Greater Milwaukee Open

The Greater Milwaukee Open was a regular golf tournament in Wisconsin on the PGA Tour. For 42 years, it was played annually in the Milwaukee area, the final sixteen editions in the north suburb of Brown Deer at the Brown Deer Park Golf Course. U.S. Bancorp was the main sponsor of the tournament in its final years and the last purse in 2009 was $4 million, with a winner's share of $720,000. The event was run by Milwaukee Golf Charities, Inc., with proceeds going to a variety of Wisconsin charities.

Greater Milwaukee Open
Tournament information
LocationBrown Deer, Wisconsin
Established1968
Course(s)Brown Deer Park Golf Course
(1994–2009)
Tuckaway Country Club
(1973–1993) in Franklin
Tripoli Country Club[1]
(1971–1972) in Milwaukee
North Shore Country Club
(1968–1970) in Mequon
Par70, in 2009
Length6,759 yards (6,180 m)
Tour(s)PGA Tour
FormatStroke play
Prize fund$4.0 million
Month playedJuly
Final year2009
Tournament record score
Aggregate260 Loren Roberts (2000)
260 Ben Crane (2005)
260 Corey Pavin (2006)
To par−24 Loren Roberts (2000)
Final champion
United States Bo Van Pelt
Brown Deer is located in the United States
Brown Deer
Brown
Deer
Location in the United States
Brown Deer is located in Wisconsin
Brown Deer
Brown
Deer
Location in Wisconsin

The tournament debuted in 1968 as the Greater Milwaukee Open (or GMO),[2] 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 recent U.S. Open winner, chose to play in the more lucrative GMO instead of the 1968 British Open.[3]

Art Wall Jr., the 1959 Masters champion, won in 1975 at age 51 for his first tour win in nine years,[4][5] his fourteenth and final win on the tour. Wall was one stroke ahead of 27-year-old runner-up Gary McCord, later a noted golf commentator, but winless in his career on the PGA Tour.

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.[6]

The tournament was played at four courses in the Milwaukee area:

Venue City Events Years Coordinates
North Shore Country Club Mequon 3 1968–1970 43°12′47″N 87°56′56″W / 43.213°N 87.949°W / 43.213; -87.949
Tripoli Country Club [1] Milwaukee 2 1971–1972 43°09′11″N 87°58′01″W / 43.153°N 87.967°W / 43.153; -87.967
Tuckaway Country Club Franklin 21 1973–1993 42°53′56″N 88°00′07″W / 42.899°N 88.002°W / 42.899; -88.002
Brown Deer Park Golf Course Brown Deer 16 1994–2009 43°09′18″N 87°57′11″W / 43.155°N 87.953°W / 43.155; -87.953

It was nationally televised beginning in 1989, and Tiger Woods made his professional debut in 1996 at Brown Deer with a 67 on August 29,[7] four days after winning his third consecutive U.S. Amateur title in Oregon.[8] At age 20, he made the cut and tied for 60th place, earning a modest $2,544.[9][10]

The event ended when 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.[11] The Greater Milwaukee Charities organization has closed its offices and has shut down.

