Wednesday, November 21, 2007

BMW Championship/Western Open in Chitown

The PGA Tour announced today that the BMW Championship (Western Open to me) will be in Chicago at Cog Hill from 2009-2011. Originally, Crooked Stick was supposed to host the tournament in 2010, but is now slated to host in 2012. Clearly this is in response to the backlash from Chicagoland golf fans that were irate that the PGA Tour was moving their event around while leaving others in the Playoffs alone, as well as turning their back on years of Chicago golf history.

For the record, I am in favor of traveling venues for this event - as I am for all of the Playoff events. If they want to be treated like majors, they should act like them and try new venues.

Tournament Director John Kaczkowski of the Western Golf Association explains the change in plans:

The new schedule for the BMW Championship is a plus for everyone, especially the golf fans of Chicago and Indianapolis. We're looking forward to playing three consecutive years in Chicago beginning in 2009. It also makes sense to move the BMW Championship to Crooked Stick in 2012 with Chicago set to host the Ryder Cup that year at Medinah Country Club. Our partnership with BMW and the PGA TOUR allows us to generate significant funds for the tournament's sole beneficiary, the Evans Scholars Foundation, and this schedule will enhance that commitment.
So, the WGA thinks that Chicago cannot handle two significant events within two months of each other? That's some odd logic, but it is an excuse other than, "We don't think Indiana can really draw much of a crowd." They may not really think this.

The rationale actually sounds much better when Crooked Stick reps later explain that it would be tough to hold a USGA event in 2009 and then this event in 2010. That sounds much more logical since it is on the same course.

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