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Olympia Fields Country Club to host top golfers competing in BMW Championship

Olympia Fields Country Club to host top golfers competing in BMW Championship
Olympia Fields Country Club to host top golfers competing in BMW Championship 02:16

OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill. (CBS) – The PGA Tour is doing more than just making a stop in the Chicago area next month.

When the pros come through Chicago, it will be in the middle of the playoffs.

The BMW Championship is set to take place in the Chicago area for the third time in five years in August, but as CBS 2's Jori Parys reported, the environment at Olympia Fields Country Club will look much different compared to the last time it was played there in the middle of the pandemic.

There was excitement stirring in Olympia fields at the BMW Championship media day. The country club's famed north course will be ready to demand the best out of the top 50 players in the Fed Ex Cup standings come August.

"We feel like we're in a really good position right now," said Mike Bruni, tournament chairman. "June was dry, so greens were fast. It looks like the latest rain has given us a chance to grow the rough a little bit. So it's going to be quite challenging."

The last time the BMW Championship was held at the Olympia Fields Country Club was in 2020. So, naturally, the biggest difference for this year's event will be the fans.

"We plan to have about 25 to 30,000 fans each day of the championship Thursday to Sunday. So we expect to have over 100,000 spectators attend this championship throughout the course of the week," said Vince Pellegrino, the senior vice president of the tournament. "The club has been extremely supportive of some of the infrastructure changes to the golf course, whether that's cart paths and other infrastructure changes to help make the championship run smoothly, to be a better experience for the spectator to navigate the golf course."

It's the same course that saw a thrilling playoff in 2020, when Jon Rahm sank a 66-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to win it. It was one of many memorable moments in the playoff event's history, as the third-oldest tournament on the PGA Tour.

"They're going to be playing basically the exact same track that they played back in 1927 and when Jack Nicholas won in 1968, so clearly, the course can pass the test of time," Bruni said.

Pellegrino added, "I think the players appreciate the history of this championship, and BMW embraces that history as well and they embrace the Evans Scholars Foundation. So it's a nice mi,x and we've got great partners at BMW that support the scholarship, but players understand where proceeds are going to as well."

The BMW Championship runs Aug. 17 to Aug. 20, with the final two rounds to air on CBS 2.

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