WinnersEdit

Year Winner Country Score To par Margin of
victory
Runner(s)-up Winner's
share ($)
U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee
2009 Bo Van Pelt   United States 267 −13 Playoff   John Mallinger 720,000
2008 Richard S. Johnson   Sweden 264 −16 1 stroke   Ken Duke 720,000
2007 Joe Ogilvie   United States 266 −14 4 strokes   Tim Clark
  Tim Herron
  Charlie Wi
720,000
2006 Corey Pavin (2)   United States 260 −20 2 strokes   Jerry Kelly 720,000
2005 Ben Crane   United States 260 −20 4 strokes   Scott Verplank 684,000
U.S. Bank in Milwaukee
2004 Carlos Franco (2)   Paraguay 267 −13 2 strokes   Fred Funk
  Brett Quigley
630,000
Greater Milwaukee Open
2003 Kenny Perry   United States 268 −12 1 stroke   Stephen Allan
  Heath Slocum
630,000
2002 Jeff Sluman (2)   United States 261 −23 4 strokes   Tim Herron
  Steve Lowery
558,000
2001 Shigeki Maruyama   Japan 266 −18 Playoff   Charles Howell III 558,000
2000 Loren Roberts (2)   United States 260 −24 8 strokes   Franklin Langham 450,000
1999 Carlos Franco   Paraguay 264 −20 2 strokes   Tom Lehman 414,000
1998 Jeff Sluman   United States 265 −19 1 stroke   Steve Stricker 324,000
1997 Scott Hoch (2)   United States 268 −16 1 stroke   Loren Roberts
  David Sutherland
234,000
1996 Loren Roberts   United States 265 −19 Playoff   Jerry Kelly 216,000
1995 Scott Hoch   United States 269 −15 3 strokes   Marco Dawson 180,000
1994 Mike Springer   United States 268 −16 1 stroke   Loren Roberts 180,000
1993 Billy Mayfair   United States 270 −18 Playoff   Mark Calcavecchia
  Ted Schulz
180,000
1992 Richard Zokol   Canada 269 −19 2 strokes   Dick Mast 180,000
1991 Mark Brooks   United States 270 −18 1 stroke   Robert Gamez 180,000
1990 Jim Gallagher Jr.   United States 271 −17 Playoff   Ed Dougherty
  Billy Mayfair
162,000
1989 Greg Norman   Australia 269 −19 3 strokes   Andy Bean 144,000
1988 Ken Green   United States 268 −20 6 strokes   Mark Calcavecchia
  Jim Gallagher Jr.
  Donnie Hammond
  Dan Pohl
126,000
1987 Gary Hallberg   United States 269 −19 2 strokes   Wayne Levi
  Robert Wrenn
108,000
1986 Corey Pavin   United States 272 −16 Playoff   Dave Barr 72,000
1985 Jim Thorpe   United States 274 −14 3 strokes   Jack Nicklaus 54,000
1984 Mark O'Meara   United States 272 −16 5 strokes   Tom Watson 54,000
1983 Morris Hatalsky   United States 275 −13 Playoff   George Cadle 45,000
1982 Calvin Peete (2)   United States 274 −14 2 strokes   Victor Regalado 45,000
1981 Jay Haas   United States 274 −14 3 strokes   Chi-Chi Rodríguez 45,000
1980 Billy Kratzert   United States 266 −22 4 strokes   Howard Twitty 36,000
1979 Calvin Peete   United States 269 −19 5 strokes   Victor Regalado
  Jim Simons
  Lee Trevino
36,000
1978 Lee Elder   United States 275 −13 Playoff   Lee Trevino 30,000
1977 Dave Eichelberger (2)   United States 278 −10 2 strokes   Morris Hatalsky
  Gary McCord
  Mike Morley
26,000
1976 Dave Hill   United States 270 −18 3 strokes   John Jacobs 26,000
1975 Art Wall Jr.   United States 271 −17 1 stroke   Gary McCord 26,000
1974 Ed Sneed   United States 276 −12 4 strokes   Grier Jones 26,000
1973 Dave Stockton (2)   United States 276 −12 1 stroke   Homero Blancas
  Hubert Green
26,000
1972 Jim Colbert   United States 271 −13 1 stroke   Buddy Allin
  Chuck Courtney
  George Johnson
  Grier Jones
25,000
1971 Dave Eichelberger   United States 270 −14 1 stroke   Ralph Johnston
  Bob Shaw
25,000
1970 Deane Beman   United States 276 −12 3 strokes   Richard Crawford
  Ted Hayes, Jr.
  Don Massengale
22,000
1969 Ken Still   United States 277 −11 2 strokes   Gary Player 20,000
1968 Dave Stockton   United States 275 −13 4 strokes   Sam Snead 40,000

Note: Green highlight indicates scoring records.

