LAKE FOREST, IL ... Australian Marc Leishman held off a late charge Sunday afternoon by 2011 BMW Championship winner and Olympic gold medalist Justin Rose to claim the J.K. Wadley Trophy in wire-to-wire fashion at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest.
Leishman entered the event’s final round with a five-shot lead that seemed all but insurmountable considering the flurry of birdies the 33-year-old made during the previous three rounds. That lead dwindled to just two on the back nine Sunday as Rose, playing in the group ahead alongside Jason Day, birdied three of his first four holes after the turn.
Leishman responded by birdieing four of his last five and strolled away from Rose and the rest of the field. His 23-under par on the week tied the tournament record set by Dustin Johnson in 2016.
“It's a long week when you lead every day,” Leishman said after the round. “It takes the energy out of you. I was pretty tired last night and didn't sleep very well.
“That five-shot lead is just enough that you shouldn't get beat but not quite enough that you are out of reach.”
Rose, who started the day seven off the lead, finished runner-up.
“I worked pretty hard to get myself into it,” Rose said following the round. “I sensed from the crowd a little bit with a few holes to go that I was getting close. Leish really put in it gear there.”
Leishman’s win makes him only the third Australian ever to hoist the J.K. Wadley Trophy. Robert Allenby was the first player in 2000 at Cog Hill. Day won at Conway Farms in 2015.
With the win, Leishman moves to No. 4 in the FedExCup standings heading to next week’s TOUR Championship in Atlanta. He also is expected to jump into the top 15 in the World Golf Rankings. His victory Sunday was his second of this PGA TOUR season. The first came in March at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
“I always thought I was good enough to get into the Top 20 but, you know, thinking you're good enough to do it and doing it are different things,” he said. “I thought my game was in a good enough spot but, you know, having one win in 8 years, it's hard to imagine winning twice in one year and two big events like they were.
Lake Forest, IL – September 15, 2017…
On the second day of play at the 2017 BMW Championship, Jason Day recorded a hole-in-one, resulting in the donation of a BMW Hole-in-One Scholarship, a full, four-year scholarship worth $100,000 to the Evans Scholars Foundation. Day aced the 17th hole on Friday, September 15 at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, IL with a 7-iron, from 188 yards.
Additionally, Day made his impressive shot on one of the two holes at the BMW Championship that awards a new BMW to the first player to make a hole-in-one. With his shot, Day also receives an all-new BMW M760i, the perfect combination of BMW performance and luxury.
In turn, Day graciously donated his new BMW to the Evans Scholars Foundation -- further supporting its mission of sending hard working caddies to college and a goal of having 1,000 caddies enrolled annually in college by 2020.
“On the TOUR we aim to give back. For BMW to give back as well and put a student through college is huge,” said Jason Day following his shot. “I’m going to donate the car to help an additional student because I am in a fortunate position, and being able to not only impact another person’s life but to also get them through college is huge as well.”
All net proceeds from the BMW Championship benefit the Evans Scholars Foundation, which provides full college scholarships to hardworking, young caddies with financial need and strong academic records. Since 2007, BMW has contributed more than $24 million to the Evans Scholars Foundation. Day’s shot marks the fifth time BMW has awarded a Hole-in-One Scholarship in a player’s name.
“Congratulations to Jason Day on his incredible shot today and his overwhelming generosity,” said Trudy Hardy, Vice President, Marketing, BMW of North America. “Being able to provide a fifth full, four-year BMW Hole-in-One Evans Scholarship to a hardworking, young caddie is extremely satisfying and we are honored to be able to provide him or her with this opportunity to attend college worry-free.”
Current Evans Scholars Anyah Akanni and Nicholas Pavlishin accepted the donation on behalf of the Evans Scholars Foundation. Later this year, BMW and the Evans Scholars Foundation will jointly award the 2017 BMW Hole-in-One Scholarship in Jason Day’s name to a student caddie who will attend college next fall.
“This generous contribution is one of many ways BMW shows its support for our mission of sending deserving young caddies to college,” said John Kaczkowski, president and CEO of the Western Golf Association and the Evans Scholars Foundation. “We’re grateful to have BMW as our title sponsor and partner, and we’re thrilled to use this donation to fund a full Evans Scholarship.”
In the 2017-2018 academic year, 965 caddies are attending 19 major universities on Evans Scholarships, and there are more than 10,600 Evans Alumni.
Lake Forest, IL ... Sept. 13, 2017 -- Evans Scholars and Alumni carried the bag for amateurs playing in the Gardner Heidrick Pro-Am, the last event before tournament play at the BMW Championship at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Illinois.
An estimated 100 Evans Scholars and Alumni caddied for the amateur players who were grouped with at least one PGA TOUR professional competing in this week's tournament.
