How’s this for a refreshing change of pace?
In a year where pandemic concerns forced the cancelations of tons of golf tournaments and the postponements of many others the Illinois PGA is actually adding an event to its greatly revised schedule.
The IPGA tournament season was to start in April, but the first event won’t be held until next Monday (JULY 6), with the first of five stroke play events. This one is at The Hawk Country Club in St. Charles.
New to the just-released revised schedule is a two-day team event at Metamora Fields. For now the event is being called The Fall Bestball. The IPGA tournament committee is still working on entry and format details for the event.
Also included in the revised schedule is a new site for the Illinois PGA Match Play Championship. It has been the first of the section’s four major events and was traditionally held at Kemper Lakes in Long Grove, in May. Now it will be held Sept. 15-18 and Elgin Country Club will replace Kemper Lakes as the site.
Three of the four majors, including the Match Play, were re-structured. In the case of the Match Play the first round will revert to a stroke play qualifier for seeding into the event with the low 64 advancing to the second round..
The Aug. 3-5 Illinois Open, first of the majors, had its field for the finals previously cut from 264 to 156 and only one site, White Eagle in Naperville, will be used instead of the two used of recent years.
Last of the majors, The Players, had been held at either Eagle Ridge in Galena or Metamora Fields in recent years. Now it’ll be played at Conway Farms, in Lake Forest, from Oct. 5-6, and only the top 35 players on the season point standings will be eligible. The Illinois PGA Championship, Aug. 24-26 on Medinah’s No. 1 course, is the only one of the majors with the same format and place from the original schedule.
Streelman bounces back
Wheaton’s Kevin Streelman finished one shot behind champion Dustin Johnson in the PGA Tour’s Travelers Championship on Sunday and credited his time on two Wheaton courses — Cantigny and Arrowhead – for his runner-up finish at TPC River Highlands in Connecticut. He said the two Wheaton courses were similar to the tour site where he last won in 2014.
“Coming off (three straight) missed cuts, I’m very happy with this,’’ said Streelman, “but being away from my family for three weeks is difficult. That was probably one of the hardest runs for me. The quarantine life out here – you just go back to the hotel, sit there by yourself and try to stay healthy. It gets lonely.’’
The PGA Tour isn’t allowing players’ families to travel to tournaments. Streelman’s wife and two children live in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Korn Ferry climbers
Northwestern alum Dylan Wu tied for fifth in the Utah Championship and moved into the No. 3 sport on the Korn Ferry Tour’s season standings. The Top 25 at the end of the 2021 season automatically advance to the PGA Tour.
Northbrook’s Nick Hardy, who tied for 27th in Utah, is No. 19 and Deerfield’s Vince India, bouncing back from a final round collapse the week before, tied for 18th and improved to No. 35 in the standings. The Korn Ferry circuit is in Colorado this week.
JDC champ tests positive
Dylan Frittelli, the reigning champion of the John Deere Classic, tested positive for the coronavirus after missing the cut in the Travelers Championship.
“I am experiencing no issues and feel great physically,’’ said Frittelli. “I was surprised and disappointed to learn of the positive test.’’
Because of the JDC’s cancelation, Frittelli’s JDC title defense was postponed until 2021. The tourney announced this week that it will be held July 5-11, the same dates on the PGA Tour calendar that is has held in recent years.