Cog Hill fun at the pre-BMW Golf Championship Tournament events


Justin Rose won this year's BMW Tournament

Among the Tuesday events at Cog Hill Golf Course& Country Club last week were The Professional Practice Rounds for the BMW Golf Championship Tournament. Regal white banners bellowing against a vivid blue sky set the tone, welcoming the golf spectators down a pathway of fun and entertainment. The clean, crisp air and sunny day of seventy degrees was perfect to leisurely browse the golf course grounds.

There were always ten pros with coaches at the driving range. This author observed the leading FedEx Cup contender, Webb Simpson, whip twenty of twenty perfect drives. Other pros played nine holes beginning at either hole ten or hole one, where Jim Furyk drove his ball out-of-sight. K.J. Choi chipped numerous times from the right eighteenth hole bunker near the far end of the green. His aim was dead on.

Others putted in the expansive practice area. On display were BMW cars to sit in and mini-golf to try, not to mention shopping. The number one item to purchase was a BMW Championship golf flag, which was used for autographs. Spectators did not crowd or push to get to the professionals as they walked off their practice areas. Amiably, players dutifully signed these 12" by 24" flags, caps, or paper. One spectator proclaimed it was addictive; he had become a golf groupie.

At noon, twenty-six year old Webb Simpson from Charlotte, NC held an interview with The Media. In his third year on the PGA Tour he enters the BMW Championship holding the top spot in the FedEX Cup standings after two wins in his last three events (Wyndham Championship and Deutsche Bank Championship), He is one of six multiple winners this season and has firmly placed his name in contention for the Player of the Year honors. He contends his "adding a second longer to aim his putts," "working with a fitness company," and "adding width to his swing" have all triggered his great play. In 2009 he was seventieth on the money list, with four top tens in his rookie year. He believes that winning "ten million dollars is a ridiculous amount of money" and would use it for retirement. Also he loves Cog Hill, because of the "older large trees, no houses, proper shots are rewarded, and great players, like Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson, win here."

Registration for Walk the Course against Domestic Violence, a new event sponsored by the PGA Tour Wives Association and the Avon Foundation for Women began at 3:30 p.m. with booths set up in the parking lot for registration. For a donation of $25 families could walk the eighteen-hole course (four miles) along side with tournament wives and families to raise much-needed funds and awareness for the domestic violence cause. Five Illinois violence agencies will help people affected by domestic violence and educate people on the issue, with the goal of helping create a world without domestic violence.

Incorporated in 1988, the PGA Wives Association, including significant others, fundraises for charitable endeavors, participates in volunteer Service projects, ranging from Habitat building, cooking in soup kitchens, and playing with hospitalized children.

University of Illinois grads, Steve Stricker and D.A. Points were among the seventy players present. Stricker, is the only player with multiple wins in each of the last three seasons and tied eigth last year at the BMW Championship. In seventeen starts at this event, he has notched six top-ten finishes, including a win in 1996. Presently he ranks eighth in points on the FedEx Cup Rankings; the winner taking home $10,000,000. Good luck to these Illinois favorites.

Proceeds from this annual golf event benefit more than 800 deserving caddies, attending colleges throughout the US on a full tuition and housing grant from the Evans Scholar Foundation. Valued at $50,000 over four years, it is one of the country's most unique scholarships. Since 1930, the Evans Scholarship Program, administered by the Western Golf Association, was founded by Charles "Chick" Evans Jr., famed Chicago amateur golfer and winner of the 1916 U. S. Open and U.S. Amateur.

For more information: Evans Scholars



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