Tournament highlightsEdit

  • 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.[12]
  • 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.[13]
  • 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 Richard Crawford by three shots.[14]
  • 1974: Ed Sneed is the tournament's first wire-to-wire winner. He beats Grier Jones by 4 shots.[15]
  • 1975: 51-year-old Art Wall Jr. beats Gary McCord by one shot.[16]
  • 1978: Lee Elder defeats Lee Trevino on the 8th hole of a sudden death playoff.[17]
  • 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.[18]
  • 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.[19]
  • 1985: Jack Nicklaus competes in Milwaukee for the first time as a professional.[20] He finishes second, three strokes behind winner Jim Thorpe.[21]
  • 1986: Corey Pavin wins in Milwaukee for the first time. He birdies the 4th hole of a sudden death playoff to defeat Dave Barr.[22]
  • 1989: Greg Norman competes in Milwaukee for the first time. He beats Andy Bean by 3 shots.[23]
  • 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 had dropped out on the first playoff hole after making bogey.[24]
  • 1996: Tiger Woods makes his professional debut at the age of 20 four days after winning his third consecutive U.S. Amateur title.[7][8] He shoots -7 for the tournament (67-69-73-68), including his first-ever hole-in-one as a professional on the 14th hole during his final round, to finish tied for 60th and earn $2,544.[9][10][25]
  • 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.[26]
  • 1999: Carlos Franco wins for the second time in his rookie season on the PGA Tour. He beats Tom Lehman by two shots.[27]
  • 2003: Kenny Perry birdies the 72nd hole to win by one shot over Stephen Allan and Heath Slocum.[28]
  • 2006: Corey Pavin sets a 9-hole PGA Tour scoring record, 26, on his way to a first round 61.[29] 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.[30]
  • 2009: Bo Van Pelt wins the final edition of the tournament. He defeats John Mallinger on the second hole of a sudden death playoff.[31]

Multiple winnersEdit

Eight men won the GMO more than once, but none more than twice.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Tripoli layout". Milwaukee Sentinel. July 13, 1972. p. 4, part 2.
  2. ^ D'Amato, Gary (July 15, 2007). "Thrilling ride remembered". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. p. 5C.
  3. ^ "Weiskopf and Trevino near money lead". The Dispatch. Lexington, North Carolina. UPI. July 10, 1968. p. 12.
  4. ^ "Art Wall a winner at Milwaukee". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. (Florida). Associated Press. July 7, 1975. p. 1C.
  5. ^ "I don't think 51 is old - golfer Art Wall". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. (Florida). Associated Press. July 7, 1975. p. 4C.
  6. ^ U.S. Bank will remain title sponsor for three more years
  7. ^ a b Stapleton, Arnie (August 30, 1996). "Woods shoots a 67 in first pro round". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. p. 1D.
  8. ^ a b Sirak, Ron (August 26, 1996). "Tiger stakes his claim to golf history". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. p. 2B.
  9. ^ a b Manoyan, Dan (September 2, 1996). "One shot is all Roberts needs". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. p. 1C.
  10. ^ a b "Roberts takes playoff to win in Milwaukee". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). news services. September 2, 1996. p. 2B.
  11. ^ U.S. Bank pulls its support as golf tournament's title sponsor
  12. ^ Ricochet Golf Wins For Dave Stockton
  13. ^ Non-winner Ken Still wins at Milwaukee
  14. ^ Deane Beman Wins At Milwaukee Open
  15. ^ Ed Sneed Wins At Milwaukee Open
  16. ^ 51-Year-Old Art Wall Wins Milwaukee Open
  17. ^ Elder beats Trevino in playoff to win Milwaukee Open
  18. ^ Calvin Peete breezes to Milwaukee Open victory
  19. ^ Calvin Peete victor at Milwaukee Open
  20. ^ Nicklaus-Nicklaus Set To Compete In Milwaukee Open
  21. ^ Thorpe bests Nicklaus
  22. ^ Pavin defeats Barr on 4th playoff hole
  23. ^ Norman claims Milwaukee title, with late spurt
  24. ^ Mayfair avoids Milwaukee Slip Up
  25. ^ 1996 Greater Milwaukee Open Leaderboard The Golf Channel on NBC
  26. ^ Hoch wins Milwaukee
  27. ^ Franco wins 2nd tournament in 9 weeks
  28. ^ Perry wins Greater Milwaukee Open
  29. ^ Pavin Shoots 26 to Set PGA Tour’s 9-Hole Mark
  30. ^ Pavin ends 10-year title drought in Milwaukee
  31. ^ Bo Van Pelt wins PGA Milwaukee title playoff

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 43°09′18″N 87°57′11″W / 43.155°N 87.953°W / 43.155; -87.953