Olympia Fields, IL – August 26, 2020… The 2020 BMW Championship officially got underway today at Olympia Fields Country Club in Olympia Fields, Illinois, as the club hosts the event for the first time since 1971 and sixth time in its history. Defending BMW Championship winner Justin Thomas will look to become the first repeat champion since BMW became title sponsor in 2007.
While a limited number of volunteers, in addition to state and local authorities, are on site to ensure the smooth execution of the event, the 2020 BMW Championship will be held without spectators due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. To kick BMW Championship week off, BMW, the Western Golf Association and the PGA TOUR brought four of the sport’s best players together for a unique, one-day BMW Match Play Challenge. The nine-hole charity event will celebrate the main beneficiary of the BMW Championship – the Evans Scholars Foundation.
Headlining the BMW Match Play Challenge on Wednesday will be Collin Morikawa, winner of the 2020 PGA Championship, and six-time PGA TOUR winner, Bryson DeChambeau. Morikawa will pair with Max Homa, while DeChambeau will partner with Kevin Na. The BMW Match Play Challenge, will consist of the two two-man groups going head-to-head over the back nine at Olympia Fields playing a six-point Scotch Match, with on-course challenges.
During the match, the two-man teams will compete to earn points that result in donations to the Evans Scholars Foundation. Six points will be available on each hole, and skills challenges on holes 11 and 15 will enable the teams to score bonus points.
As part of the match, players will play all nine holes in a 7-club “Chick Evans Challenge,” in honor of the Charles “Chick” Evans Jr., who established the Evans Scholars Foundation with the WGA 90 years ago. Evans famously won the 1916 U.S. Open with seven clubs in his bag, becoming only the third amateur in the event’s history to win. Additionally, there will also be a straightest drive competition, and a closest to the pin competition.
The BMW Championship will establish a full tuition and housing scholarship, valued at $125,000, in the name of the winning team, while an additional contribution of $1,000 for each point scored by the winning team, will also be made. Fans can join the fundraising efforts and support the Evans Scholars Foundation’s mission of sending caddies to college by visiting www.bmwchampionship.com. Members of Olympia Fields Country Club will match all online donations during tournament week.
Coverage of the exhibition match will air from 2-4 p.m. (CDT), as a special presentation of PGA TOUR LIVE and will be simulcast on Golf Channel, GOLFTV (internationally), and other PGA TOUR media platforms, including PGA TOUR social channels.
The Evans Scholars Foundation, which provides full tuition and college scholarships to caddies throughout the country with limited financial means, will once again receive all net proceeds from the 2020 BMW Championship. Since the tournament’s inception in 2007, the BMW Championship has raised more than $35 million for the Evans Scholars Foundation, helping send more than 3,000 students from across the country to college. For the coming 2020-21 academic year, 1,045 caddies are scheduled to be enrolled at 19 major colleges and universities on Evans Scholarships – a goal that BMW has helped come to fruition. Currently there are more than 11,323 Evans Scholarship Alumni nationwide.
The 70-player field is expected to include some of the most accomplished golfers in the sport such as two-time BMW Championship winners Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson, and other notables including Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele, Jason Day, and Tony Finau will all be in the Chicagoland area to take on Olympia Fields’ world-famous North Course layout, alongside reigning FedExCup winner Rory McIlroy.
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About the BMW Championship
The BMW Championship, conducted by the Western Golf Association, dates back to 1899 when it debuted as the Western Open, making it the third-oldest tournament on the PGA TOUR schedule, behind only the British Open and U.S. Open. BMW has sponsored the tournament since 2007 when it became the penultimate event of the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup Playoffs. The BMW Championship features a field of the top 70 players in the FedExCup standings to determine the final 30 players for the FedExCup finale at the TOUR Championship in Atlanta. To learn more, visit www.bmwchampionship.com.
About the Western Golf Association
The Western Golf Association conducts three national golf championships and sponsors the nationally acclaimed Evans Scholars Foundation. Headquartered in Golf, Illinois, the organization was founded in 1899 by 11 Chicago-area golf clubs to promote their interests in golf. In addition to the BMW Championship, the WGA conducts two prestigious amateur championships, the Western Amateur and the Western Junior. To learn more, visit www.wgaesf.org.
About the Evans Scholars Foundation
The Evans Scholars Foundation, the nation’s largest scholarship program for caddies, provides full housing and tuition college scholarships to young caddies who show academic promise and financial need. Overseen by the Western Golf Association, the golf charity has helped more than 11,300 caddies graduate from college since 1930. This fall, 1,045 Scholars are attending 19 universities nationwide.
BMW Group In America
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars; Designworks, a strategic design consultancy based in California; technology offices in Silicon Valley and Chicago, and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is the BMW Group global center of competence for BMW X models and manufactures the X3, X4, X5, X6 and X7 Sports Activity Vehicles. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 349 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 143 BMW motorcycle retailers, 117 MINI passenger car dealers, and 38 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group’s sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.