/> GOLF, Illinois (Jan. 15, 2014) – Over the next four years, the Western Golf Association will bring one of its most storied tournaments to two of the Chicago-area golf clubs that helped found the WGA in 1899.
For the first time in the history of the Western Junior Championship, the tournament will be played at Riverside Golf Club in North Riverside and at Evanston Golf Club in Skokie, Ill. Riverside will host the championship in 2015, and Evanston will host the 101st Western Junior in 2018.
The two clubs were among 11 charter clubs that established the WGA in 1899 to help spread the game of golf across the Midwest. Only seven of those still exist.
A field of 156 of the top U.S. and international players, ages 19-and-under, compete annually in 72 holes of stroke play for the Western Junior title. Past champions of America’s oldest national junior championship include current PGA TOUR stars Jim Furyk, Hunter Mahan and Rickie Fowler, to name but a few.
“These historic courses and their membership have helped make the Western Golf Association what it is today, and we’re excited to share this great championship with them,” said Vince Pellegrino, the WGA’s Senior Vice President of Tournaments. “These clubs have also been tremendous supporters of the Evans Scholars Foundation and have helped send scores of caddies to college, including myself, a former Riverside caddie.”
Still situated on the same parcel of land upon which it was originally built in 1893, Riverside Golf Club is one of America’s oldest golf clubs and the oldest golf club existing on its original site west of the Allegheny Mountains. The club has hosted other prestigious events, including the 2007 USGA Open Qualifier.
“Our membership and entire staff is excited to see these young athletes from around the country perform on our 120-year-old golf course,” said Riverside President Kevin Collins. “The tight fairways and challenging greens will definitely provide an exciting experience for spectators and players alike during the tournament.”
Founded in 1898, Evanston Golf Club has a reputation as one of the most scenic – and difficult – courses in Chicago’s North Shore suburbs. The par 70 course, designed by famed architect Donald Ross and opened in 1917, plays nearly 6,800 yards from the back tees.
“We're extremely excited to be hosting the 2018 Western Junior Golf Championship at Evanston Golf Club,” said Evanston’s General Manager Joseph Turner. “We've had great success hosting other local championships in the past, and we're thrilled to be welcoming so many talented young golfers from around the country. As one of the founding clubs of the Western Golf Association, hosting the tournament also serves as a great representation of how important golf is within our community.”
The Western Junior will be played June 16-20, 2014 at Flossmoor Country Club in Flossmoor, Ill., and at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill., in 2017.
A site for the 2016 tournament has yet to be finalized.
For more information, visit www.westernjunior.com.