Rockford Pro-Am Golf Tournament
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The Rockford Pro-Am Golf Tournament, also known as the Rockford ProAm, is a one-day tournament featuring golf professionals, sponsors and amateur golf enthusiasts in order to raise funds for special organizations. It is the longest free-standing pro-am (not attached to the PGA or LPGA) event in the United States. It is held on the second Monday of July, which will directly follow the 2008 John Deere Classic, and is currently hosted by the Forest Hills Country Club in Rockford, Illinois. More commonly known as just the Rockford Pro-Am, the event celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2007.
There are 31 professionals are teamed up with teams of four amateurs. The professionals will vye for the professional title while their scores are added to the total of the teams they belong to award the team title. There was a three way tie for the team title in 2006. There was also a tie for the professional title with Alex Aragon and Jason Bohn with a 6 under par 66. They were followed by Kenny Perry and D.J. Trahan at 5 under par 67.
2008 will have 2003 champion and 2008 John Deere Classic Champion Kenny Perry and 2006 Co-Champion Alex Aragon participating.
The pro-am was started as a fund raiser for the three Rockford area hospitals in 1977 - Rockford Memorial Hospital, St. Anthony Hospital and SwedishAmerican Hospital and was initially hosted by the Rockford Country Club from 1977-1996. This was changed to being a benefit for non-profit organizations, three picked per year by the organizers.
Many celebrities and professional golfers have come to the event. For a few years in the early 1980s, comedian and ultimate golf enthusiast Bob Hope would come to entertain at a benefit gala at the then-newly opened MetroCentre the play in the pro-am the next day. Other entertainers who participated included Hope's long-time friend and fellow comedian George Burns and the star of TV's Wonder Woman Lynda Carter.
13 WREX broadcasts live from Forest Hills during the newscasts and produces a coverage program in the afternoon.