Exmoor Country Club Set to Host 2012 Western Amateur

The Western Amateur will revisit one of its most historic venues when Exmoor Country Club in Highland Park, Ill., welcomes the world's top amateur golfers to the 2012 championship the week of July 30-August 4.

First held in 1899, the Western Amateur took place at Exmoor five years later, in 1904, when H. Chandler Egan emerged victorious. It returned to Exmoor in 1952, when Frank Stranahan won his fourth Western Amateur title.

"Exmoor Country Club, one of our charter members, has been among the earliest and most steadfast supporters of our championships and the Evans Scholars program," said Vince Pellegrino, vice-president of tournaments for the Western Golf Association. "It's a classic course with a rich tournament history, and we believe it will provide a challenging test."

Exmoor also hosted the Western Junior in 1917 and 1998. Five current Evans Scholars and 52 Evans Alumni caddied at Exmoor Country Club. More than 300 Exmoor members are playing a variety of roles in organizing the 2012 Western Amateur.

The Western Amateur traditionally boasts an outstanding field. A total of 156 amateurs from approximately a dozen nations are expected to compete this year. Admission is free.

About Exmoor Country Club

Founded in 1896, Exmoor is one of the first three golf clubs in the Chicago area. In its early years, the club hosted numerous tournaments and was one of the first golf courses to install sprinkler systems for its greens. It also established one of America's earliest caddie programs, under the direction of golf pro Alexander Taylor, a native of St. Andrews, Scotland, where his father was caddie superintendent at the Old Course.

In 1914, Donald Ross redesigned the course, giving it the high-styled bunkers and imaginative green complexes for which he's known.

Exmoor is the fourth straight Chicago-area club to host the Western Amateur, following Conway Farms Golf Club in 2009, Skokie Country Club in 2010 and North Shore Country Club last year. Next year, the championship moves to The Alotian Club in Roland, Ark., before returning to the Chicago area in 2014 at Beverly Country Club, followed by Rich Harvest Farms in 2015 and Knollwood Club in 2016.

About the Western Amateur

First conducted in 1899 at Glen View Club in appropriately named Golf, Ill., the Western Amateur has long been regarded as a premier amateur golf event. With more than a century of history, the Amateur's roster of past champions and participants reads like a Who's Who of American golf.

Past champions include eight-time winner Charles "Chick" Evans Jr., Francis Ouimet, Jack Nicklaus, Lanny Wadkins, Andy North, Ben Crenshaw, Curtis Strange, Hal Sutton, Scott Verplank, Phil Mickelson, Justin Leonard, Ryan Moore and Woods. Runners-up and stroke-play medalists include such PGA Tour players as Ben Curtis, Jason Gore, Jay Haas, Tom Kite, Rocco Mediate, Gil Morgan, Mark O'Meara, Chris Riley, Camilo Villegas, and Tom Watson. The legendary Bobby Jones was the stroke-play medalist in 1920.

A combination of stroke-play and match-play competition, the Western Amateur can be the most demanding event in professional or amateur golf. Competition includes two 18-hole stroke-play rounds on Tuesday and Wednesday followed by a cut to the players with the low 44 scores and ties. Those who make the cut then play 36 holes of stroke play on Thursday, with the low 16 advancing to match play Friday.

For more information and live scoring, visit www.thewesternamateur.com.