GLENVIEW, Ill. (June 20, 2022) – Top junior players from the United States and around the world will take on Naperville Country Club for the first time when the 2022 Western Junior begins on Tuesday.

The Western Junior – the oldest national junior golf championship – has been played in more than 15 states and at several prestigious Chicagoland golf clubs, but never at Naperville Country Club.

This year’s field features 156 top juniors from 29 states as well as Canada, China, Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Mexico, Norway, Peru, Spain, Taiwan, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and Uzbekistan. The competition begins with 18 holes of stroke play on June 21 and 22, after which the field will be cut to the low 44 and ties. Those who make the cut will play 36 holes on June 23 to decide a champion.

The winner will join Collin Morikawa, Rickie Fowler and Jim Furyk as a Western Junior champion. The top three finishers and ties receive exemptions into the Western Amateur at Exmoor Country Club in Highland Park, Illinois, in early August.

Caleb Surratt, of Matthews, North Carolina, won the 2021 Western Junior at Onwentsia Club in Lake Forest Illinois, firing 65-67 over the final two rounds to finish as the lone player under par. He went on to win the Boys Junior PGA Championship and made the Round of 16 at the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship and the Round of 32 at the U.S. Amateur.

This year, several top players in the Rolex AJGA rankings will be looking to follow Surratt’s path to reach the ranks of amateur golf’s elite. Jackson Koivun (No. 4), Nicholas Gross (No. 5), Bryan Kim (No. 12), Keaton Vo (No. 13), Jonas Appel (No. 16), Andrew Ramos (No. 18) and Patton Samuels (No. 22) are all ranked in the top 25, leading one of the deepest fields in the history of the championship.

Several local players from Illinois are in the field, including Ryan Banas (Winnetka), Jason Gordon (Northbrook), Salil Khanduja (Naperville), Eli Myers (Northbrook), Cy Norman (Benton), Grant Roscich (Glen Ellyn) and John Wild (Glen Ellyn).

Four-time Ukrainian Junior champion Misha Golod is also in the field.

“The players competing in the Western Junior this week represent the future of golf,” said Vince Pellegrino, WGA senior vice president of tournaments. “These are the best junior players from across the country and the world, and we look forward to seeing how they handle the test of Naperville Country Club.”

Naperville Country Club originally opened as a nine-hole course with sand greens in 1921 but was quickly expanded into a challenging 18-hole layout by renowned golf course architect Tom Bendelow. Bendelow helped design several other notable courses in the Chicago area, including Beverly Country Club, Medinah Country Club, Olympia Fields Country Club and Skokie Country Club.

Bendelow’s Naperville design remained intact until 2006, when Steve Forrest was tasked with reworking the golf course. Forrest’s design added length and created new green complexes. Thirteen holes were rerouted, and five holes were strategically lengthened.

Naperville has also been a steadfast supporter of the Evans Scholars Foundation, a nonprofit administered by the WGA that has awarded full college tuition and housing scholarships to more than 12,500 youth caddies since 1930.

Naperville has had eight of its caddies graduate as Evans Scholars. Three current Evans Scholars caddied at Naperville.

For the full field list, click here.

For first- and second-round groupings, click here.