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updated: 9/14/2011 12:03 AM

Streelman's PGA career on rise despite missing BMW

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  • Kevin Streelman, here hitting a drive at the PGA Championship last August, didn't make the final field for the BMW Championship this week at Cog Hill. The Winfield golfer, however, will finish his fourth straight PGA Tour season with more than $1 million in earnings, and has qualified for three Fall Series events this year.

      Kevin Streelman, here hitting a drive at the PGA Championship last August, didn't make the final field for the BMW Championship this week at Cog Hill. The Winfield golfer, however, will finish his fourth straight PGA Tour season with more than $1 million in earnings, and has qualified for three Fall Series events this year.
    Associated Press

  • Video: Streelman commercial outtakes

  • Video: Streelman and Lehman video

 
 

The PGA Tour's BMW Championship will be heavy on Illinois talent when it tees off Thursday at Cog Hill in Lemont.

World No. 1 Luke Donald is fourth in the FedEx Cup point standings, with Steve Stricker eighth, Mark Wilson 17th and D.A. Points 49th.

Donald went to Northwestern and Stricker and Points to Illinois. Wilson lives in Elmhurst and does the bulk of his practicing at Cog Hill.

One local, though, is notably absent from the 70-man field. Kevin Streelman, raised in Winfield, uses Cog Hill's Dr. Jim Suttie as his swing coach. Streelman just missed the top 70, standing 72nd on the FedEx point list.

"I was disappointed not to get in,'' said Streelman. "I tried my best. I knew I had to make the cut in Boston (he missed by four shots at the Deutsche Bank Championship after rounds of 75-72), but I had a poor putting round."

There's no feeling sorry for Streelman, though. He's already assured his fourth straight year with over $1 million in winnings and will play in three Fall Series events -- Las Vegas, Sea Island and Disney World -- to pad his winnings and, hopefully, win his first PGA title.

"I was disappointed not to get into Chicago, but I've got three more chances to win a golf tournament," said Streelman. "It's nice to have your job secure, but that's not why I do it. I do it to win."

You may be seeing more of Streelman before the Fall Series starts. He has been seen in Golf Channel commercials with Senior PGA star Tom Lehman promoting a mentoring program. That may lead into more TV exposure soon.

"I'm not sure where they're going with that," said Streelman. "We filmed three to four hours during the Colonial (tourney)," said Streelman. "Tom and I are close friends off the course and in Bible studies. He's like a big brother to me."

Pro-am changes

In past years the BMW Championship and its predecessor, the Western Open, staged the Chick Evans Pro-Am on the day before the tournament proper teed off. The Evans Pro-Am was moved to Monday this year, however, and Wednesday's offering will honor the late Gardner Heidrick.

Heidrick, a Hinsdale Golf Club member, played in the first Evans Pro-Am in 1963 and was a participant for 30 years. The bigger of the pro-ams will honor Heidrick's lifelong commitment to the Evans Scholars Foundation.

Wednesday's final tuneup before the $8 million, 72-hole main event includes two celebrity-types: Adrian Grenier, one of the stars of "Entourage", the HBO series that just ended its long run, and Ricky Berens, is a former U.S. Olympian in swimming.

Another U.S. Olympian, 17-year old table tennis whiz Grant Li, will take on some of the PGA Tour players in their last day of relaxation today. BMW has another new attraction planned for Saturday, when the Notre Dame-Michigan State football game will be shown on big screens on the 18th hole and at the first hole of Cog's No. 2 course.

More honors for Dubsdread

Golf Magazine has included Cog Hill's Dubsdread layout in its biennial list of Top 100 courses. Listed No. 89, it's the first time Dubs has been so honored since the Rees Jones renovation of 2008.

"This is one of the industry's toughest lists to get on because it combines public, private and resort courses," said Cog Hill owner Frank Jemsek.

Dubs is the only public facility of the five Illinois courses on the list. Chicago Golf Club, in Wheaton, is 15th, Shoreacres in Lake Forest is 36th, Medinah's No. 3 course is 37th and Olympia Fields' North course is 86th.

Did you know?

Luke Donald is designing his first course, called Ba Na Hills in Vietnam. … Top seniors from the Illinois PGA and Chicago District Golf Association will square off in the Thompson Cup matches on Friday at Chicago's Ridge Country Club. … The new Illinois Super Seniors Open at Pine Meadow in Mundelein on Sept. 28 has already drawn entries from such notables as pro Bill Erfurth and amateurs Joel Hirsch, Bill Shean and John Seehausen. … The Olympia Fields Fighting Illini Invitational is Friday through Sunday on Olympia's North course. Illini coach Mike Small, who played in Monday's Evans Pro-Am, won't be guiding his team. He'll be in California playing for the U.S. team in the PGA Cup matches against club pros from Europe.

The 25th Illinois Senior Amateur runs Monday-Wednesday at downstate Effingham Country Club. … The Weekly Challenge Tour visits Golf Club of Illinois in Algonquin on Saturday. … The U.S. Golf Association has issued a call for volunteers for the next U.S. Women's Open, to be played at Wisconsin's Blackwolf Run on July 2-8, 2012.

• Len Ziehm's golf column appears Wednesdays in the Daily Herald. To contact him, visit lenziehmongolf.com.

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