U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee

U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee
U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee
Tournament information
Location Brown Deer, Wisconsin
Established 1940
Course(s) Brown Deer Park Golf Course
Par 70
Length 6,759 yards
Tour(s) PGA Tour
Format Stroke play
Prize fund $4,000,000
Month played July
Tournament record score
Aggregate 260 Loren Roberts (2000)
260 Ben Crane (2005)
260 Corey Pavin (2006)
To par -20 Ben Crane (2005)
-20 Corey Pavin (2006)
Current champion
Bo Van Pelt

The U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee was a regular golf tournament on the PGA Tour. It was played annually in July in the Milwaukee suburb of Brown Deer, Wisconsin. The tournament was held at the Brown Deer Park Golf Course. U.S. Bancorp was the main sponsor of the tournament. The 2009 purse was $4,000,000, with $720,000 going to the winner. The tournament was run by Milwaukee Golf Charities, Inc., with proceeds from the tournament going to a variety of Wisconsin charities.

Professional golf in Milwaukee started sporadically with events in 1940 and 1951 and a seven year run from 1955-1961. In 1968, the tournament made a strong reappearance on the Tour as the Greater Milwaukee Open (or GMO), competing against the British Open by offering a $200,000 purse (second highest on the Tour) with a $40,000 first prize. Lee Trevino, the 1968 U.S. Open winner, decided to play in the GMO instead of the British Open, in order to help the reborn tournament.

In 2004, U.S. Bank signed on as title sponsor. In July 2006, U.S. Bank and Milwaukee Golf Charities Inc. announced that U.S. Bank will remain the sponsor for at least three more years.[1]

The tournament has been played at various golf courses in the Milwaukee area:

  • North Hills Country Club, Menomonee Falls, 1940, 1951, 1960-61
  • Blue Mound Golf Club, Wauwatosa, 1955
  • Tripoli Country Club, Milwaukee, 1956-9, 1971-72
  • North Shore Country Club, Mequon, 1968-70
  • Tuckaway Country Club, Franklin, 1973-93
  • Brown Deer Park Golf Course, Brown Deer, 1994-2009.

The tournament was nationally televised beginning in 1989. Tiger Woods made his professional debut at the Milwaukee tournament on August 29, 1996, four days after winning his third consecutive U.S. Amateur title. He made the cut at the GMO and finished tied for 60th place, earning a modest $2,544.[1]

The event ended after the 2009 tournament. U.S. Bank announced that it would not renew its sponsorship after the 2009 event. Secondary sponsor Aurora Health Care also announced that it would substantially cut back on its financial involvement. Before U.S. Bank's sponsorship, the tournament survived thanks to the help of late philanthropist Jane Pettit. Its slot on the PGA Tour schedule against the British Open, along with low attendance and TV ratings, were reasons cited by U.S. Bank for pulling out of the event.[2] The Greater Milwaukee Charities organization has closed it offices and has shut down.

Contents

Winners

U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee

U.S. Bank in Milwaukee

Greater Milwaukee Open

Milwaukee Open Invitational

Miller Open Invitational

Miller High Life Open

Blue Ribbon Open

Milwaukee Open

Tournament highlights

  • 1968: Dave Stockton wins the first Greater Milwaukee Open despite twice striking spectators with his drives in the final round. He beats Sam Snead by four shots.[3]
  • 1969: Ken Still shoots a final round 65 to beat Gary Player by two strokes. The win all but clinches Still a spot on the Ryder Cup team.[4]
  • 1970: Deane Beman makes the most of his withdrawal from the Open Championship to play in Milwaukee instead. He beats Don Massengale, Ted Hayes, and Dick Crawford by three shots.[5]
  • 1974: Ed Sneed is the tournament's first wire-to-wire winner. He beats Grier Jones by 4 shots.[6]
  • 1975: 51-year-old Art Wall, Jr. beats Gary McCord by one shot.[7]
  • 1978: Lee Elder defeats Lee Trevino on the 8th hole of a sudden death playoff.[8]
  • 1979: Black golfer Calvin Peete, who did not take up golf until he was 23-years-old, wins for the first time on the PGA Tour. He shoots a final round 65 to beat Jim Simons, Lee Trevino, and Victor Regalado by five shots.[9]
  • 1982: Calvin Peete wins at Milwaukee and on the PGA Tour for the second time and in almost carbon copy fashion from his 1979 win. He finishes two strokes ahead of Victor Regalado who was also runner-up in 1979.[10]
  • 1985: Jack Nicklaus competes in Milwaukee for the first time as a professional.[11] He finishes second, four strokes behind winner Jim Thorpe.[12]
  • 1986: Corey Pavin wins in Milwaukee for the first time. He birdies the 4th hole of a sudden death playoff to defeat Dave Barr.[13]
  • 1989: Greg Norman competes in Milwaukee for the first time. He beats Andy Bean by 3 shots.[14]
  • 1993: Billy Mayfair holes a 20-foot chip shot on the fourth hole of a three-way sudden death playoff to defeat Mark Calcavecchia and earn his first PGA Tour title. Ted Schulz, who also made the playoff, had dropped out on the first playoff hole after making bogey.[15]
  • 1997: Loren Roberts attempt to become the first Greater Milwaukee Open champion to defend his title is foiled when Scott Hoch sinks a 60-foot chip shot for eagle on the 72nd hole to beat Roberts and David Sutherland by one shot.[16]
  • 1999: Carlos Franco wins for the second time in his rookie season on the PGA Tour. He beats Tom Lehman by two shots.[17]
  • 2003: Kenny Perry birdies the 72nd hole to win by one shot over Steve Allan and Heath Slocum.[18]
  • 2006: Corey Pavin sets a 9-hole PGA Tour scoring record, 26, on his way to a first round 61.[19] Pavin, who had first won in Milwaukee in 1986, goes on to win the tournament for a second time, beating Jerry Kelly by two shots.[20]
  • 2009: Bo Van Pelt wins the final edition of the tournament. He defeats John Mallinger on the second hole of a sudden death playoff.[21]

References

External links


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