Buick Open

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Buick Open
Tournament information
LocationGrand Blanc, Michigan
Established1958
Course(s)Warwick Hills G&CC
Tour(s)PGA Tour
FormatStroke play
Final year2009
Tournament record score
Aggregate262 Robert Wrenn (1987)
To par−26 Robert Wrenn (1987)
Final champion
Tiger Woods

The Buick Open was a PGA Tour golf tournament from 1958 to 2009. In 2007, the tournament was held at the end of June, a change from its traditional spot between The Open Championship and the PGA Championship. Regardless, many prominent players used it as a "tune-up" for the subsequent major.

For the event's first decade, the Buick Open Invitational was played at Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club in Grand Blanc, Michigan. After 1969, professional golf events in the area fell off the PGA Tour schedule and a series of pro-ams and other similarly unofficial events took place, mostly at Flint Golf Club in Flint, Michigan.

Flint native, and PGA touring professional Larry Mancour had returned to Michigan to play in the Buick Open and stayed to build the Grand Blanc Golf Club. He then added nine holes at the Flint Elks Golf Club where he remained the professional for 20 years. He rescued the Buick Open when General Motors dropped sponsorship of the tournament. With local Buick dealers Mancour started the Little Buick Open in 1969. It drew players and fans and led to the rebirth of the Buick Open in 1977.

The Buick Open officially made its return to the PGA Tour in 1977 at the Flint Elks Club, and in 1978 the event returned to Warwick Hills G&CC, where it remained until its demise.

The Associated Press reported July 28, 2009 that General Motors would end its sponsorship of the Buick Open after the 2009 tournament, in order to devote its marketing resources to cars and trucks.[1] The PGA Tour replaced the tournament with the Greenbrier Classic at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.[2]

As in the 1970s, a series of pro-ams and other unofficial events now take place in Grand Blanc, with the AJGA's Randy Wise Open taking place at Warwick Hills and most pro-ams and a golf festival at the Jewel of Grand Blanc (the former Grand Blanc Golf Club).

In 2014, an unrelated tournament with the same name was started in China. The event is played on PGA Tour China.

In 2018, the former General Motors financing arm, now Ally Bank, returned to Warwick Hills to sponsor a PGA Tour Champions event, The Ally Challenge.

Fans[edit]

The 17th hole at Warwick, a par 3, is known for having one of the rowdiest galleries in professional golf. Fans often created chants directed at particular golfers. The famed 17th hole was also known by locals as the second largest outdoor cocktail party in the world (presumably deferring to the annual Florida–Georgia college football game as the largest). Players at the tournament loved the hole because of the atmosphere it creates. "This is a great tournament to play in, it's a beer drinkers tournament," said John Daly.

Long hitters[edit]

In its final years, the tournament was dominated by long hitters. Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, Brian Bateman, and Kenny Perry combined for eight wins in its final nine years. Several other players ranked highly in driving distance finished second during that span, including Woods, Jason Gore, Geoff Ogilvy, Bubba Watson, and John Daly.[3]

Winners[edit]

