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Western Open
Tournament information
LocationChicago metropolitan area
Course(s)Cog Hill Golf & Country Club,
Dubsdread Course
Par71 in 2006
Length7,326 yards (6,699 m)[1]
Organized byWestern Golf Association
Tour(s)PGA Tour
Prize fund$5 million (2006)[1]
$150 (1899)
Final year2006
Defunctrenamed BMW Championship
in 2007
Final champion
South Africa Trevor Immelman
Cog Hill G&CC is located in the United States
Cog Hill G&CC
Cog Hill
Tournament location in the United States from 1991 - 2006
Cog Hill G&CC is located in Illinois
Cog Hill G&CC
Cog Hill
Location in Illinois

The Western Open was a professional golf tournament in the United States, for most of its history an event on the PGA Tour.

The tournament's founding in 1899 actually pre-dated the start of the Tour, which is generally dated from 1916, the year the PGA of America was founded. The Western Open, organized by the Western Golf Association, was first played in September 1899 at the Glen View Club in Golf, Illinois the week preceding the U.S. Open. At the time of its final edition in 2006, it was the third-oldest active PGA Tour tournament, after The Open (1860) and U.S. Open (1895). The tournament was held a total of 103 times over the course of 108 years. The event was not held in 1900, nor in 1918 because of World War I, and not from 1943-1945 because of World War II. Golfers from the United States won the tournament 77 times, and players from Scotland won it 15 times. Walter Hagen had the most victories with five wins, and 17 other players won the event at least twice. Two amateurs also won the tournament: Chick Evans in 1910 and Scott Verplank in 1985.

Beginning in 2007, the Western Open was renamed the BMW Championship, part of the FedEx Cup playoff series, and played with the PGA Tour's point system as the sole qualification standard. It is no longer open to amateurs.

Title sponsorship was introduced in 1987, and 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 in Illinois at the Glen View Club in Golf, a northern suburb of Chicago[2] Like the U.S. Open, in its early days it was almost exclusively won by immigrant golf professionals from the British Isles, most of whom gained full citizenship to the United States. In its early decades it was widely regarded as one of the premier golf tournaments in the USA, along with other notables of the day like the North and South Open, the PGA Championship and the Shawnee Open.

The Western Golf Association was, in some ways, and for some years, something of a rival to the United States Golf Association, especially in the midwestern and western sections of the country.[3]

From the event's inception through 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, it was held in Tennessee at the Colonial Country Club in Memphis.[2]

Beginning in 1962, the Western Open settled within the Chicago metropolitan area and was held at a variety of courses through 1973. In 1974, it found an annual home at the Butler National Golf Club in Oak Brook, a western suburb. It was played here through 1990, when the PGA Tour adopted a policy of holding events only at clubs which allowed minorities and women to be members.[4][5] It moved in 1991 to Cog Hill Golf & Country Club in Lemont, southwest of Chicago.[4][6] A 72-hole public complex, its Dubsdread Course hosted the Western Open for sixteen editions, through 2006.[2]

In 1899, the prize fund was $150, and Willie Smith's winner's share was fifty dollars. The purse in 2006 was $5 million, with $900,000 to the final winner, Trevor Immelman.

During the second round of the 1975 tournament, Lee Trevino and Jerry Heard were struck by lightning on the 13th green of Butler National while waiting out a rain delay.[7][8][9] Also struck at other parts of the course were Bobby Nichols, Jim Ahern, and Tony Jacklin.[10][11][12]

BMW Championship

In 2007, the Western Open was renamed—and changed in terms of invitational criteria—to the BMW Championship, part of the four-event FedEx Cup Playoff Series. The Western Golf Association continues to run the tournament. The BMW Championship is the last FedEx Cup playoff event before The Tour Championship


