GOLF, Illinois (June 8, 2015) – The 100th playing of Western Junior will be celebrated in 2017 at Park Ridge Country Club in Park Ridge, Illinois.
Since its creation by the Western Golf Association in 1914, the Western Junior has served as a proving ground for future PGA TOUR stars, including past champions Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk and Hunter Mahan. Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Matt Kuchar also have competed in the Western Junior. The event was not played for several years during World War I and World War II.
The Western Junior, the oldest national junior golf championship, has been played in more than 15 states and at several prestigious Chicagoland golf clubs, but never at Park Ridge, which was established in 1906.
“Given its rich heritage and history, Park Ridge is a fitting venue to host an event as steeped in tradition as the Western Junior,” said Vince Pellegrino, the WGA’s Senior Vice President of Tournaments. “We are honored and excited to celebrate this momentous occasion with the club and its membership.”
Famed golf architect Herbert J. Tweedie designed the original nine holes at Park Ridge shortly after its founders purchased land for the club in 1906. In 1911, Tom Bendelow – whose designs include the course at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, home of The Tour Championship – was hired to construct nine additional holes.
The course was last renovated in 2001 by David Esler and has been tested over the years by golfing greats such as Chick Evans, Bobby Jones and Arnold Palmer.
“Park Ridge Country Club is proud and honored to the host the 2017 Western Junior Championship,” said longtime WGA Director Rich Peterson. “As one of the early member clubs of the WGA, we are thrilled to be hosting such a prestigious event. Our long-lasting commitment to the Evans Scholarship and the WGA will only be strengthened by hosting this championship.”
Park Ridge also has been a steadfast supporter of the Evans Scholars Foundation, a nonprofit administered by the Western Golf Association that has awarded full college tuition and housing scholarships to more than 10,000 caddies since 1930.
More than 130 of those caddies were from Park Ridge, beginning with Robert Lyon who earned an Evans Scholarship in 1942 to attend Northwestern University.
Eighteen Park Ridge caddies will be attending college this fall on an Evans Scholarship.
This 2015 Western Junior will be played June 15-18 at Riverside Golf Club in North Riverside, Illinois. Riverside was one of 11 Chicagoland clubs that established the Western Golf Association in 1899.
Other future sites for the Western Junior include Red Run Golf Club in Royal Oak, Michigan, in 2016, Evanston Golf Club in Skokie, Illinois, in 2018 and Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois, in 2019.