May 18, 2016

Three Locals Among Rust-Oleum Championship Field

Michael Schachner always had the sense his home golf club met the exacting standards required to host a large-scale, professional tournament. It was all about timing and opportunity.

The pieces finally fused together.

On Monday, May 16, tournament officials formally unveiled the 156-man field set to compete in the Rust-Oleum Championship.

The tournament will take place Thursday, June 9, through Sunday, June 12, at Ivanhoe Club just outside of Mundelein.

The Tour is the developmental step below the PGA Tour. The top 25 money winners each year earn their PGA Tour cards. Brad Fritsch, Ryan Armour and Sebastian Munoz currently rank second, third and sixth on the Tour money list. They headline this year’s participants.

Three out of every four current PGA Tour players have a connection to the Tour, and six of the top seven players in the current FedEx Cup standings are former players.

After two years in suburban Cleveland, the tournament is relocating to be near the corporate headquarters of Vernon Hills-based Rust-Oleum. Many of the top executives at Rust-Oleum are members at Ivanhoe Club, and the new home for the tournament provides another link between the company and the surrounding area.

The tournament also marks a homecoming for Schachner, one of three local players scheduled to participate along with Brad Hopfinger of Lake Forest and Vince India of Deerfield.

The Libertyville graduate and former college star at Duke said he was excited to play a tournament on a course which he knows especially well.

“I played here my whole life,” he said inside the clubhouse following the official press conference. “I played high school tournaments here, and I always knew the course could have something like this. It’s not the longest course, but there are a lot of hazards and it’s going to be a tough test, depending on what they do with the rough.

“It’s going to be fun to see how we attack it and how (the course) stacks up.”

A celebrity pro-am featuring Northwestern basketball coach Chris Collins and former Bears Hunter Hillenmeyer, Jay Hilgenberg and Glen Kozlowski is set for Monday, June 6. The championship pro-am is scheduled for Wednesday, June 8.

The prize money for the Rust-Oleum Championship $600,000.

“We have a great field of young players,” tournament director Scott Cassin said. “This tour is a lot about fun. It’s about young and hungry golfers. That’s what we want to have. It’s now the pathway to the PGA Tour.”


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