2014 Midwest Amateur Golf Preview
17 Mar 2014
by AmateurGolf.com Staff

-- Golfweek Photo
-- Golfweek Photo

It’s been long winter for golfers in the midwest and the state of Illinois, in particular. From polar vortexes to what has been a seemingly endless winter storm, the offseason hasn’t been too kind for golfers anxious to get out on the course.

But, despite the freeze, spring is on its way in the midwest. And we’re here to shed a little light on which events you can be sure to look forward to as the frost thaws and grass turns our favorite shade of green again:

2014 Illinois State Preview from Chad Arsich of Local Amateur Golf

The 2014 Illinois tournament season is kicked off this year with the 31st Illinois State Scramble on April 28-29 at the Village Greens of Woodridge in Woodridge, Ill. The Illinois State Scramble annually fields the largest and strongest non-stroke play fields in the State with the entire field playing at scratch. Defending champions and five-time winners John Wright and John Finnin will be back after winning by six shots with a 36-hole score of 28-under last year.

The Will County Amateur typically kicks off the Illinois tournament season the second weekend in April, but has been bumped to , May 3-4. Having to push the event date by three weeks may just turn out to be a blessing in disguise as the Midwest’s harsh winter is going to prove difficult for courses to quickly get in shape for any kind of play by the middle of April.

The 67th Annual Pine Hills Invitational, June 7- 8, brings out the best of Ottawa, IL. Pine Hills Golf Club located 90 minutes southwest of Chicago, is a favorite for those players who have made the trip in the past. Well worth the trip, the entire town of Ottawa embraces the event on this nine-hole course that is played twice per round for the 36-hole stroke-play event that packs a strong Championship flight.

In its third year, the Illinois Match Play Championship continues to grow and field one of the strongest fields in Illinois. All amateurs are encouraged to apply with the Players Committee selecting the field according to each players past golf accomplishments. A field of 64 players competes within four Regions from May – July to earn a spot in the Round of 16 that will be held at Balmoral Woods Country Club, August 2-3. Balmoral Wood CC’s championship layout provides a great setting for match play.

“Bombers” need not apply when June 21 – 22 Zigfield Troy Golf hosts the Zigfield Troy Open – “A Most Prestigious Par 3 Tournament America”. This year’s event marks the 33rd playing. The Par-3 tournament honors course founder Zigfield Troy and is one of the few Par-3 events anywhere that is run like a PGA Tour event or other professional tournaments. Golfers’ names are announced on the first tee prior to tee off. A huge scoreboard highlights competitors’ names, scores for each round, plus totals and the round’s leaders – all done in handsome professional calligraphy. A fun competitive event for all that hosts a strong field of scratch golfers. Defending Champion is Raymond Knoll who currently plays at the University of Iowa.

Other historical events in the state of Illinois include:

The 109th playing of the Chicago City Amateur July 26-28 at Jackson Park and the 86th annual Midwest Amateur at Sydney Marovitz Aug. 17-18. On May 29-30, the annual Olympia Fields Four- Ball brings to the region many of the top mid- amateurs in the country. The 36-hole tournament includes rounds on Olympia Fields’ North and South Courses -- two of the country’s premier layouts.

The prestigious Western Amateur will make a return to Illinois July 28-Aug. 2. The annual multiformat event, considered by many as the ‘Masters of Amateur Golf’ will be played at Beverly Country Club in Chicago. Last year, Patrick Rodgers -- currently No. 1 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings -- took stroke-play medalist honors before Jordan Niebrugge put the finishing touches on a marvelous summer and locked up his Walker Cup selection by winning the title in match play. This year, the top amateurs in the game will ascend on Beverly CC as a precursor to the upcoming U.S. Amateur at Atlanta Athletic Club.

Missouri will be the site of two huge events on the women’s side. On June 6-8, the Curtis Cup will be played at St. Louis Country Club, bringing the top females from the U.S. together to square off against their counterparts from Great Britain & Ireland.

From Sept. 10-12, the USGA Women’s State team heads to Dalhousie Golf Club.

The Northern Amateur returns to Indiana as Sand Creek Country Club in Chesterton will play host July 23-25. The event was played regularly from 1967-2001 before falling off the summer schedule until 2011. The 54-hole event features some of the nation’s top rising collegiate stars and is highlighted by a par-3 contest after the first round of play.

Indiana is also hosting this year’s USGA Men’s State Team Championship. Scheduled for Sept. 30-Oct. 2, the top amateurs in each state will tackle the prestigious French Lick Springs Resort’s Pete Dye course.

As the grounds continue to thaw throughout the midwest, AmateurGolf.com will continue to list, promote and cover the events that make up the schedules in each state. Stay tuned for more coverage from the midwest as the season progresses.

For a full look at the schedules available in each state, use the following links:

Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Michigan | Minnesota | Missouri | Ohio | Wisconsin

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