Year Player Country Score To par Margin of
Runner(s)-up Venue Location
Cialis Western Open
2006 Trevor Immelman  South Africa 271 −13 2 strokes Australia Mathew Goggin
United States Tiger Woods
Cog Hill Golf & Country Club Lemont, Illinois
2005 Jim Furyk  United States 270 −14 2 strokes United States Tiger Woods Cog Hill Golf & Country Club Lemont, Illinois
2004 Stephen Ames  Trinidad and Tobago 274 −10 2 strokes United States Steve Lowery Cog Hill Golf & Country Club Lemont, Illinois
100th Western Open presented by Golf Digest
2003 Tiger Woods (3)  United States 267 −21 5 strokes United States Rich Beem Cog Hill Golf & Country Club Lemont, Illinois
Advil Western Open
2002 Jerry Kelly  United States 269 −19 2 strokes United States Davis Love III Cog Hill Golf & Country Club Lemont, Illinois
2001 Scott Hoch  United States 267 −21 1 stroke United States Davis Love III Cog Hill Golf & Country Club Lemont, Illinois
2000 Robert Allenby  Australia 274 −14 Playoff Zimbabwe Nick Price Cog Hill Golf & Country Club Lemont, Illinois
Motorola Western Open
1999 Tiger Woods (2)  United States 273 −15 3 strokes Canada Mike Weir Cog Hill Golf & Country Club Lemont, Illinois
1998 Joe Durant  United States 271 −17 2 strokes Fiji Vijay Singh Cog Hill Golf & Country Club Lemont, Illinois
1997 Tiger Woods  United States 275 −13 3 strokes New Zealand Frank Nobilo Cog Hill Golf & Country Club Lemont, Illinois
1996 Steve Stricker  United States 270 −18 8 strokes United States Billy Andrade
United States Jay Don Blake
Cog Hill Golf & Country Club Lemont, Illinois
1995 Billy Mayfair  United States 279 −9 1 stroke United States Jay Haas
United States Justin Leonard
United States Jeff Maggert
United States Scott Simpson
Cog Hill Golf & Country Club Lemont, Illinois
1994 Nick Price (2)  Zimbabwe 277 −11 1 stroke United States Greg Kraft Cog Hill Golf & Country Club Lemont, Illinois
Sprint Western Open
1993 Nick Price  Zimbabwe 269 −19 5 strokes Australia Greg Norman Cog Hill Golf & Country Club Lemont, Illinois
Centel Western Open
1992 Ben Crenshaw  United States 276 −12 1 stroke Australia Greg Norman Cog Hill Golf & Country Club Lemont, Illinois
1991 Russ Cochran  United States 275 −13 2 strokes Australia Greg Norman Cog Hill Golf & Country Club Lemont, Illinois
1990 Wayne Levi  United States 275 −13 4 strokes United States Payne Stewart Butler National Golf Club Oak Brook, Illinois
Beatrice Western Open
1989 Mark McCumber (2)  United States 275 −13 Playoff United States Peter Jacobsen Butler National Golf Club Oak Brook, Illinois
1988 Jim Benepe  United States 278 −10 1 stroke United States Peter Jacobsen Butler National Golf Club Oak Brook, Illinois
1987 D. A. Weibring  United States 207 −9 1 stroke United States Larry Nelson
Australia Greg Norman
Butler National Golf Club Oak Brook, Illinois
Western Open
1986 Tom Kite  United States 286 −2 Playoff United States Fred Couples
South Africa David Frost
Zimbabwe Nick Price
Butler National Golf Club Oak Brook, Illinois
1985 Scott Verplank (a)  United States 279 −9 Playoff United States Jim Thorpe Butler National Golf Club Oak Brook, Illinois
1984 Tom Watson (3)  United States 280 −8 Playoff Australia Greg Norman Butler National Golf Club Oak Brook, Illinois
1983 Mark McCumber  United States 284 −4 1 stroke United States Tom Watson Butler National Golf Club Oak Brook, Illinois
1982 Tom Weiskopf  United States 276 −12 1 stroke United States Larry Nelson Butler National Golf Club Oak Brook, Illinois
1981 Ed Fiori  United States 277 −11 4 strokes United States Jim Colbert
United States Greg Powers
United States Jim Simons
Butler National Golf Club Oak Brook, Illinois
1980 Scott Simpson  United States 281 −7 5 strokes United States Andy Bean Butler National Golf Club Oak Brook, Illinois
1979 Larry Nelson  United States 286 −2 Playoff United States Ben Crenshaw Butler National Golf Club Oak Brook, Illinois
1978 Andy Bean  United States 282 −6 Playoff United States Bill Rogers Butler National Golf Club Oak Brook, Illinois
1977 Tom Watson (2)  United States 283 −5 1 stroke United States Wally Armstrong
United States Johnny Miller
Butler National Golf Club Oak Brook, Illinois
1976 Al Geiberger  United States 288 +4 1 stroke United States Joe Porter Butler National Golf Club Oak Brook, Illinois
1975 Hale Irwin  United States 283 −1 1 stroke South Africa Bobby Cole Butler National Golf Club Oak Brook, Illinois
1974 Tom Watson  United States 287 +3 2 strokes United States J. C. Snead
United States Tom Weiskopf
Butler National Golf Club Oak Brook, Illinois
