2009 Buick Open Key Storylines




John Bush, Media Official??????????


[email protected]


Dates: ?July 27-August 2, 2009

Where: Warwick Hills G&CC; Grand Blanc, MI??? ?????????? Par/Yards: 36-36?72/7,127

FedExCup: 500 points to winner

Purse: $5,100,000; Winner?s Share: $918,000

Format: 72-hole stroke play; Field: 156 professionals


KEY Storylines:

1.?????? Tiger Woods set to make first start at Buick Open since 2006

????????? After an opening-round even-par 72 in his first-ever appearance at the 1997 Buick Open, Woods has reeled off 31 consecutive under-par rounds at Warwick Hills and is a combined 137-under-par in eight appearances (average of 17.125 under par).

????????? Second in FedExCup standings with 2,051 points.

????????? With wins in 2002 and 2006, is one of five multiple winners of the event (Vijay Singh-3, Julius Boros-2, Tony Lema-2 and Kenny Perry-2).

????????? Seven top-10 finishes in eight career starts at the Buick Open, with a T11 finish in 2000 his worst showing (2006-1, 2005-T2, 2004-T3, 2003-T2, 2002-1, 2000-T11, 1998-T4, 1997-T8).

????????? Woods is one of 10 former Buick Open champions in the field, joining Jim Furyk, Rocco Mediate, Brian Bateman, Tom Pernice Jr., Justin Leonard, Brad Faxon, Billy Mayfair, Woody Austin and Scott Verplank.


2.?????? Buick Open to play integral role as FedExCup regular season winds to a close ? With the PGA TOUR Regular Season winding down, there will be many players in the Buick Open looking to secure top seedings for the PGA TOUR Playoffs, as well as players looking to ensure top-125 FedExCup status to gain entry into the Playoffs. The final events of the Regular Season (only four remain after the Buick Open) take on added significance for those on the bubble, given the fact that the field of the first Playoff event (The Barclays) has been reduced from 144 to 125 players.


FedExCup modifications for 2009:

????????? Shifting the points reset from the beginning of the Playoffs to after the BMW Championship, which means points earned during the TOUR Regular Season will be carried through the first three Playoff events

????????? Quintupling points awarded at Playoff tournaments relative to Regular Season tournaments

????????? Changing the field size of the Playoff events to 125 at The Barclays, 100 at the Deutsche Bank Championship, 70 at the BMW Championship and 30 at THE TOUR Championship; they previously were 144, 120, 70 and 30

????????? Streamlining the points structure for ease of understanding.


3.?????? Together Anything?s Possible ? The PGA TOUR has generated more than $1.4 billion in charitable contributions since its first donation in 1938. That figure wouldn?t be possible without the help of tournaments such as the Buick Open. The event?s impact on the TOUR was evident in 2008 as its primary charity, the Whaley Children?s Center, was named the PGA TOUR Charity of the Year.

????????? The Whaley Children’s Center serves abused and neglected children throughout the State of Michigan between the ages of 5 and 17. The Center teaches the children how to succeed as individuals, by providing continuity of care across all programs and supporting them with the resources so they can reach their potential.

????????? The Whaley Children?s Center operates the Buick Open?s ?will call? office each year.

????????? On Wednesday, July 29th at 10:15 a.m., the TOUR Wives Association will plant trees and flowers (provided by the Buick Open) on the grounds of Whaley Children?s Center, as well as paint and decorate (with children from Whaley Children?s Center) flower pots. One flower bed pot will be painted, decorated and auctioned off with proceeds benefiting the WCC.


4.?????? Jim Furyk seeks another trip into the winner?s circle at the Buick Open ? Furyk is seeking his first win since the 2007 Canadian Open, and Warwick Hills could be just the remedy for the 13-time TOUR winner.

????????? His win at the 2003 Buick Open is one of eight top-10 finishes at the tournament in 14 starts.

????????? T36 finish in 2008 snapped a streak of seven consecutive top-10 finishes at the Buick Open, dating to T2 finish in 2001.

????????? Amazing track record at Warwick Hills, with par-or-better scores in 55 of his 56 rounds (98.21 percent) at the Buick Open, including current streak of 41 straight. His only over-par effort was 3-over 75 in third round in 1997.

????????? 14th in FedExCup standings.


5.?????? Other player-related storylines

????????? Brian Gay — Eighth in FedExCup standings, one of six multiple winners on TOUR this year, Gay has won three career TOUR events by a total of 17 shots (2008 Mayakoba Golf Classic/2; Verizon Heritage/10; St. Jude Classic/5).


????????? Brandt Snedeker ? The 2007 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year looks fully recovered from rib injury that sidelined him for nearly two months earlier this year; finishing T5 at the AT&T National to secure exemption to British Open and most recently T2 at the John Deere Classic. Snedeker missed the cut at the 2008 Buick Open, one year after finishing T10 in his inaugural appearance at the tournament.


