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THE 67TH ILLINOIS OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP RETURNS TO ROYAL FOX C.C.

Royal Fox C.C. and Royal Hawk C.C. to host the first two rounds with a 258 player field

GLENVIEW, Ill. – February 22, 2016 – Until 2013, Royal Fox Country Club held the distinguished honor of hosting the most Illinois Open Championships in the event's history, which was surpassed by The Glen Club who hosted nine times. Royal Fox will add another year to its tally when the 67th installment of the state championship of golf moves to the western suburbs at both Royal Fox C.C. and Royal Hawk C.C.

“We are thrilled to announce the return of the Illinois Open to Royal Fox, and its companion course, Royal Hawk, for the 2016 championship,” said Illinois PGA executive director Carrie Williams. “We are confident these two facilities are going to help us continue to host an exceptional championship experience for top amateur and professional competitors in the state of Illinois.”

"We are so excited and proud that the Illinois Open Championship is returning to the Royal Fox C.C. for the eighth time,” said John Weiss, CEO of the Royal Group, which owns and operates both facilities. “This year’s Championship also marks the 25th anniversary of the first Illinois Open hosted at the Royal Fox C.C.”

The 2016 starting field will be 258 participants comprised of players who qualified during one of seven qualifying events conducted in June in addition to those exempt from qualifying. The first and second rounds will be held Monday and Tuesday, July 25 and 26, respectively, at Royal Fox C.C. and Royal Hawk C.C., both in St. Charles, Ill. Following 36 holes of play, the field will be cut for the final round on Wednesday, July 27 at Royal Fox.

“It’s exciting to be returning to a long-time host with so much Illinois Open history in just the second-year of a new format,” said Williams. “Every decision we make in the planning and administration of the Championship is made to provide the best tournament experience for the competitors.  Having Royal Fox and Royal Hawk as hosts in 2016 continues to achieve our long-term vision and goals for the Illinois Open.”

The 67th edition of the Illinois Open returns to Royal Fox for the eighth time after last hosting all three rounds in 2001 (1991-1995, 2000-2001). It trails The Glen Club in Glenview, Ill., which has hosted the Championship a record nine times.

“The golf courses were uniquely designed and built to be true tests of championship golf,” said Weiss. “The participants will love the look, layout and feel of both Royal Fox and Royal Hawk, as well as enjoy their experience at the Royal Country Clubs. It’s also a great opportunity for the St. Charles area. The community has a great young fan base and the Illinois PGA's marquee championship will provide great exposure to our many young fans of golf.”

Originally designed by Richard Nugent, the challenging 6,816-yard par 71 layout has gone through many changes following new ownership in 1999. Improvements were made to a number of holes, an upgraded to the practice facility and remodeling of the clubhouse were all done to establish Royal Fox C.C. among the elite facilities in the Chicagoland area.

Royal Hawk C.C. is built on 180 acres of rolling hills and offers a par 72 championship course stretching more than 6,700 yards from the back tees to provide challenges for golfers of all skill levels. Royal Hawk has hosted many Illinois PGA tournaments, including an Illinois Open qualifier and the Illinois PGA Assistant Championship in 2015.

The 67th Illinois Open Championship Qualifiers:
- Qualifier #1 – June 8, 2016 – Maple Meadows G.C. in Wood Dale, Ill.
- Qualifier #2 – June 14, 2016 – Bartlett Hills G.C. in Bartlett, Ill.
- Qualifier #3 – June 16, 2016 – Effingham (Ill.) C.C.
- Qualifier #4 – June 20, 2016 – Bloomington (Ill.) C.C.
- Qualifier #5 – June 22, 2016 – Deerfield G.C. in Riverwoods, Ill.
- Qualifier #6 – June 27, 2016 – Inverness (Ill.) G.C.
- Qualifier #7 – June 30, 2016 – Bolingbrook (Ill.) G.C.

Administered by the Illinois PGA since 1950, the Illinois Open has historical roots dating back to 1922. The state championship of golf is a 54-hole competition contested over three days to determine the finest player in the state of Illinois. The tournament is open to professionals and amateurs with a handicap of 10 or less who reside within the state of Illinois. Qualifying events conducted throughout the month of June will finalize the championship field to the top 258 players.

Registration for all 2016 Illinois PGA tournaments, including the 67th Illinois Open Championship, will begin on Tuesday, March 1st at www.ipga.com.

About the Illinois PGA:
The Illinois Section of the PGA of America is a professional organization serving the men and women golf professionals in northern and central Illinois who are the recognized experts in growing, teaching and managing the game of golf. The Illinois PGA is responsible for the administration of competitive golf tournaments, educational opportunities, support programs and growth of the game initiatives. With over 840 members and apprentices, the Illinois PGA is the 12th largest of the 41 regional entities or Sections that comprise the PGA of America. For more information about the Illinois PGA, please visit www.ipga.com  and join us on social media at www.facebook.com/illinoispga and www.twitter.com/illinoispga.

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