Each pro was paired with three amateur players.By donating their tips, Alumni give back to the Evans Scholars Foundation. In total, the Pro-Am event is expected to raise over $1 million for the Evans Scholars Program, which provides full college scholarships to caddies who meet financial, academic and extracurricular requirements.
The day is among the single biggest one-day fundraisers of the year for the ESF.
“Evans Scholars and Alumni understand firsthand the life-changing impact of the Evans Scholarship,” says Western Golf Association President and CEO John Kaczkowski. “That’s why they return to the BMW Championship each year to volunteer their time and skills. They see their participation as a way to give back to the Foundation and help pay it forward.”
Northwestern Evans Scholar Mackenzie Lim caddied in PGA TOUR pro Brooks Koepka and hockey legend Wayne Gretzky's group.
"It was really exciting to be out here, caddying for the pros today," she said. "It’s just one of the many opportunities that has come from being an Evans Scholar, and I am extremely grateful for everything the scholarship has provided for me.”
JIM “BONES” MACKAY TO JOIN CADDIE HALL OF FAME
Longtime PGA TOUR caddie to be inducted during BMW Championship
LAKE FOREST, Illinois (September 11, 2017) – Longtime PGA TOUR caddie and NBC Sports/Golf Channel on-course reporter Jim “Bones” Mackay was inducted into The Caddie Hall of Fame on Wednesday, Sept. 14, during the 2017 BMW Championship at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Illinois.
A resident of Scottsdale, Arizona, Mackay is one of the most well-known caddies in the game’s history, beloved by fans around the world for his work alongside Phil Mickelson. Mackay began his career as a caddie looping for Larry Mize, Scott Simpson and Curtis Strange before being hired by Mickelson in 1992.
“This is a great honor for me,” Mackay said. “I would like to share it with all the caddies at golf clubs around the country, and also my fellow PGA TOUR caddies, with whom I had such a great time.”
With Mackay on his bag, Mickelson won five major championships, notched 41 PGA TOUR victories and represented the United States 22 consecutive times on Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup teams. Mackay joined NBC/Golf Channel as an on-course reporter in July at The Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.
“We are honored and excited to welcome Bones Mackay into The Caddie Hall of Fame,” said Vince Pellegrino, Senior Vice President of Tournaments for the Western Golf Association, which conducts the BMW Championship. “Bones has elevated the profile of caddies worldwide and inspired countless young people to want to be caddies.”
To celebrate Mackay's induction into The Caddie Hall of Fame, BMW, donated $50,000 donation to the Evans Scholars Foundation in Mackay's name to celebrate his induction into The Caddie Hall of Fame.
“BMW has been an incredible title sponsor over the past decade, and we are beyond grateful for the organization’s support of the Evans Scholars Foundation,” said John Kaczkowski, president and CEO of the Western Golf Association, which conducts the BMW Championship. “This year, we are sending a record 965 caddies to 19 leading universities nationwide, and this is possible through the generous contributions from BMW.”
Administered by the Western Golf Association since 2011, The Caddie Hall of Fame highlights the tradition and importance of caddying by recognizing individuals who have devoted their lives to the game of golf through caddying or by supporting the role of caddies.
Past inductees include Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Charles “Chick” Evans, Francis Ouimet, Gene Sarazen, Steve Williams, and the Murray Brothers.
Download 2017 Offline Enrollment Form
The Evans Scholars Foundation’s annual Match Play Challenge campaign is gaining momentum as a critical end-of-year stretch approaches.
With the help of more than 50 generous donors who have stepped up to make commitments of $50,000 and greater, the Foundation is over 90 percent of the way to its current goal of creating a $6 million matching pool. That pool will be used to match all Par Club gifts of $2,500 and greater this year in an effort to give more young men and women caddies the life-changing opportunity of a college education.
The Match Play Challenge surpassed the $50 million in all-time fundraising earlier this year and has now raised almost $55 million to support caddie scholarships since 2011. The commitment and generosity of the Evans Scholars Program’s supporters has allowed the Foundation to grow at a time when the skyrocketing cost of college tuition has young caddies nationwide applying for the Evans Scholarship in record numbers.
“We are extremely grateful to our donors, whose extraordinary generosity has made this milestone possible,” said David Robinson, WGA Chairman. “The success of this annual campaign means we can commit to a bold plan for the future of the Evans Scholars Foundation.”
Developed with the leadership of WGA Director Mike Keiser in 2011, the Match Play Challenge is the major gifts component of the annual Par Club fundraising campaign. The generosity of Match Play Partners has inspired thousands of donors from coast to coast to support youth caddies. Since 2011, the Match Play Challenge has generated 332 gifts of $50,000 and greater and more than 6,200 gifts of $2,500 and greater.
