Strong support from Chicagoland golf fans, a hole-in-one by Jason Day and a special donation honoring one of the most beloved caddies in the game’s history helped the 2017 BMW Championship raise $2.6 million for the event’s sole charity, the Evans Scholars Foundation.
Conducted by the Western Golf Association, the 2017 BMW Championship attracted more than 115,000 spectators to Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Illinois, from September 12-17 to see the PGA TOUR’s best compete in the penultimate event of the FedExCup Playoffs. All proceeds from the BMW Championship help support the Evans Scholars Foundation’s mission of sending deserving caddies to college. Since 2007, the BMW Championship has raised $27 million for the Evans Scholars Foundation.
This year’s contribution from the BMW Championship to the Evans Scholars Foundation included the donation of another BMW Hole-In-One Scholarship, a full, four-year Evans Scholarship worth $100,000. The scholarship was awarded on behalf of 2015 BMW Championship winner Jason Day, who aced No. 17 with a 7-iron, from 188 yards during the second round of the 2017 BMW Championship. It was the fifth time that BMW has awarded a BMW Hole-in-One Scholarship.
Day made his impressive shot on one of the two holes at the BMW Championship that awards a new BMW to the first player to make a hole-in-one. With his shot, Day received an all-new BMW M760i, which he graciously donated back to the Evans Scholars Foundation.
BMW also made a $50,000 donation to the Evans Scholars Foundation on behalf of legendary caddie Jim “Bones” Mackay. Known and beloved by golf fans for his 25 years alongside Phil Mickelson, Mackay was honored with induction into The Caddie Hall of Fame on Sept. 15 during the Gardner Heidrick Pro-Am Awards dinner.
“During this season of giving, we’re proud to once again donate the proceeds from the BMW Championship to such a worthy cause,” said Vince Pellegrino, WGA Senior Vice President of Tournaments. “The tremendous support we received from our partners at BMW, as well as Chicagoland golf fans and the local and regional corporate communities, helps ensure the Evans Scholars Foundation is able to continue awarding full tuition and housing scholarships to caddies.”
Evans Scholars and Evans Scholars Alumni were featured prominently throughout tournament week. Current Scholars and Alumni – some of whom graduated from college decades ago – worked as caddies in Monday’s Evans Scholars Cup and Wednesday’s playing of the Gardner Heidrick Pro-Am. Scholars and Alumni donated their tips back to the Evans Scholars Program.
Evans Scholars also interacted with spectators at a putting challenge inside the BMW Experience, and were introduced between tee times for the final groups on Saturday and Sunday. Northwestern University Evans Scholar Mackenzie Lim was featured in a television segment produced by NBC that exposed millions of golf fans worldwide to the Program and its mission.
“The support the BMW Championship receives each year – from the fans, spectators and local volunteers, to the Western Golf Association, our broadcast partners and the players themselves – is truly unmatched,” said Trudy Hardy, Vice President of Marketing, BMW of North America. “Their support and dedication to the Evans Scholars Foundation is what makes the BMW Championship a success – and the main reason the event has raised more than $27 million to date.”
The 2017 BMW Championship marked the third time that the event was contested at Conway Farms, which has sponsored more than 25 Evans Scholars and has long been a supporter of the Evans Scholars Program.
“We were pleased and proud to partner with the Western Golf Association and BMW to bring this world-class championship and the stars of the PGA TOUR to Chicago’s North Shore,” said Bob Terwall, President of Conway Farms. “As longtime supporters of the Evans Scholars Program, we are delighted to know that the proceeds from this great event will be used to help change the lives of deserving caddies.”
The 2018 BMW Championship is set for September 4-9 at Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. The event will return to Chicago in 2019 when iconic Medinah Country Club hosts the penultimate event of the PGA TOUR FedExCup Playoffs and a field of the game’s biggest stars.
About the BMW Championship: The BMW Championship 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. Since 2007, the BMW Championship has contributed $27 million to the Evans Scholars Foundation, the event’s charitable beneficiary. 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.
About the Evans Scholars Foundation: Established by famed amateur golfer Charles Chick Evans Jr., the Evans Scholars Foundation provides full housing and tuition college scholarships to high-achieving caddies from across the country. The Program, supported by the Western Golf Association, is funded by contributions from more than 30,000 donors nationwide, including Evans Scholars Alumni, as well as proceeds from WGA championships. Since the Program’s inception in 1930, more than 10,600 caddies nationwide have graduated as Evans Scholars. To learn more, visit www.wgaesf.org.