OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill. (CBS) – It’s been eight years since Olympia Fields Country Club hosted some of the world’s best golfers in a U.S. Open.
There’s a major event going on there this week with the U.S. Girls Junior Championship, CBS 2’s Megan Mawicke reports.
It looks like the LPGA, but the players are just a bit smaller. 156 golfers from 35 states and nine countries are teeing it up this week in the U.S. Girls Junior Championship at Olympia Fields. They’re quickly finding out how stiff the competition is.
“These girls are fantastic. We have the golf course set up at 6,400 yards, and I just looked at the scores and I already see even pars, 72’s, 73’s,” said Donna Mummert, the director of the championship.
The girls range in age from 12 to 17 and test their skills in stroke play and match play. There is some added pressure, too: College scouts are eyeing them.
“It’s a little bit different with the college coaches here watching you,” said Nicole Morales, a 17-year-old golfer from New York. “Those 3-foot putts seem like 7-foot putts.”
Winnetka native Isabelle Kane is hoping she has an advantage this week, because she’s familiar with the course.
“I’ve played it a couple of times. It’s nice. I’m looking forward to it,” the 15-year-old said.
The USGA had a record number of entries this year. Though 1,086 tried to qualify, only the cream of the crop made it. Maybe the next big LPGA star is there.
“We’re waiting to see who it is,” Kane said.
It’s a big production. They have over 320 caddies working this week and 140 volunteers. The championship is free and runs through Saturday.