Turns out it’s really hard to figure out how to spell the sound that JK Simmons and company do in the Farmers Insurance commercials. I’m also realizing that I haven’t seen those commercials in a while, so here’s an example to refresh your memory bank.
Feel free to leave that on repeat while reading this preview. Definitely would add to the experience.
Here’s what to watch for.
Surprisingly Decent Field
Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Phil, Sneds, Bill Haas, Patrick Reed, Hideki Matsuyama. Didn’t know Farmers was drawing this big of a field.
For those who’ve been reading my previews for a while, you should know that my favorite thing to do is mention Tiger when in all reality, he has no business being mentioned. But Tiger’s history at this tournament, and his performance at the US Open in 2008 at Torrey Pines, make mentioning him a requirement.
Tiger has won the Farmers Insurance Open 7 times, including 4 in a row from 2005-2008. Throw in a US Open in 2008 as well and he’s won at that place 8 times. Absolutely absurd given the talent on Tour.
It’s an interesting thought trying to figure out why a certain player always performs well at a venue. Layout makes a big difference, not necessarily knowing where to hit it, but also being comfortable with the looks off the tee; it’s tough to force visual comfortableness. Another factor is the grass type. Tiger grew up in Southern California where the kikuyu grass is all over. Knowing how the ball is going to react out of the rough is a big help. Or maybe, he just wanted to please his Buick overlords, considering this event was the Buick Invitational for 6 of his victories.
Only two weeks left in the season, we’re down to 70 players left as well. No cut, only the best, who’s gonna come out on top in Chicago?
About the Sponsor
I’ll be honest, in my 25 years, I never once thought to myself, “I wonder what BMW stands for.” So if anyone out there knows off the top of their head, I’ll be impressed. For everyone else, it stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke. In American, Bavarian Motor Works, which makes complete sense.
As with many older companies in Europe, BMW became BMW in part because the result of one of the world wars. When Rapp Motorenwerke was forced to restructure following the treaty that ended WWI, they ceased making aircraft engines, and shifted towards motorcycle and automobile engines. This treaty didn’t do much good, since when WWII rolled around, they were back to making aircraft engines again.
The rest of its history is littered with buying little car companies and stuffing their engines in them, to put it mildly. Which is really kind of interesting because it shows that BMW isn’t really a car company, but rather an engine company. I kind of wonder how many other car companies are really different behind the veil. Guess more of them are going to have to sponsor golf tournaments for me to find out.
About the Tournament
The rich history of the BMW Championship goes all the way back to … 2007, the first year of the FedEx Cup. Well not really, since it’s merely renamed version of the actually storied Western Open which dates back to 1899. The BMW is still run by the Western Golf Association, but really it isn’t the same event at all.
Back in the good old Western Open days, it was a “normal” PGA tour event, but was considered top tier. Tiger won it 3 times when it was the Western Open, and if you’re getting Tiger to play, it’s automatically top tier (except maybe this year’s Fry’s). For the most part, the Western Open was played at Cog Hill (Dubs Dread) in the Chicago area, which has now undergone a facelift in hopes of getting a US Open in the future.
Aww yeah Tdubs is back. Theme of the week is how the PGA Tour and FedEx have finally won. Tiger playing this week means that he cares about the structure of the playoff system enough to play in a new event. So congrats to that. Greensboro, and the Wyndham Championship are here.
About the Sponsor
It’s been a while since we’ve had a hotel be the title sponsor of an event. Last one I can remember was the Crowne Plaza, and since I lack the will to open up the 2015 Tour schedule, that’s the final answer. Now like most giant companies, the Wyndham name is both the name of a holding company for a bunch of different hotel chains, as well as a hotel brand itself. Wyndham Worldwide is the holding company name, and their brands (excluding the ones that use the Wyndham name) are Baymont Inn & Suites, Days Inn, Howard Johnson’s, Knights Inn, Microtel, Ramada, Super 8, Travelodge.
The history of the Wyndham name goes back to 1981 when Trammell Crow, who incidentally wins the award for oddest name I’ve typed out in a while, named it after his friend and reporter, Wyndham Robertson. I have a feeling that Mrs. Trammell Crow probably wasn’t too pleased that her husband named a hotel brand after another woman. Apparently not since the Trammell Crows were married 67 years before the guy kicked it.
After its founding and subsequent growth period, following the chain of ownership for the brand becomes rather confusing. According to the allknowing Wikipedia, it appears to have changed hands 3 or 4 times before ending up with something called Cendant, which then spun off it’s hotel business into something called Wyndham Worldwide, the current sponsor of this week’s event.
And that’s all I have to say about that.