1973 Billy Casper (4)  United States 272 −12 1 stroke United States Larry Hinson
United States Hale Irwin
Midlothian Country Club Midlothian, Illinois
1972 Jim Jamieson  United States 271 −13 6 strokes United States Labron Harris Jr. Sunset Ridge Country Club Northfield, Illinois
1971 Bruce Crampton  Australia 279 −5 2 strokes United States Bobby Nichols Olympia Fields Country Club Olympia Fields, Illinois
1970 Hugh Royer, Jr.  United States 273 −11 1 stroke United States Dale Douglass Beverly Country Club Chicago, Illinois
1969 Billy Casper (3)  United States 276 −8 4 strokes United States Rocky Thompson Midlothian Country Club Midlothian, Illinois
1968 Jack Nicklaus (2)  United States 273 −11 3 strokes United States Miller Barber Olympia Fields Country Club Olympia Fields, Illinois
1967 Jack Nicklaus  United States 274 −10 2 strokes United States Doug Sanders Beverly Country Club Chicago, Illinois
1966 Billy Casper (2)  United States 283 −1 3 strokes United States Gay Brewer Medinah Country Club Medinah, Illinois
1965 Billy Casper  United States 270 −14 2 strokes United States Jack McGowan
United States Chi-Chi Rodríguez
Tam O'Shanter Country Club Niles, Illinois
1964 Chi-Chi Rodríguez  United States 268 −16 1 stroke United States Arnold Palmer Tam O'Shanter Country Club Niles, Illinois
1963 Arnold Palmer (2)  United States 280 −4 Playoff United States Julius Boros
United States Jack Nicklaus
Beverly Country Club Chicago, Illinois
1962 Jacky Cupit  United States 281 −3 2 strokes United States Billy Casper Medinah Country Club Medinah, Illinois
1961 Arnold Palmer  United States 271 −13 2 strokes United States Sam Snead Blythefield Country Club Belmont, Michigan
1960 Stan Leonard  Canada 278 −10 Playoff United States Art Wall Jr. Western Golf & Country Club Redford, Michigan
1959 Mike Souchak  United States 272 −8 1 stroke United States Arnold Palmer Pittsburgh Field Club Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1958 Doug Sanders  United States 275 −13 1 stroke United States Dow Finsterwald Red Run Golf Club Royal Oak, Michigan
1957 Doug Ford  United States 279 −5 Playoff United States George Bayer
United States Gene Littler
United States Billy Maxwell
Plum Hollow Country Club Southfield, Michigan
1956 Mike Fetchick  United States 284 −4 Playoff United States Doug Ford
United States Jay Hebert
United States Don January
Presidio Golf Club San Francisco, California
1955 Cary Middlecoff  United States 272 −16 2 strokes United States Mike Souchak Portland Golf Club Portland, Oregon
1954 Lloyd Mangrum (2)  United States 277 −7 Playoff United States Ted Kroll Kenwood Country Club Cincinnati, Ohio
1953 Dutch Harrison  United States 278 −2 4 strokes United States Ed Furgol
United States Fred Haas
United States Lloyd Mangrum
Bellerive Country Club Saint Louis, Missouri
1952 Lloyd Mangrum  United States 274 −6 8 strokes South Africa Bobby Locke Westwood Country Club Saint Louis, Missouri
1951 Marty Furgol  United States 270 −10 1 stroke United States Cary Middlecoff Davenport Country Club Pleasant Valley, Iowa
1950 Sam Snead (2)  United States 282 −2 1 stroke Australia Jim Ferrier
United States Dutch Harrison
Brentwood Country Club Los Angeles, California
1949 Sam Snead  United States 268 −20 4 strokes United States Cary Middlecoff Keller Golf Course Saint Paul, Minnesota
1948 Ben Hogan (2)  United States 281 −7 Playoff United States Ed Oliver Brookfield Country Club Clarence, New York
1947 Johnny Palmer  United States 270 −18 1 stroke South Africa Bobby Locke
United States Ed Oliver
Salt Lake City Country Club Salt Lake City, Utah
1946 Ben Hogan  United States 271 −17 4 strokes United States Lloyd Mangrum Sunset Country Club Saint Louis, Missouri
1943-45: Cancelled due to World War II
1942 Herman Barron  United States 276 −8 2 strokes United States Henry Picard Phoenix Country Club Phoenix, Arizona
1941 Ed Oliver  United States 275 −9 3 strokes United States Ben Hogan
United States Byron Nelson
Phoenix Country Club Phoenix, Arizona
1940 Jimmy Demaret  United States 293 +9 Playoff United States Toney Penna River Oaks Country Club Houston, Texas
1939 Byron Nelson  United States 281 −2 1 stroke United States Lloyd Mangrum Medinah Country Club Medinah, Illinois
1938 Ralph Guldahl (3)  United States 279 −5 7 strokes United States Sam Snead Westwood Country Club Saint Louis, Missouri
1937 Ralph Guldahl (2)  United States 288 E Playoff United States Horton Smith Canterbury Golf Club Beachwood, Ohio
1936 Ralph Guldahl  United States 274 −10 3 strokes United States Ray Mangrum Davenport Country Club Pleasant Valley, Iowa
