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Druley: Rich Harvest farms to host international event

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012 5:31 a.m. CST • Updated: Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012 4:15 p.m. CST
Caption
(Kane County Chronicle File Photo)
Betty Ann and and her husband Jerry Rich look out over the first tee during a practice round of the 2009 Solheim Cup at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove.

Golf-related wares understandably dominate the annual PGA Merchandise Show each January.

As Rich Harvest Farms owner Jerry Rich sees it, an item not confined to an Orlando, Fla., convention center stands to be the talk of 2013.

The upcoming event marks the 60th – or diamond – anniversary, when Rich plans an appropriately sterling announcement about the return of international women’s golf to his private Sugar Grove course later this decade.

“The only thing that I’ve been really talking about is the men having The Masters and now the women have their event,” Rich said Monday. “That’s how big we’re having it, and it’s going to be a real spectacular event here in the Chicagoland area at Rich Harvest Farms for years to come.”

While Rich remained politely mum on other details – including a name and overall structure – he deferred to an official international announcement from Orlando set for Jan. 24 on The Golf Channel.

Rich said the inaugural biennial event, slated for 2014, likely would be held elsewhere, but Rich Harvest would be the permanent host during all even years thereafter.

In 2009, Rich Harvest hosted the LPGA Solheim Cup, another biennial gathering pitting teams from the United States and Europe. Rich already was laying groundwork then to bring international golf back to Kane County, maintaining contact with LPGA and Solheim officials in a mission to truly highlight the international scope of women’s golf.

Seven of the LPGA’s top 10 money winners in 2012 were of Asian descent.

“At the Solheim Cup, it was, ‘Rah, rah USA,’ or it was, ‘Rah, rah Europe,’ ” Rich said. “Now there’s the potential to cheer for a number of countries involved.”

The Rich Harvest event would not spell the end of the Solheim Cup, which still will alternate between American and European host sites during odd-numbered years, Rich said.

Rich Harvest recently was awarded a 2014 NCAA men’s regional tournament. The Western Golf Association’s 2015 Western Amateur and 2017 Centennial Western Junior also are set to descend on the course.

Rich greets each chance to be hospitable – and grow the game – with equal fervor, but was speaking of the looming international announcement when he said this:

“Everybody’s looking for the next big event at Rich Harvest. I tell them be patient; we’ve got something very special coming.”

Knights rolling: The Kaneland girls basketball team defended its Immaculate Conception Tournament title with Friday’s 33-27 victory against the host team.

Kaneland (4-0) limited IC to no more than five points in all but the third quarter.

Allyson O’Herron collected six steals in the Knights’ final two tournament games, while Brooke Harner had five in the same span.

Recommended (Quick) reading: Once you get through digesting today’s Chronicle, there’s a New York Times magazine piece on former Geneva and Northern Illinois linebacker Pat Schiller that’s well worth checking out.

Log on to www.nytimes.com/pages/magazine/index.html to find the cover story “The Burden of Dreams” from Sunday’s issue.

The story examines Schiller’s experience as an Atlanta Falcons practice squad rookie and his ongoing push to make the team’s roster.

Schiller’s uncle, Richard Siebert, is the author. The older brother of Schiller’s mom, Cathy, Siebert spent extensive time with his nephew for the story and includes one particularly entertaining line when he calls Schiller “a 23-year-old with the medicine cabinet of a septuagenarian.”

• Kevin Druley is a sports writer for the Kane County Chronicle. He can be reached at 630-845-5347 or kdruley@shawmedia.com.

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