????????? Jamie Lovemark ?The 21-year-old from Rancho Santa Fe, CA, will make his second professional start of his career at the 2009 Buick Open, having recently turned pro after his junior season at the University of Southern California. During his freshman year at USC in 2006-07, Lovemark turned in perhaps the most successful season in USC men’s golf history as a freshman, capped by winning the NCAA individual title. The top-ranked golfer for much of the season, Lovemark earned the Arnold Palmer (national championship individual medalist), Jack Nicklaus (national player of the year) and Phil Mickelson (nation’s outstanding freshman) Awards and was tabbed a First Team All-American. That year, he lost to Chris Riley in a playoff at a Nationwide Tour event and posted the two best PGA Tour finishes of his career, a T-39 at the Buick Invitational and T-45 at the AT&T National. He also was named a first-team All-America for 2007-08, and missed parts of last year due to a rib injury suffered in a pick-up basketball game. In his amateur career, he has made five of eight cuts in PGA TOUR starts.


????????? Woody Austin ? The 1995 Buick Open champion enters the 2009 Buick Open with two consecutive runner-up finishes at the tournament. Most recently, he three-putted the 72nd hole to fall one shot shy of 2008 champ Kenny Perry, while in 2007 he finished in a three-way tie for second and one behind Brian Bateman. Austin is making his 15th start at the Buick Open, with six top-10s (1-1995, T2-2008, T2-2007, T3-1996, T4-2000, T7-2006) and 10 top-25 finishes.


ADDITIONAL Storylines:

6.?????? Buick Open to play big part in Presidents Cup team makeup ?The 10 automatic selections for both the United States and International Presidents Cup teams are finalized after the PGA Championship, just two weeks after the Buick Open. While two-time Buick Open champion Tiger Woods (No. 1) is a lock for the United States squad, Jim Furyk (No. 8), Justin Leonard (No. 9) and Brian Gay (No. 10) are three players vying to improve their Presidents Cup status at the Buick Open.


7.?????? Rich history abounds at Buick Open ? The Buick Open will be contested for the 50th time in 2009, and for the 44th time at Warwick Hills. The event boasts an impressive list of champions, including Julius Boros, Ben Crenshaw, Fred Couples, Vijay Singh and Tiger Woods, just to name a few.


8.?????? Buick Open often turns into birdie-fest ? For fans who appreciate low scores and a lot of birdies, the Buick Open is for them. Since 2000, the winning score has averaged nearly 21-under-par (-20.8).


9.?????? Tournament introduces LaCrosse Landing in 2009 – New to the tournament in 2009 is the LaCrosse Landing area presented at No. 17. Fans are invited to become members of the LaCrosse Landing (admission is free) and receive exclusive access to new bleacher seating and viewing areas on the popular 17th hole. The LaCrosse Landing is a unique interactive zone where one can get their personal swing analyzed by the GolfTec system, experience the new 2010 Buick LaCrosse and other luxury and environmentally-friendly vehicles, and pick up a complimentary sleeve of golf balls.


10.?? Celebrity Pro-Am packs punch at Buick Open ? The Celebrity Pro-Am includes athletes or ex-athletes from Detroit?s major league sports teams, including but not limited to the following: Detroit Lions (Jason Hanson, Dominic Raiola, Drew Stanton, Jim Swartz/head coach), Detroit Red Wings (Kirk Maltby) and Detroit Pistons (Bill Laimbeer, Vinnie Johnson).


11.?? Family Golf Clinic a big hit at Buick Open ? At noon on Tuesday, July 28, the tournament will open its gates and offer free admission to the Buick Open Family Golf Clinic, which will begin at 1 p.m.? Held on the driving range, the clinic will feature an inspirational and entertaining performance by Dennis Walters and his sidekick Super Dog Bucky. After a tragic accident, a paralyzed Walters has surpassed the odds to play golf, and will present an educational show filled with trick shots using only his upper body. The clinic also includes a visit by Ronald McDonald, the opportunity for kids to hit balls and receive instruction from PGA of America professionals, as well as collect a gift bag.


12.?? Historical Notes

????????? Prior to Kenny Perry?s win in 2008, the previous oldest winner of the Buick Open was Julius Boros, who won in 1967 at the age of 47 years, 3 months and 8 days.

????????? 2008 champion Kenny Perry has posted 23 consecutive rounds at par-or-better at Warwick Hills, with his last over-par effort coming during the opening round in 2002 (73). Overall, he has just seven over-par scores in 57 rounds at the Buick Open.

????????? Robert Wrenn holds the tournament record with a 26-under 262 effort in 1987, finishing seven strokes clear of Dan Pohl.

