WGA Evans Scholars Invitational moved to September
Not only were Illinois golfers allowed back on the state's courses last weekend, but the area tournament season got a boost as well.
The first pro tour event of the Western Golf Association season is back on the Chicago golf calendar. The $600,000 Evans Scholars Invitational, originally set for May 20 to 24, Monday was rescheduled for Sept. 9 to 13.
What isn't certain is the site. The Glen Club in Glenview hosted last year but has a schedule conflict this year.
"We're excited to announce this new date," said Vince Pellegrino, senior vice president of tournaments for the WGA. "We appreciate the ongoing support of our partners and volunteers as we work toward tournament week, knowing we will only contest this event if deemed safe to do so under the guidance of leading public health authorities."
The ESI is part of the Korn Ferry Tour, the circuit that offers its players a direct path to the PGA Tour. It was created after the circuit -- then called the Web.com Tour -- concluded a three-year tournament run at Ivanhoe Club.
Last year's first playing of the ESI was won by Scottie Scheffler, who overcame a 6-stroke deficit before defeating Marcelo Rozo in a playoff at The Glen. Scheffler went on to become the Korn Ferry's Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year.
Scheffler then moved on to the PGA Tour and has four top-10 finishes in the 2019-20 wraparound season. He stands 19th in the FedEx Cup Playoff standings, ahead of such established stars as Adam Scott and Jon Rahm.
The PGA Tour, which halted play March 12, is scheduled to resume its season at the Charles Schwab Challenge in Texas starting June 11. Its two Illinois events -- the John Deere Classic July 9 to 12 at TPC Deere Run in Silvis and the BMW Championship at Olympia Fields Aug. 27 to 30 -- remain on the schedule.
Illinois' other Korn Ferry event, the Lincoln Land Championship at Panther Creek in Springfield, has also been rescheduled to Sept. 3 to 6.
The Korn Ferry's last tournament concluded March 1 in Mexico. Ten tournaments were canceled the following week, and the circuit is scheduled to resume the same week as the PGA Tour with a new event called the Korn Ferry Challenge on TPC Sawgrass' Dye Course in Ponte Vedra, Fla.
Meanwhile, the WGA, which uses its tournaments to call awareness and raise funds for its Evans Scholars program, still has avoided cancellations of any of its 2020 events. It'll conduct four additional tournaments for amateurs. The Western Junior and the Women's Western Junior both are scheduled to tee off June 15. The boy's tourney is at Onwentsia, in Lake Forest, and the girls at The Grove in Long Grove.
Also on tap for the WGA are the Women's Western Amateur July 20 to 25 at Prestwick in South suburban Frankfort and the Western Amateur July 27 to Aug. 1 at Crooked Stick in Carmel, Ind.