Year Player Country Score To par Margin
of victory
Runner(s)-up Winner's
share ($)
Buick Open
2009 Tiger Woods (3)  United States 268 −20 3 strokes Australia Greg Chalmers
Australia John Senden
United States Roland Thatcher
918,000
2008 Kenny Perry (2)  United States 269 −19 1 stroke United States Woody Austin
United States Bubba Watson
900,000
2007 Brian Bateman  United States 273 −15 1 stroke United States Woody Austin
United States Jason Gore
United States Justin Leonard
882,000
2006 Tiger Woods (2)  United States 264 −24 3 strokes United States Jim Furyk 864,000
2005 Vijay Singh (3)  Fiji 264 −24 4 strokes United States Zach Johnson
United States Tiger Woods
828,000
2004 Vijay Singh (2)  Fiji 265 −23 1 stroke United States John Daly 810,000
2003 Jim Furyk  United States 267 −21 2 strokes United States Briny Baird
United States Chris DiMarco
Australia Geoff Ogilvy
United States Tiger Woods
720,000
2002 Tiger Woods  United States 271 −17 4 strokes United States Fred Funk
United States Brian Gay
United States Mark O'Meara
Mexico Esteban Toledo
594,000
2001 Kenny Perry  United States 263 −25 2 strokes United States Chris DiMarco
United States Jim Furyk
558,000
2000 Rocco Mediate  United States 268 −20 1 stroke United States Chris Perry 486,000
1999 Tom Pernice, Jr.  United States 270 −18 1 stroke United States Tom Lehman
United States Ted Tryba
United States Bob Tway
432,000
1998 Billy Mayfair  United States 271 −17 2 strokes United States Scott Verplank 324,000
1997 Vijay Singh  Fiji 273 −15 4 strokes United States Tom Byrum
United States Russ Cochran
South Africa Ernie Els
United States Brad Fabel
Japan Naomichi Ozaki
United States Curtis Strange
270,000
1996 Justin Leonard  United States 266 −22 5 strokes United States Chip Beck 216,000
1995 Woody Austin  United States 270 −18 Playoff United States Mike Brisky 216,000
1994 Fred Couples  United States 270 −18 2 strokes United States Corey Pavin 198,000
1993 Larry Mize  United States 272 −16 1 stroke United States Fuzzy Zoeller 180,000
1992 Dan Forsman  United States 276 −12 Playoff Australia Steve Elkington
United States Brad Faxon
180,000
1991 Brad Faxon  United States 271 −17 Playoff United States Chip Beck 180,000
1990 Chip Beck  United States 272 −16 1 stroke United States Mike Donald
United States Hale Irwin
United States Fuzzy Zoeller
180,000
1989 Leonard Thompson  United States 273 −15 1 stroke United States Billy Andrade
United States Payne Stewart
United States Doug Tewell
180,000
1988 Scott Verplank  United States 268 −20 2 strokes United States Doug Tewell 126,000
1987 Robert Wrenn  United States 262 −26 7 strokes United States Dan Pohl 108,000
1986 Ben Crenshaw  United States 270 −18 1 stroke United States J. C. Snead
United States Doug Tewell
90,000
1985 Ken Green  United States 268 −20 4 strokes Australia Wayne Grady 81,000
1984 Denis Watson  Zimbabwe 271 −17 1 stroke United States Payne Stewart 72,000
1983 Wayne Levi  United States 272 −16 1 stroke Japan Isao Aoki
United States Calvin Peete
63,000
1982 Lanny Wadkins  United States 273 −15 1 stroke United States Tom Kite 63,000
1981 Hale Irwin  United States 277 −11 Playoff United States Bobby Clampett
United States Peter Jacobsen
United States Gil Morgan
63,000
Buick-Goodwrench Open
1980 Peter Jacobsen  United States 276 −12 1 stroke United States Billy Kratzert
United States Mark Lye
45,000
1979 John Fought  United States 280 −8 Playoff United States Jim Simons 27,000
1978 Jack Newton  Australia 280 −8 Playoff United States Mike Sullivan 20,000
Buick Open
1977 Bobby Cole  South Africa 271 −17 1 stroke United States Fred Marti 20,000
1970–76: No official tournaments
Buick Open Invitational
1969 Dave Hill  United States 277 −11 2 strokes United States Frank Beard 25,000
1968 Tom Weiskopf  United States 280 −8 1 stroke United States Mike Hill 25,000
1967 Julius Boros (2)  United States 283 −5 3 strokes United States Bob Goalby
United States R. H. Sikes
United States Bert Yancey
20,000
1966 Phil Rodgers  United States 284 −4 2 strokes United States Johnny Pott
United States Kermit Zarley
20,000
1965 Tony Lema (2)  United States 280 −8 2 strokes United States Johnny Pott 20,000
1964 Tony Lema  United States 277 −11 1 stroke United States Dow Finsterwald 8,000
1963 Julius Boros  United States 274 −14 5 strokes United States Dow Finsterwald 9,000
1962 Bill Collins  United States 284 −4 1 stroke United States Dave Ragan 9,000
1961 Jack Burke, Jr.  United States 284 −4 Playoff United States Billy Casper
United States Johnny Pott
9,000
1960 Mike Souchak  United States 282 −6 1 stroke United States Gay Brewer
United States Art Wall, Jr.
9,000
1959 Art Wall, Jr.  United States 282 −6 Playoff United States Dow Finsterwald
1958 Billy Casper  United States 285 −3 1 stroke United States Ted Kroll
United States Arnold Palmer

Unofficial events in the 1970s[edit]

Flint Elks Open

Lake Michigan Classic

Vern Parsell Buick Open

References[edit]

  1. ^ "AP Source: GM to End Sponsorship of Buick Open". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-07-28.[dead link] (Defunct prior to 7/10)
  2. ^ "Greenbrier Classic Announcement". Bloomberg. 2009-08-05. Retrieved 2009-08-05.
  3. ^ "Buick Open Winners". Archived from the original on 2012-09-07. Retrieved 2008-06-23.

External links[edit]