Sugar Grove's Rich Harvest Farms excited to host LIV Golf event
Now it's Chicago's turn to see what the LIV Golf Tour has to offer. Rich Harvest Farms, in Sugar Grove, will host the fifth of eight LIV tournaments on Sept. 16-18 with a pro-am the day before the tournament rounds.
Rich Harvest will then host a $25 million 54-hole tournament that offers individual and a team competition running simultaneously.
The LIV fields have gotten stronger with each event, and last week's action-packed thriller in Boston was the best yet. It produced the circuit's first American champion in Dustin Johnson, who took the title with a 60-foot eagle putt on the first hole of a Sunday playoff.
Johnson, the first big-name player to leave the PGA Tour for the Saudi-backed circuit, won out over two LIV newcomers -- Chile's Joaquin Niemann and India's Anirban Lahiri -- with his dramatic putt and Johnson's Four Aces also won the team title for the third straight time.
Now Rich Harvest owner Jerry Rich will open his private club to a men's professional tournament for the first time after welcoming the Ladies PGA Tour's Solheim Cup.
"We couldn't be more excited with this opportunity to bring professional golf, and these big-name players," said Rich Harvest Vice President Alex Kline-Wedeen. "The tour will be amazing, and the excitement will be incredible."
It will at least be the most high profile golf event in the Chicago area this year. The PGA Tour skipped Chicago for the second straight year and next year's BMW Championship at Olympia Fields will mark the circuit's only tournament visit in a five-year span.
A team event, the President's Cup, will come to Medinah in 2026 and the next PGA Tour stop in Chicago isn't on the calendar after Olympia Fields, 2023. PGA Tour Champions, the LPGA, the U.S. Golf Association and the PGA of America have all bypassed Chicago since Chicago Golf Club hosted the U.S. Senior Women's Open in 2018.
The drought won't likely be so long with the LIV Tour. The circuit released a tentative schedule for 14 events next year and Chicago is on it, though the course for a September tournament hasn't been determined. It could be Rich Harvest again.
"It's been disappointing to not having professional golf here" Kline-Wedeen said. "From youth to adult everybody deserves a chance to have these players on a big stage here every single year. That's one of reasons behind our hosting this year."
Rich Harvest has already announced that LIV Golf has pledged "a major donation" to the Kids Golf Foundation that will allow the nonprofit organization to expand its programs inside elementary schools.
HARDY BACK ON PGA TOUR: Northbrook's Nick Hardy couldn't retain PGA Tour playing privileges off his performance during his rookie season but he responded with a 10th place showing in the Korn Ferry Tour's three tournament Finals and he'll be back on the premier circuit in the 2022-23 season.
Among the others cracking the Top 25 in the Korn Ferry Finals to make it to the PGA Tour were Belgium's Thomas Detry, who like Hardy, is a University of Illinois alum, and 41-year old Scott Harrington, who played collegiately at Northwestern. Detry was 17th and Harrington 18th in the Korn Ferry Finals.
HERE AND THERE: Biltmore's Doug Bauman won the Illinois Super Senior Open at Pine Meadow, in Mundelein, and joined Roy Biancalana, Jim Sobb and Mike Harrigan as two-time winners of the event.
Chadd Slutzky, of Deer Park, won the 30th Illinois Mid-Amateur championship at Evanston Golf Club, then qualified for this month's U.S. Mid-Amateur at Wisconsin's Erin Hills five days later.
Winnetka's Elizabeth Szokol, Chicago's only LPGA Tour player, has played in only eight tournaments this season, but she made the cut in five including the last two.
• Len Ziehm, a 2019 inductee into the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame, is also co-host of the Golfers on Golf Radio Show. It is adding two shows, from 10-11 a.m. on Sept. 10, and Sept. 17, to spotlight the LIV Tour Invitational coming to Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove.