PGA Tour Comes to Olympia Fields


Photo Courtesy of Joe Sullivan

Tiger Wood assesses his position in between strokes on Aug. 27.

Olympia Fields Country Club hosted the top 70 golfers in the world at the BMW Championship from Aug. 27 to Aug. 30. The championship served as a playoff round in the FedEx Cup, and some of the biggest names in golf competed such as Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. 

Olympia Fields Country Club’s North Course has been ranked continually by Golf Digest as one of America’s “Top 100 Greatest Courses,” and in 2019-2020 enjoys the ranking of No. 75 in the United States. This was not the clubs first go around with hosting a major golf tournament. They have hosted two U.S. Opens (1928, 2003), Two PGA Championships (1925, 1961), and the U.S. Ametuer Open in 2015. Less than 10 courses in the nation have hosted all of these events.

This year’s tournament was anything but the usual. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the tournament had to be played without spectators. The tournament was so strict with personnel on the course during the weekend, that only one news source was allowed in. Not even local newspapers and reporters were granted access to the course.

Olympia Fields proved itself to be one of the toughest courses in the world. The winner, Jon Rahm, won the weekend at only four under par. To put that number in comparison, the previous week’s winner won the tournament at 30 under par. The conditions at Olympia Fields made the course so tough that only five of the top 70 golfers in the world finished below par. 

“The golf course is absolutely incredible and I think it is one of the hardest courses any of these players have seen in their lifetime,” said Azinger, a twelve-time PGA Tour Champion and NBC broadcaster..

Max Homa, the 77th ranked golfer in the world, also spoke about the course. Homa finished the weekend at 13 over par, which ended his run in the FedEx Cup, but he still thinks highly of the course in Olympia Fields.

“It’s extremely hard, but it’s a beautiful course,” said Homa.

Big-name players like Tiger Woods often attract a sold out crowd, but not this year. For major players, this can serve as an obstacle to his game, and Azinger saw the lack of spectators as a hindrance to Woods, who finished the weekend at 13 over par.

 “It has got to be weird for Tiger to not have the adrenaline rush that he gets from the fans,” Azinger said.

The ending came down to the very last shot. Leading golfer Jon Rahm finished at four under par, and Dustin Johnson sank in a 30-foot putt to force a sudden-death playoff hole.

With both players on the green in two shots, neither was left with a good birdie opportunity. Rahm stepped up to attempt his 66-foot putt for birdie, and he drained it. With all of the pressure on him, Johnson missed his putt by only six inches, and Rahm was declared the champion, going home with a cool $1.7 million for his portion of the winnings.

Rahm went on to compete in the FedEx cup championship but fell short of winning. Johnson was named the victor of the FedEx Cup this past Sunday. This victory came with a  $15 million winning. Not too bad for a weekend of golf.