1935 Johnny Revolta  United States 290 +6 4 strokes United States Willie Goggin South Bend Country Club South Bend, Indiana
1934 Harry Cooper  England 274 −14 Playoff United States Ky Laffoon Country Club of Peoria Peoria Heights, Illinois
1933 Macdonald Smith (3)  Scotland 282 E 6 strokes United States Tommy Armour Olympia Fields Country Club Olympia Fields, Illinois
1932 Walter Hagen (5)  United States 287 −1 1 stroke United States Olin Dutra Canterbury Golf Club Beachwood, Ohio
1931 Ed Dudley  United States 280 −4 4 strokes United States Walter Hagen Miami Valley Golf Club Dayton, Ohio
1930 Gene Sarazen  United States 278 −10 7 strokes United States Al Espinosa Indianwood Golf & Country Club Lake Orion, Michigan
1929 Tommy Armour  United States 273 −7 8 strokes United States Horton Smith Ozaukee Country Club Mequon, Wisconsin
1928 Abe Espinosa  United States 291 +3 3 strokes United States Johnny Farrell North Shore Country Club Glenview, Illinois
1927 Walter Hagen (4)  United States 281 −1 4 strokes United States Al Espinosa
United States Bill Mehlhorn
Olympia Fields Country Club Olympia Fields, Illinois
1926 Walter Hagen (3)  United States 279 −1 9 strokes England Harry Cooper
United States Gene Sarazen
Highland Golf & Country Club Indianapolis, Indiana
1925 Macdonald Smith (2)  Scotland 281 −7 6 strokes United States Leo Diegel
United States Johnny Farrell
United States Emmet French
United States Walter Hagen
United States Bill Mehlhorn
Youngstown Country Club Youngstown, Ohio
1924 Bill Mehlhorn  United States 293 +5 8 strokes United States Al Watrous Calumet Country Club Homewood, Illinois
1923 Jock Hutchison (2)  Scotland 281 −3 6 strokes Scotland Bobby Cruickshank
United States Leo Diegel
United States Walter Hagen
Australia Joe Kirkwood, Sr.
Colonial Country Club Cordova, Tennessee
1922 Mike Brady  United States 291 +3 10 strokes Scotland Laurie Ayton, Snr
Scotland Jock Hutchison
Oakland Hills Country Club Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
1921 Walter Hagen (2)  United States 287 +3 5 strokes Scotland Jock Hutchison Oakwood Club Cleveland Heights, Ohio
1920 Jock Hutchison  Scotland 296 +4 1 stroke England Jim Barnes
Scotland Clarence Hackney
Scotland Harry Hampton
Olympia Fields Country Club Olympia Fields, Illinois
1919 Jim Barnes (3)  England 283 +3 3 strokes United States Leo Diegel Mayfield Country Club Lyndhurst, Ohio
1918 Cancelled due to World War I
1917 Jim Barnes (2)  England 283 −5 2 strokes United States Walter Hagen Westmoreland Country Club Wilmette, Illinois
1916 Walter Hagen  United States 286 −2 1 stroke Scotland Jock Hutchison
England George Sargent
Blue Mound Golf & Country Club Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1915 Tom McNamara  United States 304 +4 2 strokes Scotland Alex Cunningham Glen Oak Golf Club Glen Ellyn, Illinois
1914 Jim Barnes  England 293 −3 1 stroke Scotland Willie Kidd Interlachen Country Club Edina, Minnesota
1913 John McDermott  United States 295 −1 7 strokes England Mike Brady Memphis Country Club Memphis, Tennessee
1912 Macdonald Smith  Scotland 299 +11 3 strokes Scotland Alex Robertson Idlewild Country Club Flossmoor, Illinois
1911 Bobby Simpson (2)  Scotland n/a n/a 2 & 1 United States Tom McNamara Kent Country Club Grand Rapids, Michigan
1910 Chick Evans (a)  United States n/a n/a 6 & 5 Scotland George Simpson Beverly Country Club Chicago, Illinois
1909 Willie Anderson (4)  Scotland 288 9 strokes Scotland Stewart Gardner Skokie Country Club Glencoe, Illinois
1908 Willie Anderson (3)  Scotland 299 1 stroke Scotland Fred McLeod Normandie Golf Club Saint Louis, Missouri
1907 Bobby Simpson  Scotland 307 2 strokes Scotland Willie Anderson
Scotland Fred McLeod
Hinsdale Golf Club Clarendon Hills, Illinois
1906 Alex Smith (2)  Scotland 306 3 strokes Scotland Jack Hobens Homewood Country Club Flossmoor, Illinois
1905 Arthur Smith  United States 278 2 strokes Scotland James Maiden Cincinnati Golf Club Cincinnati, Ohio
1904 Willie Anderson (2)  Scotland 304 4 strokes Scotland Alex Smith Kent Country Club Grand Rapids, Michigan
1903 Alex Smith  Scotland 318 2 strokes Scotland Laurie Auchterlonie
Scotland David Brown
Milwaukee Country Club River Hills, Wisconsin
1902 Willie Anderson  Scotland 299 5 strokes Scotland Willie Smith
England Bert Way
Euclid Club Cleveland Heights, Ohio
1901 Laurie Auchterlonie  Scotland 160 2 strokes Scotland David Bell Midlothian Country Club Midlothian, Illinois
1900 No tournament
1899 Willie Smith  Scotland 156 Playoff Scotland Laurie Auchterlonie Glen View Club Golf, Illinois

