No advantages for past champs in EndicottJuly 12, 2007
By Abbey Mastracco PGATOUR.com staff
Gil Morgan sits in the media center at En-Joie Golf Course, in Endicott, NY., as he describes his first ever TOUR victory back in 1977.
"My first win; exciting tournament," Morgan reminisced. "I remember I was pretty nervous down the stretch. I remember on the last hole I was just trying to hit it in to about 25 feet, and I wanted to get it close for par. And then I made it in for a three. It was kind of icing on the cake."
The event that Morgan is reminiscing at, the Dick's Sporting Goods Open, is new, but the course is one some of these men know very well.
En-Joie Golf Course was a staple on the PGA TOUR since 1971 when famed swing coach Butch Harmon won the inaugural Broome County Open (the name was later shortened to the B.C. Open).
The B.C. Open was a TOUR event that annually drew a competitive field until last year, when severe flooding forced the tournament to be moved out of Broome County to the Atunyote Golf Club at Turning Stone Resort. The TOUR decided not to move the tournament back to En-Joie this year, instead creating the Turning Stone Resort Championship as part of the Fall Series.
But golf returns to Broome County this week for the Dick's Sporting Goods Open. Now the only question is how well do the men of the Champions Tour remember the course?
Wayne Levi, the 1984 winner and 1988 runner up of the B.C. Open, said he remembers it well.
"I played in the last few B.C. Opens so I know the course," Levi said. "I know this course pretty well so I know what to expect out there."
Levi is not the only past B.C. Open winner in the field. Seven others will compete at En-Joie this week, and five past runners up are in the field as well, including Morgan, who was also a runner up at the 1983 B.C. Open.
"Being back is kind of nice," Morgan said. "I have a lot of memories here."
Memories are something many of the players here this week have. However 1978 winner and 1981 runner up Tom Kite said an edge is what they don't have. Kite warns that having so many players who have played at En-Joie, and several who have won, does not make it advantageous for them. Kite said that even though he has had past success on the course, he doesn't feel that it gives him a leg up on his competition.
"There is no advantage at all," he said. "The course is so different, it's been 10-12 years since I've played here, so there really is no advantage of won here before."
The Dick's Sporting Goods Open may be a new event, but with a field of veterans, the winner surely will not be anyone new.