????????? Billy Mayfair (2001) and Tiger Woods (2005) share the Warwick Hills record of 11-under 61.

????????? The par-4 15th at Warwick Hills played as the second most difficult hole on the course in 2008, second only to the closing 18th hole. It marked just the third time since 1990 that it hasn?t ranked as the most difficult. In 2003 it ranked as the fourth toughest hole and in 1998 it was the fifth hardest.


Additional Off-The-Course Story Ideas

????????? Kodak Challenge ? The Kodak Challenge is a first-of-its kind competition that celebrates beautiful holes and memorable moments on TOUR, offering $1 million to the winner at its conclusion. There will be one designated Kodak Challenge Hole at 30 different TOUR events. Players, who must play at least 18 of the holes to be eligible, count their lowest score relative to par on the Kodak Challenge Hole made during an official competition round. The player with the lowest cumulative score at the end of the challenge wins. The featured hole at Warwick Hills will be the 17th hole. For up-to-date standings, please visit

????????? Twitter ? Twittering has become the rage all around the world, and the PGA TOUR is no exception. Several pros have already opened their own ?Twitter? site in order to communicate with their family, friends and fans, with Stewart Cink?s proving to be one of the most popular, with nearly 600,000 followers. Players with an asterick are scheduled to play the Buick Open:

????????? PGA TOUR ????????????????????

????????? * Boo Weekley????????????????

????????? * Chris DiMarco???????????????

????????? Davis Love III????????????????????

????????? Ian Poulter ??????????????????????

????????? * J.J. Henry?????????????????????

????????? * John Rollins? ????????????????

????????? * Notah Begay III?

????????? Parker McLachlin ???????????

????????? Pat Perez ???????????????????????

????????? Paul Casey ????????????????????

????????? Peter Jacobsen????????????????

????????? Rory McIlroy????????????????????

????????? * Spencer Levin ???????????????

????????? Stewart Cink????????????????????

????????? * Stuart Appleby??????????????

????????? Trevor Immelman??????????????

????????? * John Daly??????????????????????

????????? J.L. Lewis???????????? ???????????

????????? Tadd Fujikawa?????????????????

????????? Facebook ? Facebook is a social utility that allows users to keep up with friends and family by uploading messaging, posting photos, sharing links/videos, and learning more about the people they meet in person and online. The TOUR has its own site for fans to learn more about the TOUR in general. It can be accessed at

????????? Course Setup – What is the process of setting up the course for a PGA TOUR event?? Aspects such as hole locations and yardages are determined each day depending on the weather, course conditions, the pace of play, etc. Visit with a TOUR Rules Official to find out more about this process ? or even ride along with them one morning and experience the process first hand.

????????? Traveling Caravan The motor home trend has swept the TOUR, with many professionals and their families traveling week to week in their mobile ?home away from home.? Find out how important it is to the players to have the comforts of home easily within reach, sometimes little more than a driver and a 9-iron away from the course.

????????? PGA TOUR Meteorologist ? A meteorologist from DTN Meteorlogix is on-site each week to assist tournament officials with dangerous weather situations to ensure the safety of players and fans.

????????? Player Wives Association ? Many charitable efforts are undertaken during the season by wives of PGA TOUR players. The effort put forth by these individuals was officially formalized in 1988 with the organization’s incorporation. Its membership is approaching 200 wives, with a simple goal of raising funds each week to support local charities in cities where tournaments are held.

????????? Fitness Trailer ? TOUR pros enjoy the luxury of large fitness trailers onsite each week for all of their training and rehabilitation needs. State-of-the-art exercise and cardio equipment is on hand, including experts in the field of training/physical fitness for pre- and post-round training sessions.

????????? Equipment Reps on TOUR – Monday through Wednesday, the traveling caravan know as the equipment reps for the respective manufacturers gather on the range and putting green to assist players with their equipment needs and promote their products. Get an inside look at the high-tech trailers that travel from tournament to tournament.

????????? Volunteers – Without hundreds of volunteers each week, the PGA TOUR would be unable to conduct its nearly 50 official events each year. Many volunteers take vacation time from their? to assist the Tour in conducting the event serving on a variety of committees including marshals, security, parking, hospitality, scoring, daycare, transportation and player relations.

????????? Phil Mickelson ?Secrets of the Short Game? DVD — Phil Mickelson, winner of 36 TOUR events, teamed with Emmy Award-winning producer-director Terry Jastrow for Secrets of the Short Game, a two-disc DVD focusing on all shots played from 50 yards. ?The goal here,? says Mickelson, ?is to help golfers build a foundation so that their practice time directly correlates to improved scoring on the golf course.” The DVD set includes sections on putting, chipping, sand shots, and the flop shot Mickelson popularized soon after he joined the PGA Tour in 1992.?