HINSDALE, Ill. – Ruth Lake Country Club will welcome rising stars from across the world this week when it hosts the 106th Western Junior, set to be played June 18-20.

First held by the Western Golf Association in 1914, the Western Junior marks the beginning of competitive junior golf in the United States. Attracting the top junior players from around the world, its list of past champions includes Collin Morikawa, Rickie Fowler and Jim Furyk. Major champions Tiger Woods, Hale Irwin, Scottie Scheffler, Billy Casper and Phil Mickelson all competed in the Western Junior.

The Western Junior has been contested across the country and at numerous prestigious Chicagoland golf clubs, but this will be its first stop at Ruth Lake Country Club in Hinsdale.

“There aren’t many clubs in the Chicago area that can match Ruth Lake Country Club’s blend of challenging golf and natural beauty,” said Vince Pellegrino, the WGA’s senior vice president of tournaments. “We’re excited to bring this prestigious event – and the world’s best junior players – to Ruth Lake for the first time.”

The 2024 field is one of the most accomplished in the history of the event, featuring junior golf standouts from 33 states and 10 countries worldwide, including:

  • Michael Riebe of Encinitas, California. Ranked No. 17 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings, Riebe finished T6 at the 2023 Western Junior at Midlothian Country Club and has compiled four top-five finishes at top events, including the Jones Cup Junior Invitational and Rolex Tournament of Champions. The Vanderbilt verbal commit was also recently named to the inaugural U.S. National Junior Team.

  • Coltrane Mittag of Ashland, Nebraska. Mittag is the highest returning finisher from the 2023 Western Junior, where he finished T4 as a 15-year-old. Mittag won the 2023 North & South Junior at Pinehurst and is currently ranked No. 48 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings.

  • Chase Kyes of Birmingham, Alabama. The Alabama verbal commit is ranked No. 49 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings and finished T16 in the 2023 Western Junior. Kyes reached the Round of 16 at the 2023 U.S. Junior Amateur and finished eighth at the 2024 Team TaylorMade Invitational.

  • Sterling Hurd of Austin, Texas. Hurd is currently ranked No. 35 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings after posting back-to-back wins in late 2023 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational Junior and Kevin Harvick Foundation Junior Championship. Hurd also finished T9 at the 2024 Team TaylorMade Invitational, posting a second-round 65.

  • Kaichen Xia of China. The 15-year-old has vaulted up the rankings in his junior career, reaching No. 286 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. Xia has posted five wins on the Thai Junior Golfer Guardian Association circuit and recently won the 2024 AJGA Thailand Junior Championship.

  • John Daniel Culbreth of Thomasville, Georgia. The Georgia verbal commit finished eighth at the 2023 Western Junior and is currently ranked No. 31 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings. Culbreth’s resume includes top fives in the Jones Cup Junior Invitational and 29th Annual SCJGA Bobby Chapman.

A number of local standouts are set to compete this week, including Brett Widlowski (Channhanon), Dru Devata (Clarendon Hills), Grant Roscich (Glen Ellyn), Jack Mulligan (Burr Ridge) and Nicolas Simon (Elk Grove Village).

Founded in 1922 by nine local businessmen, Ruth Lake Country Club – like Ruth Lake, which comes into play throughout the second nine holes – was named for Linus Ruth, a Hinsdale native who died in World War I. Renowned architects William B. Langford and Theodore J. Moreau designed the classic 18-hole layout, and Arthur Hills oversaw a restoration in 2005.

The 6,700-yard, par 70 layout has previously hosted a number of championships and qualifiers for the PGA TOUR Champions, LPGA and USGA, including qualifiers for the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Senior Open and U.S. Mid-Amateur.

Ruth Lake Country Club has also been a strong supporter of the Evans Scholars Foundation, a nonprofit administered by the WGA that has awarded full tuition and housing college scholarships to more than 13,100 caddies since 1930.

The club has had 36 of its caddies graduate from college as Evans Scholars, beginning with Dale Hofmann, who earned the Evans Scholarship in 1960 and attended Northwestern University. Nine current Evans Scholars caddied at Ruth Lake Country Club.

Attendance and parking for the Western Junior are free.