Preparing for the Pros at Wilmington Country Club | The latest from WDEL news


Having taken some of the worst that Mother Nature could dish out, Wilmington Country Club (WCC) is gearing up to host the best in men’s professional golf.

The club’s South Course will host the BMW Championship, and the top 70 golfers remaining in the FedEx Cup playoffs, August 16-21.


Governor John Carney was at the WCC on Monday June 27, 2022 to help promote the event which is just over fifty days away.

Carney said for the state of Delaware that it’s the kind of marketing you can’t buy.

“You really can’t, and again that’s why it’s so exciting,” Carney said.

“Obviously tourism is a big part of our economy here in Delaware and there will be an opportunity for a lot of people to see the Jackie Kennedy (exhibit) in Winterthur down the street, and enjoy the great restaurants, all the things that happen on the Riverfront. It’s going to be a really exciting time for our state.”

The tournament will be played two years after an EF-1 tornado damaged or destroyed 300 trees at the facility, including one that was 250 years old, and washed out or blew away most of the bunkers on the North and South courses.

Golf architect Andrew Green was brought on board not only to help the club recover from tornado damage, but also to make some changes to strengthen the South Course’s defenses against the PGA Tour’s heavy hitters.

Some new tee boxes and bunkering were added along with a replica of the course’s 14th green beyond its original site, which will extend the South Course to over 7,500 yards.

Wilmington Country Club

The roots of the BMW Championship are in the Western Open in Chicagoland, which continues to benefit the Evans Scholars Foundation by providing college scholarships for caddies.

Monday’s media day featured Frank Yocum, an Evans Scholarship recipient from Garnet Valley, Pennsylvania, who has been a WCC caddy for five years.

Yocum is a quadruplet and said the scholarship has helped his parents ease the burden of paying four college tuition at the same time.

BMW Media Day

Governor John Carney talks with local Evans fellow Frank Yocum

Carney said Delaware comes full circle with Ed “Porky” Oliver, who won the western in 1941.

“He very appropriately caddyed at the old Wilmington Country Club, which is the golf course that now bears his name,” Carney said. “So the idea that the Western Open was a big part of his career in winning the championship there.

“Now we have the BMW Championship here. It benefits the caddies. He was a caddy. It all fits together. Really exciting for the state of Delaware.”

This is the first top-level professional golf tournament in Delaware since the McDonalds Championship, which became the LPGA Championship, was held at DuPont Country Club from 1987 to 2004.

The WCC has hosted major events in the past, including the 1913 US Women’s Amateur, the 1965 and 1978 Junior Amateurs, the 1971 US Amateur, the 1978 US Girls Junior, and the 2003 US Mid-Amateur.

The 2013 Palmer Cup competition between Europe and the United States was also held there. The team included future 2019 BMW Championship winner Justin Thomas.

However, most of the PGA’s top players have not played at the WCC, including Harry Higgs, who also addressed the media day event.

Higgs was born in Camden, New Jersey, and spent the first years of his life in the Philadelphia area.

Although he now lives in Dallas, Higgs is an avowed fan of the Philadelphia Eagles.

He currently ranks 140th in the FedEx Cup standings, which would leave him outside the top 125 cutoff line for the playoffs.

The BMW will host 70 players in the final event before the 30-man TOUR Championship the following week.