Gurnee's Fischer ready to test U.S. Senior Women's Open field
The only Chicago area qualifier for the inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open at Chicago Golf Club also is the youngest in the 120-player field.
Gurnee's Jamie Fischer, who got in through the sectional qualifying round at Conway Farms in Lake Forest, turned 50 on May 13.
Fischer grew up in Ohio and qualified for three U.S. Women's Opens -- the first when she was just 18 -- and four LPGA Championships. Her mother, Andy Cohn-Fischer, played on the LPGA Tour in the 1960s after her graduation from Northwestern.
"When my mother went to Northwestern they had a girls team, but it wasn't run the way the college teams are today," Fischer said. "The Gleacher Center (current indoor practice facility for NU golf teams) was a swimming pool back then. My mother had a different experience than the kids have today."
Jamie went to Texas on a golf scholarship and was an assistant women's coach at Northwestern under then-head coach Chris Regenberg for several years before beginning her 11-year stint as director of instruction at Conway Farms.
While she has rarely competed in recent years, Fischer decided to try it after learning the Senior Women's Open was coming, and it didn't hurt that a sectional qualifier was at Conway Farms. She shot 77 to finish third and claim one of the 62 finalists' berths awarded to sectional qualifiers. Both her parents will be attending the finals.
In addition to the tournament practice days, Fischer played Chicago Golf Club twice with members in recent weeks. Her mother played against Senior Women's Open entrants JoAnne Carner, Hollis Stacey and Pat Bradley during her time on tour, and Jamie has two college teammates in the field who also survived sectional qualifiers in Sue Ginter and Lisa DePaolo.
The oldest player in the field is Murle Breer, who is 79. Carner, the only woman to win the U.S. Girls Junior, U.S. Amateur and U.S. Open titles, also is 79. Carner will hit the first tee shot off No. 1 at 7 a.m. Thursday.
The field includes players from 12 countries. Ten are 65 or older, and 29 are amateurs.
The Senior Women's Open Trophy rests in player registration during a practice round ahead of the 2018 U.S. Senior Women's Open at Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton, Ill. on Monday, July 9, 2018. (Copyright USGA/Chris Keane)
Bullington, India in JDC
Frankfort's Brian Bullington and Deerfield's Vince India survived Monday's final qualifying round to earn spots in the PGA Tour's John Deere Classic. Illinois' only annual PGA Tour event begins its four-day run at TPC Deere Run in Silvis on Thursday.
JDC qualifying has become a popular affair. An abundance of entrants necessitated two pre-qualifiers being held last week before Monday's final elimination at Pinnacle Golf Club in Milan.
Bullington was low man with an 8-under-par 63, and India tied for second with a 65. Both played collegiately at Iowa and have been struggling to get into tournaments on the Web.com Tour this season.
New PGA schedule
The PGA Tour announced its 2018-19 schedule Tuesday, and it produced no change for the John Deere Classic. It will be held July 8-14 and remain the week before the British Open.
As expected, the BMW Championship -- which returns to the Chicago area in 2019, but at Medinah instead of Conway Farms -- shifts from September dates to Aug. 12-18 as the second event of the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
Here and there:
• The U.S. Golf Association will collaborate with the Chicago District Golf Association and Illinois Junior Golf Association on a Play9 Community Day on Saturday at Cantigny's Youth Links in Wheaton. There will be a nine-hole round in the morning and a clinic for the participants at Chicago Golf Club from noon-2 p.m. while the Senior Women's Open is in progress.
• Tournament play won't stop after the Senior Women's Open in Wheaton and Constellation Senior Players Championship at Exmoor in Highland Park.
The 24th Illinois Women's Open begins its three-day run at Mistwood in Romeoville on Monday, and the three-day 88th Illinois State Amateur starts the following day at Bloomington Country Club.
• The Illinois PGA Senior Masters tournament will be held Monday at Onwentsia in Lake Forest. This year's honorees are Don Habjan from Makray Memorial in Barrington and Ron Skubisz from Pottawatomie in St. Charles.
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