BOGEY FOR BEMAN
The PGA announced the other day that the $100,000 Buick-Goodwrench (no kidding) Open would be held in Flint, Mich. on June 15-18. Fine, except that in Denver on those same dates another golf tournament will be held—the U.S. Open. Why in the world would Mr. Goodwrench want to go up against the most important tournament of the year?
"It's not the most desirable date on the calendar," concedes Jerry Rideout, a spokesman for the Flint event, "but we didn't have much choice."
More intriguing is why Deane Beman, commissioner of the touring pros, would permit an event to conflict with the U.S. Open. Here's why. Beman, an extremely aggressive administrator, has no control over golf's four major tournaments—the Masters, U.S. Open, British Open and PGA—and this rankles him. He has therefore tried to offset their prestige by creating his own major tournaments, such as this week's TPC, an event for touring pros only, and the expanded World Series. Nothing wrong with this. But he has also sought to undermine the Big Four by scheduling a designated tournament the week after the British Open, forcing the pros to hustle back to the States.
It is no secret that Beman has tried to get USGA officials to ease the U.S. Open's exemption standards so that fewer touring pros have to qualify. The USGA has resisted him and this has not made Beman happy. In this light, Mr. Goodwrench on June 15-18 can be seen as a silly attempt to divert attention from the Open. And that's a bad deal.