The 2023 BMW Championship at Olympia Fields Country Club successfully raised a remarkable $5.5 million for caddie scholarships, as announced by the Western Golf Association. This substantial amount, dedicated to the Evans Scholars Foundation, marks the highest contribution from a BMW Championship event in the Chicago region, emphasizing the event’s dedication to supporting educational opportunities for young caddies. Since 2007, the BMW Championship has generously donated a total of $50 million to the Foundation, aiding over 3,300 caddies with full tuition and housing scholarships.
The championship attracted over 120,000 spectators, who came to watch the top 50 PGA TOUR players compete in the crucial stage of the FedExCup Playoffs. Viktor Hovland notably set a new course record with a 61 in the final round, overtaking competitors Scottie Scheffler and Matt Fitzpatrick to secure his fifth PGA TOUR win. Following this triumph, Hovland also clinched the TOUR Championship and the FedExCup title.
The funds raised during the 2023 BMW Championship are instrumental in enabling the Evans Scholars Foundation to offer college scholarships to deserving youth caddies. This year, an unprecedented 1,130 caddies are receiving education as Evans Scholars at 24 top universities across the nation.
Following this record-breaking event, the 2023 BMW Championship was honored as the “Tournament of the Year” at the PGA TOUR’s annual Tournament Meetings on December 7th. Sharing this accolade with the 2023 WM Phoenix Open, the BMW Championship has now received this esteemed award five times (2008, 2012, 2013, 2013-14, 2022-23).
2023 BMW Championship
Viktor Hovland posted a course-record final round 61 on his way to a two-stroke victory at the 2023 BMW Championship. Despite a significant deluge that the delayed the start of the first round, Olympia Fields Country Club provided a thrilling test for the 50 top players on the PGA Tour.
Hovland’s historic 61 was the lowest final round score in BMW Championship and FedExCup Playoffs history and the lowest finish by a winner on TOUR since Tom Kim won the 2022 Wyndham Championship with a 61. It was the fifth PGA TOUR victory for Viktor in his 97th start at the age of 25 years, 11 months, 2 days.
The BMW Championship returned to Olympia Fields Country Club, which hosted the event that was won by Jon Rahm in 2020. Patrick Cantlay won the 2022 BMW Championship at Wilmington Country Club. By doing so he became the first player to successfully defend a playoff event.
Lucas Glover won The FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis, Tennessee over Cantlay to capture the first leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs. Glover has won two straight events heading into the event at Olympia Fields.
Olympia Fields Championship Tradition
Olympia Fields has a rich championship tradition. In addition to the BMW Championship and the 2017 Women’s PGA Championship, it hosted the 2003 U.S. Open, won by Jim Furyk; the 2015 U.S. Amateur, won by DeChambeau.
Over the years, 183 Olympia Fields caddies have become Evans Scholars, beginning with Don Dahlke, who earned an Evans Scholarship in 1954 to attend Northwestern University. Nine Olympia Fields caddies currently are attending college as Evans Scholars.
The BMW Championship is open to the top 50 PGA Tour golfers following The Northern Trust. With only fifty players in the field, there is no 36-hole cut. In previous years, the top 70 players were part of the BMW Championship.
Justin Thomas won the 2019 BMW Championship at Medinah Country Club. Thomas finished at 25-under 263, tying a tournament record with a closing 68 after a third-round, course-record 61. Patrick Cantlay finished second and Hideki Matsuyama finished third.
Before becoming the BMW Championship, the event was previously known as The Western Open Golf Tournament and typically was played in early July around the Chicago area. Cog Hill and Butler National hosted the event between 1974 and 2006.
Evans Scholars Foundation
All proceeds from the BMW Championship benefit the Evans Scholars Foundation, which awards full tuition and housing college scholarships to deserving caddies from modest means. The current number of student-caddies with tuition assistance provided by the Evans Scholars Foundation is 1010; they are enrolled in eighteen universities nationwide.
Since 1930, more than 11,050 young men and women have graduated from college as Evans Scholars in honor of Chick Evans. Most recipients attend one of the 17 universities where the Evans Scholars Foundation operates a Scholarship House. Evans Scholars are selected on the basis of excellent grades, outstanding character, strong caddie record and demonstrated financial need.
2023 BMW Championship Field
Si Woo Kim
Byeong Hun An