGA members and this is a big deal to us.”

The Illinois PGA Championship returns to Medinah after trading spots in the Illinois PGA Championship rotation with Stonewall Orchard Golf Club last year due to the renovations of Course One.

The legendary Medinah Country Club has hosted five major championships including the 1999 and 2006 PGA Championships, three U.S. Open Championships (1949, 1975, 1990) and, most recently in 2012, the 39th Ryder Cup Matches. The PGA Tour returns to Medinah in 2019 with the BMW Championship, a FedEx Cup playoff event, held on the famed Course No. 3.

Because of his coaching responsibilities, Small, 49, has competed in only four Illinois PGA events throughout the summer. His best finish was a victory on Aug. 24 in the fifth Illinois PGA stroke play of the season held at Cog Hill Golf and Country Club in Lemont, Ill. He recently finished tied for 5th in the 66th Illinois Open Championship, which he has won four times (2003, 2005-2007).

Also competing in the Illinois PGA Championship with Small (2001, 2003-10, 2013-14) will be  past champions Doug Bauman (1996, 1997), Gary Groh (1983, 1986, 1989, 2002), Frank Hohenadel (2011), Dino Lucchesi (1998), Steve Orrick (2012) and Jim Sobb (1995, 1999, 2000).

Small, along with the top nine finishers, will receive an exemption to play in the 49th PGA Professional National Championship, which will be contested June 26-29, 2016 at Turning Stone Resort in Verona, N.Y. The low 20 scorers in the PGA Professional National Championship will advance to the 98th PGA Championship at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, N.J.  Small is exempt from qualifying as a past champion of the PNC.

The Illinois PGA, in conjunction with the 93rd Illinois PGA Championship will once again kick-off Patriot Golf Day, a joint initiative of the PGA of America and the United States Golf Association (USGA). 

Patriot Golf Day returns in 2015 during Labor Day weekend Sept. 4-7 with Major Dan Rooney of Broken Arrow, Okla., a PGA Professional, USGA member, and F-16 pilot with the Oklahoma Air National Guard, leading the campaign for the ninth consecutive year.  Maj. Rooney, who has served three tours of duty in Iraq, originated Patriot Golf Day in 2007 and is the founder of the Folds of Honor Foundation, which provides post-secondary educational scholarships for children and spouses of military service men and women killed or disabled while serving our great nation. In the last eight years, golfers nationwide have been instrumental in raising donations through Patriot Golf Day events, resulting in over 7,500 scholarships in all 50 states and 41 PGA Sections.

During the first round of the 93rd Illinois PGA Championship/PNC on Monday, Aug. 31, all competitors will be asked to make a voluntary donation at registration. Contributions will also be accepted through subsequent rounds. At the conclusion of the Championship, the Illinois PGA will match all funds donated by its members.  

The 2015 starting field will be comprised of 136 participants including seven past champions. The first and second rounds will be held Monday, Aug. 31 and Tuesday, Sept. 1, respectively, beginning at 7:30 a.m. off the first and tenth tees, followed by the final round on Wednesday, Sept. 2.

Long-time Illinois PGA partner Nadler Golf Cars will once again be the title sponsor of the Illinois PGA Championship/PNC.  Presenting PNC sponsors include: Club Car, Mercedes-Benz, and Omega. Supporting PNC sponsors include: TaylorMade/adidas/Ashworth, Titleist/Footjoy, Nike Golf, and the PGA Tour.

Future Illinois PGA Section Championships (tentative): 
– 94th Illinois PGA Championship: Olympia Fields (Ill.) Country Club, South, Aug. 29-31, 2016
– 95th Illinois PGA Championship: Medinah (Ill.) Country Club, Course One, Aug. 28-30, 2017
– 96th Illinois PGA Championship: Stonewall Orchard Golf Club, Aug. 27-29, 2018

DATES: First and second rounds Aug. 31 & Sept. 1 at 7:30 a.m. off the 1st and 10th tees.  Final round on Wednesday, Sept. 2 beginning approximately at 7:30 a.m. off the 1st (leaders) and 10th tees.

SITE:  Medinah Country Club – 6N001 Medinah Rd, Medinah, IL 60157 – (630) 773-1700 – Marty DeAngelo – PGA Director of Golf

DEFENDING CHAMPION: Mike Small, PGA men’s head golf coach at The University of Illinois in Champaign, Illinois – (67-67-66–200)

FIELD SIZE: 136 Illinois PGA Professionals

PAST CHAMPIONS IN THE FIELD: Seven (7) – Doug Bauman (1996, 1997), Gary Groh (1983, 1986, 1989, 2002), Frank Hohenadel (2011), Dino Lucchesi (1998), Steve Orrick (2012), Mike Small (2001, 2003-2010, 2013) and Jim Sobb (1995, 1999, 2000).