These major gifts have positioned the Foundation to set aggressive goals for the near future. In addition to increasing the number of Evans Scholars in school from the record 965 enrolled in 19 leading universities this fall to 1,000 by the year 2020, the Foundation is working to establish the Evans Scholars Program at additional universities coast to coast.
At the same time, it is increasing living capacity at its Scholarship Houses to provide all Evans Scholars with the benefits of community living. That means establishing new Scholarship Houses at some partner universities and renovating existing Houses to ensure that Evans Scholars have the ideal living and learning environment.
Finally, the Foundation is expanding its continuum of support — from caddie training programs to career mentorship — to better position itself to guide young men and women from caddie, to college, to career.
As the Match Play Challenge pushes to the end of 2017, its continued success will be critical to the Foundation’s ability to reach its goals while giving young men and women the opportunity to attend college with the support they need to thrive and succeed.
“These major gifts become more important as we see the need for the Evans Scholarship grow each year,” said Bill Kingore, Senior Vice President, Development & Strategy. “We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished through the Match Play Challenge, but we understand the great responsibility we now have to expand the Evans Scholars Program to ensure we are not leaving deserving candidates behind.”
For more information on the Match Play Challenge, please contact Bill Kingore at 224-260-3712 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2017 Match Play Partners
Sam & Marsha Allen
Jim Ashenden through the Estate of Jim Ashenden
Mike & Diane Beemer
Kenneth & Jacqueline Brody
Steve & Karis Colnitis
Glenda & Fritz Corrigan
Mr. & Mrs. Dominic Curcio
Ray Fahmeier, OSU ’64
Thomas J. & Karen A. Falk
Mr. & Mrs. Eugene F. Fama
Mr. & Mrs. Robert Foss
Paul Frymark & Sally Metzger
Jim & Mary Garard
Tom & Taylor Gleitsman
Dan & Kathy Harmon
Jay & Kathy Heintschel
Mr. & Mrs. Daniel G. Helle
Martin P. & Julie Hughes
Mike & Lindy Keiser
King Family Foundation
J. A. Langan
Robert M. & Diane v.S. Levy
Jack & Jama Lintol
Thomas L. Mallman
Gary & Carol Matula
Patrick & Meredith McCormack
Dr. & Mrs. David Monson
Thomas & Susan Moran
Frank & Susan Morley
George & Vicki Muellner
Frank & Janet Nessinger
Dan & Vicki Pawlowski
Rita & Leroy "Pete" Peterson
Bruce & Deborah Pfaff
Mr. & Mrs. Frank Polizzi
Kevin & Dianne Risch
Roger W. Sandstrom
Jack & Dottie Sauer
Tim Schwertfeger & Gail Waller
Larry & Monica Thuet
Reed & Rosemary Tupper
Daniel & Clea Van Voorhis
Darrell & Gail Voitik
Mr. & Mrs. Ben Ziolkowski
By MATT HARNESS/WGA
GLENCOE, Ill. (Aug. 5, 2017) — Not once during regulation did Norman Xiong, of Canyon Lake, California, believe he had a grip on winning the 115th Western Amateur at Skokie Country Club in Glencoe, Illinois.
Not even when he led Doc Redman, of Raleigh, North Carolina, 4 up through nine or 3 up through 15. It wasn’t until Redman missed his par putt on the 22nd hole that Xiong could celebrate winning the championship. It was the longest final match in tournament history and only the 13th time one went to extra holes.
“I tried to have fun and stay in the moment,” he said. “I played one hole at a time.”
A sophomore at Oregon, Xiong is the 25th medalist to win the tournament and the first since Chris Williams, of Moscow, Idaho, in 2012 at Exmoor Country Club in Highland Park. He finished stroke play at 14 under.
After dropping three holes in a row, Xiong nearly saw the title slip away from him on the 18th hole. But Redman’s 20-foot birdie putt lipped out to send the match into extra holes.
“After 16, I started to feel it,” Xiong said. “I got a little more nervous, a little more tense. Before that, I was loose. Doc and I had fun out there … before 16, it was a relaxing round. We tried to keep it light, even though it’s such a big stage.”
A similar scenario played out on No. 1 when Xiong’s 15-foot birdie putt to win lipped out. The players halved the second with pars and the third with birdies. Redman two-putted for his birdie on No. 3, while Xiong needed to make a 15-footer to keep his title hopes alive.
On the par-4 fourth, Xiong hit his approach to 12 feet, and Redman was more than 100 feet away, off the front right of the green. Xiong easily two-putted for par, but Redman couldn’t convert his par putt to keep the match going.
Despite being down late, Redman said he never counted himself out.
