BMW Championship back at Conway Farms in 2015
May 28, 2014
- Zach Johnson won the 2013 BMW Championship, which was one of the most attended events on the PGA TOUR. (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)
GOLF, Ill. – Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Illinois will host the BMW Championship in 2015 following a successful tournament at the club in 2013. The 2013 BMW Championship raised more than $2.3 million for the Evans Scholars Foundation and earned the PGA TOUR’s “Tournament of the Year” Award for the second consecutive year.
“The overwhelming support we received from Chicagoland golf fans, the professionalism of the staff at Conway Farms and the hospitality of its members made the decision to return to Conway Farms an easy one,” said Vince Pellegrino, the Western Golf Association’s senior vice president of tournaments. “We received some great feedback from the 2013 BMW Championship, which will help us make the 2015 BMW Championship even better when we return to Chicago’s North Shore.”
The 2013 BMW Championship, won by Zach Johnson, was one of the top attended PGA TOUR tournaments of the year, attracting more than 130,000 spectators. Close behind Johnson, finishing in a tie for fourth, was Conway Farms member Luke Donald, who is already anticipating a return to his home course.
“As a member, I’m proud to know that Conway Farms will again be hosting the BMW Championship,” said Donald. “And as a PGA TOUR player, I’m excited to have another opportunity to compete on my home course against the world’s best players. Having the hometown crowds cheering me on in 2013 provided a real boost for me and made for an exciting, memorable week. I’m looking forward to welcoming my fellow pros back in 2015.”
Benchmarks achieved by the BMW Championship in 2013 – in the areas of charitable growth and integration, attendance, hospitality sponsor satisfaction, host club and community support, title sponsor integration, player satisfaction and fan enjoyment – were all significant factors in the event being named “Tournament of the Year” for the second consecutive year, TOUR officials said. The 2012 BMW Championship, held at Crooked Stick Country Club in Carmel, Indiana, garnered similar honors.
“We are delighted to bring the BMW Championship back to Conway Farms and work alongside the club and its membership to make 2015 an even more successful event,” said Trudy Hardy, Vice President, Marketing, BMW of North America. “The local Chicago community was extremely supportive of the BMW Championship and the Evans Scholars Foundation and we hope to build on that support for the Evans Scholars in 2015.”
The 2013 BMW Championship was the WGA’s first professional tournament staged at a Chicago North Shore club since 1972 when Northfield’s Sunset Ridge Country Club hosted what was then known as the Western Open.
“We’re very excited to have an opportunity to once again host the BMW Championship in 2015,” said Bruce Keith, Conway Farms president. “We’re looking forward to another week of hosting the best golfers in the world at Conway Farms Golf Club and continuing our partnership with the Western Golf Association in support of the Evans Scholars Foundation.”
Conway Farms has been an avid partner with the WGA and was the first in a series of Chicago-area clubs selected to host the Western Amateur when the WGA moved the event in 2009 from its long-time home, Point O’Woods Golf & Country Club in Benton Harbor, Mich. Conway Farms also sponsored four Evans Scholars in the 2013-14 academic year and has 15 Evans Scholars Alumni.
In addition to earning industry accolades, the $2.3 million raised for the Evans Scholars Foundation in 2013 at Conway Farms brought the total raised through the BMW Championship to more than $16 million since the tournament’s inception in 2007. The Evans Scholars Foundation is the WGA’s 84-year-old sister organization which has been sending caddies-to-college since 1930.
Today’s news was warmly received by officials in Lake Forest and surrounding Lake County, where the 2013 tournament had an estimated economic impact of $30 million.
“We are thrilled to again host this spectacular and exciting event and are honored to have the BMW Championship return,” said Lake Forest Mayor Donald P. Schoenheider. “We look forward to working closely with our partners at the PGA TOUR, the Western Golf Association, BMW, and the Evans Scholars Foundation as well as the staff and members of Conway Farms Golf Club to stage another successful BMW Championship.”
The 2014 BMW Championship is set for Sept. 1-7 at Cherry Hills Country Club in Cherry Hills Village, Colorado. The 2015 BMW Championship at Conway Farms Golf Club will be held Sept. 14-20.