(a)=amateur golfer


  1. ^ a b "Scoreboard: PGA Tour". Eugene Register-Guard. July 10, 2006. p. D4.
  2. ^ a b c Lis, Walter (September 6, 2011). "Western Open Golf Tournament". Retrieved June 11, 2016.
  3. ^ "History of the PGA Tour", by Al Barkow, 1989.
  4. ^ a b Hanley, Reid (September 12, 1990). "Western moves to Cog Hill". Chicago Tribune. p. 3, sec. 4.
  5. ^ "Western to move to Cog Hill". Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. September 12, 1990. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
  6. ^ Green, Bob (July 4, 1991). "Norman's entry helps Western". The Item. (Sumter, South Carolina). Associated Press. p. 3B.
  7. ^ Husar, John; Jauss, Bill (June 28, 1975). "Lightning fells 3 at Western Open". Chicago Tribune. p. 1, sec. 1.
  8. ^ Husar, John (June 29, 1975). "Heard may still play in Western". Chicago Tribune. p. 6, sec. 3.
  9. ^ "Trevino's survival a minor miracle". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. June 29, 1975. p. 1B.
  10. ^ "Trevino, two others survive lightning bolts". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. June 28, 1975. p. 1B.
  11. ^ "Lightning hits Trevino, 4 other golfers". Milwaukee Journal. press dispatches. June 28, 1975. p. 11.
  12. ^ "Lightning is a big shocker for 3 golfers". Miami News. Chicago Daily News Service. June 28, 1975. p. 3B.

External links

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