“I wanted to stick to what I’d been doing, see if I could get some birdies,” he said. “There was nothing crazy going on in my head.”
The match went back and forth at the beginning, with Xiong winning the first and Redman taking the second. The two didn’t halve a hole until they each made par at No. 8. In all, 13 of the 22 were won outright. They both made five birdies over the first 18 holes and shot 2 under.
“There were massive swings,” Redman said.
Added Xiong: “We didn’t tie too many holes, and it didn’t seem to be too one-sided. We didn’t give too many [holes] away.”
After a successful freshman season at Clemson in which he won two tournaments as was selected the ACC Freshman of the Year, Redman proved he’s one of the best players in the world with his showing at Skokie Country Club. He tied for sixth in medal play at 10 under.
“I played awesome in stroke play, which was very encouraging,” he said. “To hang tough and beat some very good players [in match play], then to come back from four down to Norman says I’m right up there with the best of them.”
Like Redman, Xiong enjoyed a strong start to his college career. He won once, posted seven top 10s in 10 starts and earned the Phil Mickelson Award as the top newcomer in college golf. Winning the Western Amateur will raise his profile even more.
What’s more, Redman and Xiong both exhibited the sportsmanship the sport prides itself on. Redman conceded Xiong’s four-foot putt for par on 18 because he said he didn’t want to win on a possible Xiong miss. Prior to that, Xiong gave Redman par putts on Nos. 16-17 that measured longer than two feet.
Following six days at Skokie Country Club and 145 holes of competition, they each praised the tournament and golf course, which Xiong called one of the five best he’s played.
“Every day was a pleasure to play out here,” he said.
Redman complimented the hospitality displayed by the club and said the strength of the field separates the Western Amateur from other top-tier tournaments.
“You can’t beat it,” he said.
GLENCOE, ILLINOIS (Aug. 3, 2017) -- Norman Xiong, of Canyon Lake, California, learned he was the 115th Western Amateur medalist Thursday while sitting at a table in the downstairs dining room at Skokie Country Club in Glencoe, Illinois.
“I was ready for dinner,” he said.
But food would have to wait.
Although he finished more than one hour before the final group did, Xiong’s 14-under 270 was enough to edge out Brad Dalke, of Norman, Oklahoma, by one stroke. Dalke, playing in the final pairing, had a chance to tie Xiong at 14 under, but the Oklahoma junior’s 20-foot birdie putt on the 18th missed its mark.
“I can’t believe it,” said Xiong, a sophomore at Oregon. “I didn’t expect this being so far back to start the day. My main goal was to get into match play. If I put together two solid rounds, I knew I had a chance at the top five, but I didn’t expect to win.”
Despite entering Thursday’s final two rounds of stroke play tied for 29th, Xiong thought two good rounds could catapult him up the leaderboard.
He was right.
Starting at No. 10, Xiong wasted no time making his move by carding five birdies and no bogeys on his first nine to carry him to a 66. In the afternoon, he started with four consecutive birdies on the back nine and shot 65.
“I knew if I just played my game, I could get in there pretty solidly,” Xiong said. “Things got hot with my putter in the beginning of both rounds, and things went my way.”
While the medalist was named Thursday, the Sweet 16 will have to wait until Friday.
Due to darkness, there will be a playoff for the four players who finished at 8 under for the final three spots into match play. The third and fourth rounds were interrupted for a total of 140 minutes by two weather delays. The playoff will start at 7 a.m. on the ninth hole and continue, if needed, to holes 1 and 18. First round matches are scheduled to begin at 8 a.m.
Nick Hardy, of Northbrook, Illinois, Nick Voke, of Auckland, New Zealand, and Ruben Sondjaja, of Sydney, Australia, all tied for third at 11 under.
The leader after three rounds, Sondjaja stood 15 under through 71 holes after holing out from a greenside bunker at No. 17. The 2017 Iowa State graduate then hit two tee balls out of bounds on the 18th for a quadruple bogey.
Voke, also a 2017 graduate of Iowa State, is in match play for the first time. Meanwhile, Hardy, a senior at Illinois, qualified for match play for a third time to join a short list of players to do so in the modern era of the tournament.
A celebrated junior player, Xiong continued his success as a college freshman. He was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and earned All-Pac 12 First Team honors. Xiong, the winner of the Junior PGA Championship, played a significant role in Oregon’s runner-up finish at the NCAA Division I Men’s National Championship.
But Xiong didn’t hesitate to call what he accomplished Thursday the biggest thrill of his career.
“For sure,” he said. “By far. To me, it’s this, the U.S. Amateur, probably the Northeast Amateur as the biggest tournaments in amateur golf.”
- Matt Harness, WGA