GLENVIEW, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) – The Illinois PGA announced Friday that 71st Illinois Open Championship will go on, but it will be restructured due the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among some of those changes will be a reduced field size from 264 to 156 players, and all three rounds of the Championship will be played at White Eagle Golf Club in Naperville on August 3-5, 2020, with no companion course. The tournament qualifying events have been reduced from eight to four with the first qualifier to be held at Flossmoor Country Club on July 14.
“Despite having to make a difficult decision to change the format this year, White Eagle Golf Club is extremely excited at the opportunity to showcase our newly renovated facility and provide a high-end experience for those playing in our state championship of golf,” said Curtis Malm, Director of Golf at White Eagle Golf Club and Illinois PGA Opens Chairman. “The Illinois PGA and White Eagle Golf Club will be working diligently to provide the best, and safest Illinois Open possible.
The original host sites for the 71st Illinois Open were both White Eagle Golf Club and Stonebridge Country Club. White Eagle Golf Club was set to be the Championship course, hosting the final round as well as the first two rounds, along with Stonebridge Country Club which would serve as the companion course for the first two rounds. In efforts to provide the safest environment possible, the Illinois PGA and its Member Tournament Committee elected to reduce the field size and host the event at one site for 2020. The Illinois PGA and Stonebridge Country Club officials are working together to bring the Illinois Open back to the Aurora facility at a future date.
All players that have previously earned exemptions into the 71st Illinois Open will remain exempt. In the Rockford area those include Brad Benjamin, Kevin Flack and Chris French.
The Illinois PGA will administer four (4) qualifying events with the first event taking place at Flossmoor Country Club on Tuesday, July 14. In addition, the Last Chance Qualifier event will now be held as a regular qualifier with the number of qualifying spots being allocated based on a percentage relative to the field size. Below is the complete list of qualifying events:
2020 Illinois Open Qualifying Schedule
July 14th, 2020 – Flossmoor Country Club – 56 Spots Available
July 16th, 2020 – Deerpath Golf Course – 90 Spots Available
July 22nd, 2020 – The Hawk Country Club – 88 Spots Available
*July 29th, 2020 – Willow Crest Golf Club – 89 Spots Available
The deadline to register for a qualifying event, or for an exempt player to register for the 71st Illinois Open is Wednesday, July 8 at 11:59 p.m. All qualifying events that were scheduled to take place prior to July 14th have been cancelled.