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Conway Farms GC to Host 2013 BMW Championship
The 2013 BMW Championship will be played at Conway Farms Golf Club in Chicago's north suburb Lake Forest, Ill., tournament officials have announced. The event, the former Western Open, will be returning to the Windy City's North Shore for the first time since 1972.
Conducted by the Western Golf Association to benefit the Evans Scholars Foundation, the BMW Championship is the third of four events in the PGA Tour Playoffs for the FedEx Cup and determines the final field of 30 for the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.
The 2013 championship at Conway Farms will be held the week of September 9-15. Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Ind., is hosting the 2012 BMW Championship the first week of September, and Cherry Hills Country Club in Denver, Colo. will host the 2014 BMW Championship.
"We're excited to be returning to the Chicago area and especially for this opportunity to conduct our first professional championship on the North Shore since 1972," said Vince Pellegrino, the Western Golf Association's vice president of Tournaments.
"Many of our volunteers and contributors to our championships and scholarships live in the city's northern suburbs, and this gives us the opportunity to reward their support by showcasing the world's top golfers on a course in their own backyard."
Conway Farms hosted the 2009 Western Amateur and also has been a strong backer of the Evans Scholars Foundation, the WGA's charitable arm that sends more than 820 caddies to college annually.
"Conway Farms proved to be a worthy venue for the world's top amateurs in 2009, and we expect the world's top professionals also will find the course to be a demanding, fair test of golf," said Pellegrino. "And we're confident from our experience there in 2009 that the club's membership and staff will meet the challenge of hosting a world-class championship."
PGA Tour star and Conway Farms member Luke Donald is looking forward to welcoming the elite BMW Championship field to his home course. "I'm very excited about Conway Farms being announced as the site for the 2013 BMW Championship," said Donald, the world's No. 2-ranked golfer.
"As a long-time member at Conway Farms, I feel like it offers one of the best all-around tests of golf in the Chicago area and will be a course that my fellow pros really enjoy. For a relatively young golf course, Conway Farms has quickly become a prestigious club, and because it provides such a different test every time you play it, is sure to make the BMW Championship a thrilling event for players and fans alike."
Donald will be appearing in a public service announcement in support of the Evans Scholars Foundation, the sole beneficiary of the BMW Championship, the Tour also announced. The PSA will run during several upcoming PGA Tour tournament telecasts in which Luke is playing, and will encourage fans to support the Evans Scholars program.
Conway Farms has been an avid partner with the WGA. The club was the first in a series of Chicago-area clubs selected to host the Western Amateur when the WGA moved the event in 2009 from its long-time home, Point O'Woods Golf & Country Club in Benton Harbor, Mich. Conway Farms also sponsors five current Evans Scholars and has 13 Evans Scholars Alumni.
"Since the club was founded 20 years ago, our members have been committed to opening the course to top-level competitions," said Dave McDonough, Conway Farms president. "We welcome this opportunity to showcase our club to the world when the greatest players in the game come to Lake Forest to compete in the 2013 BMW Championship."
The last North Shore club to host the championship was Northfield's Sunset Ridge Country Club in 1972 when the tournament was known as the Western Open. The 2011 BMW Championship was hosted by Cog Hill Golf & Country Club in south suburban Lemont.
"The Jemsek family, and Cog Hill's entire staff are to be commended for their long-time support of the BMW Championship and of our sole charity, the Evans Scholarships for caddies," Pellegrino said.
BMW has sponsored the championship since 2007, when the inaugural BMW Championship was held at Cog Hill.
The PGA Tour noted that Conway Farms' reputation and enthusiasm helped facilitate the Tour's efforts to return the BMW Championship to Chicago in 2013. "Conway Farms Golf Club, with an outstanding golf course and growing tradition of hosting top-level competitive championships, will be an excellent venue for the 2013 BMW Championship," said Andy Pazder, PGA Tour Executive Vice President and Chief of Operations.
"We appreciate the enthusiasm the club already has shown for the tournament. Golf fans in the Chicago area are among the best in the country, and we're excited to partner with BMW, the Western Golf Association and Conway Farms to bring the BMW Championship back to the area in 2013."
About Conway Farms Golf Club
Conway Farms Golf Club opened for play on August 3, 1991. The Tom Fazio-designed course sits on 209 acres and boasts a tradition of a Scottish-style links. The origins of Conway Farms Golf Club trace back to three Lake Forest families who, in 1956, purchased a farm straddling a stretch of old Conway Road, thus giving the club its name. The club encourages walking and fast play, and strongly support of championship golf.
Among other events, the club has hosted the 1997 Men's NCAA Division I Championship, 2006 Big Ten Championship and 2009 Western Amateur and is slated to hold the 2012 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship. For more information about Conway Farms, visit www.conwayfarmsgolfclub.org.
For more information about the Western Golf Association and the Evans Scholars Program, visit http://www.wgaesf.org.