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2015 Western Amateur has NIU flavor

July 29, 2015

PrintThe best amateur golfers in the world converge in Sugar Grove next week for a shot at the prestigious Western Amateur Championship trophy.

Two members of the Northern Illinois University men’s golf team will have a shot of joining the likes of Tiger Woods (’94), Jack Nicklaus (’61), Phil Mickelson (’91), and Ben Crenshaw (’64) as noteworthy champions of the 110-year-old tournament.

The 2015 Western Amateur will be played from Tuesday, Aug. 4, through Saturday, Aug. 8, at Rich Harvest Farms, one of Golf Digest’s “America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses.”  Between the format of the tournament and the challenge Rich Harvest Links will provide, the Western Amateur will put the top amateurs from around the globe to the ultimate test.

“The caliber of talent in this field is truly remarkable and we are honored to host the future of professional golf,” said NIU alumnus Jerry Rich, president of Rich Harvest Farms. “Truly, for me, that’s what this is all about, growing the game (of golf). I’ve been involved with the Western Golf Association (WGA) for more than 20 years, so it means so much to me that the WGA is bringing their highest amateur event to Sugar Grove.”

The field is made up of 156 players including last year’s champion, Beau Hossler of the University of Texas, and NIU golfers Joo-Young Lee of Hillard, Ohio, and Salvador Rocha of Mexico City, who will be playing on the Huskies’ home course. Earlier in July, Lee won the Ohio Amateur Championship in Zanesville, Ohio. Lee joined a list of Ohio Amateur champions that include PGA legend Arnold Palmer (1953, 1954) and 2003 British Open champ and Kent State alum Ben Curtis (1999, 2000).

NIU’s Joo-Young Lee won the 2015 Ohio Amateur Championship at Zanesville Country Club in July.

Hossler was a part of a victorious Team USA at June’s Palmer Cup, also held at Rich Harvest Farms.

Joining him will be Illinois sophomore Nick Hardy of Northbrook, who recently made the cut in his first U.S. Open. University of Texas sophomore Doug Ghim of Arlington Heights who was last year’s Western Amateur medalist, Hardy’s Illinois teammate, Charlie Danielson, and another Longhorn, Big 12 Freshman of the Year Scottie Scheffler – both Sweet 16 players in ’14 – will again vie for the Western Amateur Championship.

Also in the field will be the 2015 NCAA Division I National Champion, Bryson DeChambeau, 2015 Low Amateur at the British Open and 2013 Western Amateur.

In addition to the 2015 Western Amateur, Rich Harvest Farms also will host the 2016 LPGA UL International Crown (July 19 to 24) and 2017 NCAA Division I Golf Championships (May 18 to 31). The course also hosted the 2009 LPGA Solheim Cup and the 2015 Palmer Cup in June.

Both general admission and parking at the event will be free of charge. No ticket is needed; visitors can simply park in the lot at 2330 Granart Road and walk onto the grounds of Rich Harvest Farms. Spectators also will able to walk the fairways with the players during the tournament.

For more information, call (630) 466-7610 or email [email protected].