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Rich Harvest is poised to “put on a good show” when LIV Golf returns to the suburbs

Last year, Illinois had a late addition to the golf season: a tournament called the LIV Tour Chicago, held at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove. The LIV Tour was new then, and Rich Harvest hosted one of just eight tournaments in the controversial tour’s inaugural season.

However, the Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Tour is no mystery guest. The September 22-24 Rich Harvest stop is the 12th of 14 LIV events this year, and Alex Kline-Wedeen, Rich Harvest’s executive vice president of marketing, couldn’t be more excited.

“We’re well on our way to getting bigger and better than last year’s very successful tournament,” said Kline-Wedeen. “Last year our first year event was one of the best attended events. We want to raise the bar and put on a good show for Chicago. LIV has been a great partner and we have learned a lot.” . We saw what the fans wanted.”

Rich Harvest fans got a taste of what Pro Tour golf can be like when the event is not hosted by the PGA Tour. It sure is different.

Last year’s stop in Chicago was won by Australian Cameron Smith and Dustin Johnson’s 4Aces won the team title. Team play is a key attraction at LIV events and differentiates the circuit from the PGA Tour with its shotgun starts, 54-hole events and 48-player fields. The track’s rallying cry is, “Golf is louder here.” That says it all.

The same player line-up is expected at Rich Harvest in three weeks, but Johnson – the star of last year’s inaugural season – isn’t the front runner this time. In singles, he sits in eighth place, while Smith, winner of the last tournament in Bedminster, NJ, and Talor Gooch are fighting for the top spot this time.


        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

Brooks Koepka, who was named to the US Ryder Cup team last week, is fourth in the LIV individual standings. Bryson DeChambeau, who won the weekend with a spectacular 61-58 at the Greebriar in West Virginia two weeks ago, is in seventh place. LIV fields may be small, but the talent is there.

Johnson has Patrick Reed, a former Masters champion; Pat Perez and Peter Uihlein on his 4Aces, last season’s team winner and this season’s leader so far. Following Rich Harvest, the circuit will compete in Saudi Arabia on October 13-15 and Trump National in Florida on October 20-22.

In addition to the golf course, side attractions at Rich Harvest include Club 54, the 16th hole Birdie Shack and the 17th hole Watering Hole. After the game, concerts are held in the Fan Village on Saturday and Sunday. Three-time Grammy winner Nelly will perform on Saturday and Grammy nominee Tiesto on Sunday. The Bulls’ Ray Clay will handle on-court announcement duties. For more information, see www.livgolf.com.

Donald’s team:

Captain Luke Donald found out who half of his European team will be in Italy for this month’s Ryder Cup. With the conclusion of the Omega European Masters on Sunday in Switzerland, the six automatic berths for Europe were completed. Places for Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Viktor Hovland and Tyrell Hatton had already been secured ahead of the tournament, while the other two were able to secure Scotsman Robert McIntyre and Matt Fitzpatrick, a former US Open champion who briefly competed at Northwestern secure Switzerland.

Fitzpatrick, who placed third at the European Masters, secured the last automatic non-points finish when Tommy Fleetwood decided not to compete in Switzerland.

Fleetwood joined Ludvig Aberg, Nicolai Hojgaard, Shane Lowry, Justin Rose and Sepp Straka as Donald’s favorites this weekend to complete the European Ryder Cup squad. Swede Aberg turned pro after completing his college career at Texas Tech. Previously, his best result as a pro was a tie for fourth place at the John Deere Classic.

Here and there:

Unlike years past, the Illinois PGA named just one honoree at its annual Senior Masters event in Onwentsia in the Lake Forest last week. Dave Erickson, a 32-year chief pro at St. Andrews in West Chicago and a 53-year Jemsek Golf associate, emerged victorious. Two prizewinners have been selected in recent years.

St. Charles’ Roy Biancalana won game 13 of the Illinois Super Seniors Open at Pine Meadow in Mundelein. Biancalana, leading the record field of 111 players, became the tournament’s first treble winner.

Cog Hill in Palos Heights has changed the name of one of its teaching programs. The Embarrassment Golf Schools will now honor the late Phil Kosin, a recently inducted Illinois Golf Hall of Famer who founded the Illinois Women’s Open and the Chicagoland Golf newspaper.

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