Tournament phrase #1: “World class golf at an unbeatable price.” For the fourth consecutive year a Web.com Tour tournament will visit Chicago’s northern suburbs, and given a spectator’s opinion and point of view it will be the best, as admission and parking to the 2019 Evans Scholars Invitational is free. Yes, daily grounds admission to the Evans Scholars Invitational at the Glen Club is complimentary, courtesy of Edward Jones. For the previous three years, 2016-2018, the Web.com Tour contested the Rust-Oleum Championship in early June at Ivanhoe Club, with diminutive grounds admission prices, but now this year the price is zero.
The Web.com Tour and the Western Golf Association are partnering to conduct this new tournament, the Evans Scholars Invitational, which is managed by the WGA and will be contested during the days of May 23-26, 2019, at The Glen Club in Glenview, Illinois. The new partnership calls for a four-year agreement to run through 2022. All proceeds will benefit the event’s sole charity, the Evans Scholars Foundation. For the Web.com Tour, this partnership offers the opportunity to expand its charitable reach in golf to help send caddies to college on Evans Scholarships.
Located at the former site of the Glenview Naval Air Station, The Glen Club sits at the heart of a 195-acre refuge that features rolling terrain, dramatic elevation changes, tranquil lakes, meandering streams and stunning vistas, including the Chicago skyline in the distance. Overlooking the 18th green, The Glen Club’s majestic 48,000 sq.-ft. clubhouse towers atop one of the highest points of the property, while down below, this Tom Fazio designed course will test the mettle of each Web.com Tour golfer.
Tournament phrase #2: “The path to golf stardom runs through Glenview.” The ESI tournament marks a return to The Glen Club for the Web.com Tour, which contested the LaSalle Bank / Bank of America Open at the course from 2003 through 2008 under the Nationwide Tour banner. That tournament produced an impressive list of champions, including 2013 PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner (2006), Kris Blanks (2008), John Riegger (2007), Chris Couch (2005), Brendan Jones (2004), and Andre Stolz (2003); 2015 Senior Open Championship winner Marco Dawson won the inaugural LaSalle Bank Open at Kemper Lakes in 2002 when the tour title sponsor was Buy.com.
“We’re very excited and pleased to be expanding our championship operations to include an annual event on the Web.com Tour,” said WGA Chairman Frank Morley. “This new event will feature the future stars in golf, including many who have competed in our Western Junior and Western Amateur championships. Combined with our annual BMW Championship, this allows us to be a part of these players’ development throughout their competitive years.”Tournament phrase #3: “The future of golf in our own backyard.” A number of fresh, young golfing talents, some locally known and some nationally recognized, are scheduled to compete in the 2019 ESI. Defending Illinois Open champion, Vince India is in the ESI field, as is Buffalo Grove HS graduate, Doug Ghim, who was named 2018 Ben Hogan Award winner while at the University of Texas as the best male college golfer.
Former Fighting Illini men’s golf star Dylan Meyer will be among those vying for the ESI title, as will Iowa Hawkeye alum and Lake Forest resident, Brad Hopfinger. The last time Norman Xiong (Oregon Ducks) was on Chicago’s North Shore, he won the WGA Western Amateur at Skokie Country Club. And not to be overlooked as a possible ESI champion is Maverick McNealy the 2017 Ben Hogan Award winner from Stanford University.
Tournament phrase #4: “The only thing higher than the stakes is the excitement.” A victory of the Web.com Tour tournament in Chicago virtually guarantees securing a PGA Tour card for the following season. The total 2019 ESI purse is $550,000 with a customary 18% or $99,000 awarded to the champion.
All three recent Web.com Tour winners in Chicago (Chase Wright 2018; Stephan Jagr 2017; and, Max Homa 2016) have graduated to the PGA Tour via the Web.com Tour regular-season money list, due in great part to their victory here. Adding to the drama, all three of these Rust-Oleum Championships were narrow victories, with Chase Wright needing extra holes for his playoff win. Hole #18 at The Glen Club has the potential for grand excitement when played during the final round on Sunday, May 26.
The photo gallery for the 2019 Evans Scholars Invitational is shown below, and further information about the championship can be found at the Evans Scholars Invitational website.