ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) Rockford is host to the longest free-standing Pro-Am in the nation. For more than four decades, the Forest City has proven to be a strong golf community. Monday, it was another successful day-long event.
For the first time in the 43-year history of the Rockford Pro-Am, the tournament was held at Aldeen Golf Club. This year, two-groups of high school golfers got the chance to play with the pros.
Auburn senior Adam Kuhar said playing in this event is something he's always wanted to do.
"I've caddied, I've held the leaderboard for many years now and I finally got the opportunity to play," said Kuhar. "But the ability for us just to keep it going just shows what a great golfing community we have and to get all these pros to come back out here for us."
Kevin Streelman won this year's Pro-Am, shooting a six-under. The Wheaton native said this victory was extra special.
"This is important to me and meaningful to me because I played an Illinois Junior Golf Association event here 25 years ago," said Streelman. "So to come back and see Aldeen and what great shape it's still in, how much it means to the community here, is special."
"The community here always turns out and comes out to support us. You see the kids growing bigger. You see the guys and gals you've had beers with in the past. Just to see what it means to the community and this tournament, I mean 43 years is incredible."
Now where does the Pro-Am go from here? Well, if it was up to the pros, they'd like to see a tour event here in Rockford.
"We do really well in a town such as Rockford," said 2016 U.S. Open champion Brittany Lang. "Not much to compete with as far as the pro sports. So you know, we do really well in those towns, I think it would be awesome for us."
Streelman agreed with Lang.
"The areas they can get to where you can just see how much it means to them, the LPGA, the support the women get, what Brittany (Lincicome) has done here, it's pretty cool. The more stops that they can get in areas like Rockford, the better it is for the game of golf."