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PGA TOUR Champions major to be contested in suburban Chicago in partnership with the Western Golf Association
The 2018 Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship will be contested at Exmoor Country Club in Highland Park, Illinois, marking the first time since 1997 that one of the five senior major championships has been conducted in the greater Chicago area. The Championship will be played July 12-15, 2018.
“We are looking forward to bringing the excitement of the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship to a golf-rich market such as Chicago,” said PGA TOUR Champions President Greg McLaughlin. “This event has established a history of playing some of the game’s elite venues, and that will continue in 2018 as we welcome Exmoor to the PGA TOUR Champions schedule.”
The 2018 Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship will offer many unique, all-inclusive hospitality and pro-am packages to accommodate the needs of corporations large and small. We also offer outstanding marketing opportunities to an exceptional demographic.
This will mark the first time the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship will be contested in the Midwest since 2006, when the event was held at TPC Michigan in Dearborn. The tournament has since visited some of the best venues on the East Coast, with stops at Baltimore Country Club, TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm, Westchester Country Club, Fox Chapel Golf Club, Belmont Country Club and Philadelphia Cricket Club’s famed Wissahickon Course.
Following the 2017 championship at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, MD, Exmoor will become the 13th course to host the major championship, which began in 1983 when Miller Barber claimed the inaugural title at Canterbury Golf Club in Beechwood, Ohio.
“We are pleased that the tournament is headed to the Midwest and to another top ranked location in 2018,” said Bruce Stewart, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Constellation. “Chicago is a key market for Constellation and home to our parent company Exelon. The move to Exmoor Country Club will enable us to host the championship at another memorable course and share its long tradition of giving back to the communities that we serve with our many customers in the region.”
The 2018 event will be managed by the Western Golf Association (WGA) in partnership with PGA TOUR Champions and the PGA TOUR’s Championship Management division.
The WGA currently conducts the PGA TOUR’s BMW Championship, as well as the Western Amateur and Western Junior. The organization, which is based in the Chicago suburb of Golf, Illinois, also supports the nationally acclaimed Evans Scholars Foundation, which provides full housing and tuition scholarships to caddies across the country, including 910 students during the 2015-16 school year alone.
“We are pleased to again be partnering with the PGA TOUR to bring a premier golf championship to the Chicago area,” said Vince Pellegrino, WGA Senior Vice President of Tournaments. “We are especially proud that this event will be played at Exmoor Country Club, which was one of the Western Golf Association’s founding clubs. Exmoor has hosted several of our golf championships and is a longtime supporter of the Evans Scholars Program. We look forward to our new partnership with Constellation.”
Exmoor is one of the more storied clubs in the greater Chicago area, with a history dating back to 1896. The club was one of 11 charter clubs that established the WGA in 1899 and is one of just seven WGA founding clubs remaining.
In 1914, famed architect Donald Ross redesigned the original H.J. Tweedie design, allowing for his trademark green contours and strategic bunkering to bring the course up to early 20th century standards for one of Chicago’s most prominent clubs.
“Continuing a 120-year heritage of championship golf, we are proud that Exmoor Country Club has been selected to host the 2018 Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship,” said Club President Sandy Stevenson. “To have the legends of the game of golf grace us with their presence is a testament to the powerful place that Exmoor Country Club holds in the local community for hosting meaningful and memorable sporting competitions.”
Chicago resident and PGA TOUR Champions competitor Jeff Sluman said he’s looking forward to having the event contested at Exmoor.
“It's a beautiful golf course. Old style. Exactly what our players and fans like to see, like to get on and look at,” said Sluman “It's going to be a wonderful event up there. It's a facility that will do great, for the corporate hospitality side to the players to the spectators, I can't think of a much better place for us to go.
“When I heard we might be going there, I kind of looked back at the golf courses this event has played, and I knew we had to play a great golf course in Chicago,” Sluman added. “We do have a lot of great golf courses. I couldn't be happier. I think we picked as good of one as we could possibly have. “I think the event is going to do very well. It's going to be promoted for a couple of years, so the city will know it's coming,” he noted. “It's a big town that likes its sports, and I'm glad we'll be going back.”
Arnold Palmer won back-to-back Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championships in 1984 and 1985. Thirty years later, Palmer’s feat was matched by Bernhard Langer, who won at Fox Chapel Golf Club in Pittsburgh in 2014 and defended the title a year later at Belmont Country Club near Boston and then won it for the third year straight in 2016 at Philadephia Cricket Club.
With the victories, Langer earned exemptions into THE PLAYERS Championship, held annually at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. The winner of the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship is granted a spot in the event the year following his win.
Langer is the current Charles Schwab Cup champion, a season-long competition which identifies the leading PGA TOUR Champions player each year. As one of five major championships, the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship plays a significant role in determining the Charles Schwab Cup champion each season.
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