Buick Open

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Buick Open
Tournament information
Location Grand Blanc, Michigan
Established 1958
Course(s) Warwick Hills G&CC
Tour(s) PGA Tour
Format Stroke play
Final year 2009
Tournament record score
Aggregate 262 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, it 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 at the Flint Elks where he remained the professional for 20 years. He rescued the Buick Open when General Motors dropped 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 17th hole at Warwick, a par 3, was known for having one of the rowdiest galleries in professional golf. Fans often created chants directed at particular golfers, making it a fun place to watch the tournament. 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.

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.[1]

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.[2] The PGA Tour replaced the tournament with the Greenbrier Classic at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.[3] 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).

Winners[edit]

Buick Open

Buick-Goodwrench Open

Buick Open

Flint Elks Open

Lake Michigan Classic

Vern Parsell Buick Open

  • 1972 Gary Groh (not PGA Tour event)
  • 1970–1971 No tournament

Buick Open Invitational

References[edit]

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

External links[edit]