- Western Open
The Western Open, a professional golf tournament, was first played in 1899. At the time of its 2006 playing, the Western Open was the 3rd oldest active PGA Tour tournament, after the British Open (began 1860) and U.S. Open (began 1895). Beginning 2007, the Western Open was renamed the BMW Championship, part of the FedEx Cup playoff series, and played through 2012 with the PGA Tour's point system as the sole qualification standard. It will not be open to amateurs.
Western Open title sponsors have included Beatrice, Centel, Sprint, Motorola, Advil, Golf Digest and Cialis.
The Western Open, founded and run by the Western Golf Association, was first played in 1899. Like the U.S. Open, in its early days it was usually won by visiting professionals from the United Kingdom. In its early decades it was widely regarded as a major championship, although this designation was unofficial and it is generally not included in tallies of golfers' major championship wins.
From the event's inception until 1961, it was played at a variety of midwestern locations, as well as places such as Arizona (Phoenix), Utah (Salt Lake City) and California (San Francisco, Los Angeles). In 1923, the Western Open was held at the Colonial Country Club in Memphis, Tennessee.
Beginning 1962, the Western Open settled into the Chicago, Illinois area, being played at different courses in and around the city. In 1974 the Western Open found an annual home at the Butler National Golf Club in Oak Brook, Illinois. It stayed this way until shortly after the 1990 tournament, when the PGA Tour adopted a policy of holding events only at clubs which allowed minorities and women to be members. This resulted in Butler National being replaced by the Cog Hill Golf & Country Club in Lemont, Illinois. The Dubsdread Course at Cog Hill played host to the Western Open from 1991 to 2006.
In 1899, the prize fund was $150, and the winner's share was $50. In 2006, the purse was $5,000,000, and the winner took home a 1st prize of $900,000.
In 2007, the Western Open was renamed - and changed in terms of invitational criteria - by the BMW Championship, part of the four-event FedEx Cup Playoff Series. The Western Golf Association will continue to have input in the running of the tournament.
The BMW Championship is to be played the weekend after Labor Day, and will be the last FedEx Cup playoff event before The Tour Championship. The event remains based in the Upper Midwest, with Cog Hill Golf & Country Club in Lemont, Illinois serving as the primary championship site. Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, Missouri hosted the championship in 2008, and Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Indiana is scheduled to host in 2012.
Cialis Western Open
- 2006 Trevor Immelman - South Africa
- 2005 Jim Furyk - United States
- 2004 Stephen Ames - Trinidad & Tobago / Canada
100th Western Open presented by Golf Digest
Advil Western Open
Motorola Western Open
- 1999 Tiger Woods - United States
- 1998 Joe Durant - United States
- 1997 Tiger Woods - United States
- 1996 Steve Stricker - United States
- 1995 Billy Mayfair - United States
- 1994 Nick Price - Zimbabwe
Sprint Western Open
Centel Western Open
Beatrice Western Open
- 1989 Mark McCumber - United States
- 1988 Jim Benepe - United States
- 1987 D. A. Weibring - United States
- 1986 Tom Kite - United States
- 1985 Scott Verplank - United States (amateur)
- 1984 Tom Watson - United States
- 1983 Mark McCumber - United States
- 1982 Tom Weiskopf - United States
- 1981 Ed Fiori - United States
- 1980 Scott Simpson - United States
- 1979 Larry Nelson - United States
- 1978 Andy Bean - United States
- 1977 Tom Watson - United States
- 1976 Al Geiberger - United States
- 1975 Hale Irwin - United States
- 1974 Tom Watson - United States
- Official site
- Coverage on the PGA Tour's official site
- Western Open results from 1970 to 2006 - Winners, Finishers, Scores and Earnings - includes 2007-and-after results of the BMW Championship
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