Friday, June 20 through Sunday, June 23
The Celebrity/Tour Player Pro-Ams kicked off on Friday & Saturday of the Encompass Championship – part of the Champions Tour that debuted this year in Chicago’s North Shore area at the famed North Shore Country Club in Glenview, IL. A field of 81 players competed for the $1,800,000 purse with the winner taking home $270,000. During the week of June 17-23, we along with thousands of Chicago golf fans came out to cheer on some of the most recognized names in golf, including World Golf Hall of Fame members Ben Crenshaw, Hale Irwin, Tom Kite, Bernhard Langer and Nick Price. In addition, Ryder Cup co-captain Jeff Sluman and Chip Beck, who both live in the Chicago area, also were there and competed in the tournament along with Freddy Couples, John Cook, Fred Funk, Jay Haas, Tom Lehman, Corey Pavin, Steve Elkington, Kenny Perry and fan favorite Rocco Mediate.
Stormy weather delayed golf on Friday for several hours, with some of the rounds being finished up on Saturday morning. I had a chance to talk with Chip Beck and his caddy on Saturday morning as he finished up his round from the day before. He is one of the most gracious and personable players you will meet.
Craig Stadler hung onto the lead and beat out Freddy Couples for the top spot by one stroke on the final day with a total score of 203 (67-65-71) to Freddy’s 204 (70-68-66). What an exciting final round with David Frost, Bernhard Langer, Tom Lehman, Mark O’Meara, Tom Pernice, Jr., Kenny Perry and Jeff Sluman on their coat-tails all tied for the third spot with total scores of 205. For complete results of the tournament, you can visit www.encompasschampionship.com.
It looks like this tournament will be an annual event in Chicago at least for 3 consecutive years. We love the format of two days of Pro-Ams followed by the final day of the Tour Players competing.