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Phil Kosin Illinois Women’s Open gaining prestige and popularity

Jim Owczarski Beacon-News sports columnist

Jim Owczarski, Beacon-News sports columnist

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Patti Ballas recently recorded a hole-in-one at Cedardell Golf Club in Plano. Ballas recorded her ace on the par-3 fifth hole, using an 8-iron from 96 yards. Tammy Mcginnis and Patsy Harris were witnesses.

The Front Nine wants to know about your hole-in-one! Send us your name, what club was used, the golf course, hole number and yardage played. Also include any witnesses. Send the information to, fax 630-978-8509 or call 630-978-8366.

Have a favorite hole? Tell us about it! Tell us what hole is your favorite in the area and why. Please include your name, the golf course, hole number and yardage. Send your nominations to , fax 630-978-8509 or call 630-978-8366.

The following local players have qualified for the Illinois State Amateur on Aug. 9-11 at Glen Oak CC in Glen Ellyn: Kyle Geist (Naperville), Greg Takata (North Aurora), Chris Desart (Elgin), Jordan Wetsch (St. Charles), Brad Winters (Elgin), Bryce Emory (Aurora), Jonathan Woods (St. Charles), Paul White (Naperville), Thomas O’Bryan (Aurora), Ryan Miller (Naperville), Bill Carlson (Naperville), Rich Balla (St. Charles), Blake Biddle (St. Charles), Ravi Patel (Naperville), John Wright (Aurora), Andrew Cisco (Geneva), Michael Sainz (Elgin), Lee Kolquist (Geneva)and Timothy Kay (Bartlett).

The Chad Johansen Golf Academy is now offering The Ultimate Summer Tune-Up which includes a 30-minute putting lesson, putter fitting, a perfect putting line, a 30-minute full swing golf lesson with a customized e-mail golf analysis and a “Know your yardages” session for only $150. Visit for more information.

Chicago-based Wilson Golf announced that PGA Tour pro and Wilson staff advisory member Kevin Streelman will be appearing at Cantigny Golf in Wheaton on Aug. 5 during the IJGA Wilson Staff Slam Finals. Streelman will conduct a four-hole, on-course playing lesson following the skills challenge and will assist in presenting the awards. The day will conclude with a photograph and autograph session. The event is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is recommended. Lunch may be purchased at the time of registration. For more information and to register, visit

Village Greens of Woodridge is offering great afternoon specials in July and August. The course is offering $29.99 walking and $39.99 riding Monday-Thursday from 1-3 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 2-3:30 p.m. Visit the course at or call 630-985-3610.

The Knights of Columbus 19th annual Special People Golf Benefit will take place at the Arrowhead Golf Club in Wheaton on Aug. 5. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and tee times start at 8:30 a.m. The fee is $150 and includes 18 holes of golf with cart, lunch, a steak dinner and an open bar, as well as trophies and prizes. The dinner only fee is $50. To register, contact Bob Hadraba at 630-848-1441 or 630-774-3931.

Updated: October 29, 2011 12:45AM

Next week, most of the area’s golf attention will be focused on North Shore Country Club in Glenview for the 109th playing of the Western Amateur — and deservedly so — but if you want to see some quality golf a little closer to home, head south to Mistwood Golf Club in Romeoville for the 17th Phil Kosin Illinois Women’s Open.

It’s the most prestigious women’s tournament in Illinois and is gaining popularity across the country, attracting players from six different states.

The tournament, named after its late founder and former Naperville Sun editor Phil Kosin, has seen a boost in notoriety due to the efforts of the Kosin family and the staff at Mistwood.

Greg Kosin helped bring in BM Harris Bank this year, along with several other sponsors, and Mistwood owner Jim McWethy said several other sponsors committed to the 2012 event.

“Greg Kosin has really stepped up and wants — as we do — to raise the profile of the (tournament) to a higher level,” McWethy said. “We are doing anything and everything we can to raise it in terms of quality of play, increasing the size of the purse and making it a real golf tournament. Not that it wasn’t before, but we’re really moving it up the scale.”

This year’s event will feature a pro-am on Tuesday, the first time the tournament has held one. A scholarship will then be awarded to one of the eligible amateurs in the field at the first Pro-Am Champions dinner that evening, and sponsor hospitality areas will be set up on the course during the tournament. Live scoring will also be available for fans at

Mistwood director of golf Dan Phillips will also conduct a clinic at the practice area on Wednesday.

“Every year we try and make everything just a little bit better. We’re always working,” said Phillips, a Sugar Grove resident. “Everything you do has been helped out by what you’ve done in the past, so the tournament gets better and better. And with having sponsors, it’s taken it to another level. We’ll have sponsor areas (on the course) where they can come watch the tournament. Every year it’s run a lot more like an LPGA Tour event.”

One participant is West Aurora and Northern Illinois alumna Kim Hunley, who is one of 14 professionals in the 71-player field.

Despite not having played as much as usual this summer, Hunley has been sharpening her game of late and is expecting to face a stiff challenge from a talented field of amateurs and professionals.

“This tournament usually brings a lot of good players in,” she said. “For myself, the goal is to play my game and play the best that I can against the course and just hope that I can compete and play well.

“I obviously want to make the cut because you can play an extra day, compete again and be in the running for the money. The other nice thing about being a professional is now I can take anything up to any amount, so I’m looking forward to it.”

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