Golf's future stars face test at Chicago Highlands
WESTCHESTER, Ill. – Golf’s future stars are visiting the greater Chicago area for the 2020 Evans Scholars Invitational, scheduled for Sept. 10-13 at Chicago Highlands Club in Westchester, Ill.
Headlining the 156-player field are the top five players in the Korn Ferry Tour’s season-long standings: Will Zalatoris, Davis Riley, Lee Hodges, Taylor Pendrith and Brandon Wu. The top 25 players at the end of the 2020-21 Korn Ferry Tour season will earn PGA TOUR cards.
Several players with ties to the Chicago area are in this week’s field, including Nick Hardy (Northbrook), Vince India (Deerfield), Brad Hopfinger (Lake Forest) and Patrick Flavin (Highland Park). Hardy is No. 17 in the Korn Ferry Tour standings. India enters the week at No. 32 and Hopfinger is No. 36.
Flavin received a sponsor exemption, along with 2019 Western Amateur champion Garret Rank, 2019 Western Amateur runner up Daniel Wetterich, 2013 Western Amateur winner Jordan Niebrugge and Brad Dalke.
Rank and Niebrugge are two of four past winners of the Western Golf Association’s Western Amateur in this week’s field. They are joined by Dawson Armstrong (2015) and Ethan Tracy (2011). Both Armstrong and Tracy earned their titles in the Chicago area, with Armstrong winning at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove and Tracy winning at North Shore Country Club in Glenview.
Players with in-state collegiate ties include Hardy, Brian Campbell, Luke Guthrie and Scott Langley, all Illinois alumni, and David Lipsky and Dylan Wu, both Northwestern alumni.
This week marks the first time that Chicago Highlands is hosting a Korn Ferry Tour event. Opened in 2010, Chicago Highlands features a links-style course built on 270 acres, by far the largest plot of land in the area for an 18-hole course. World-renowned architect Arthur Hills designed the layout, which features elevation changes of over 80 feet, dramatic views of the Chicago skyline and a style that is reminiscent of a modernized links course in Scotland.
Originally scheduled for May 20-24, the 2020 Evans Scholars Invitational was moved to September as part of the Korn Ferry Tour’s revised fall schedule in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new 2020-21 schedule will bridge two seasons, concluding with 25 PGA TOUR cards awarded at the 2021 WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by KraftHeinz, with an additional 25 cards awarded at the conclusion of the 2021 Korn Ferry Tour Finals.
Scottie Scheffler won the inaugural Evans Scholars Invitational, held at The Glen Club in Glenview, Ill., in 2019, on his way to winning Korn Ferry Tour Rookie and Player of the Year honors. Scheffler erased a six-shot deficit in the final round and beat runner up Marcelo Rozo – who is in the field this week – in a playoff. Scheffler is now a leading candidate to win the PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year award after posting seven top 10s and finishing fifth in the FedExCup standings this year.
All proceeds from the 2020 Evans Scholars Invitational will benefit the Evans Scholars Foundation and its efforts to send caddies to college on full tuition and housing scholarships. There are 1,045 Evans Scholars attending 19 leading universities nationwide this year, and 11,323 caddies have graduated as Evans Scholars since 1930.
Round 1 & 2 Groupings