MinLast tournament of the year! Only 30 players left at East Lake (excluding Hunter Mahan who said screw it and is playing over in Europe this week). Who’s gonna win? Will the $10 million giant check that I assume the winner gets fit in their pocket? What does Morgan Pressel look like in a video game? Find out below!
About the Sponsor
Compared to pretty much every other sponsor on the PGA Tour, Coca-Cola has got to seem like the odd one out. I mean we got insurance companies, we got car companies, we got banks, and we got … soda?
I suppose it fits because Coca-Cola is based in Atlanta, and they they are sitting on an pile of cash with a market cap of over 168B. Geez who knew you could make that much money in soda?
Well obviously Coca-Cola isn’t going to put all it’s carbonation in a drink that goes well with whiskey, so I looked up some of the other ways they make dat money. They own a couple other brands of beverage, including Minute Maid, Sprite, and Barq’s, but by far the most interesting way Coke has made money is by buying Columbia Pictures in 1982 for $692 million and selling it in 1989 to Sony for $3 billion. Not a bad return for 7 years. In reality though, I guess Coke is just one of those brands the pretty much everyone everywhere likes. And the fact that they distribute in 200 countries doesn’t hurt.
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.
A WGC Bridgestone Invitational without Tiger is like a Christmas without Santa. It just doesn’t seem right. But we’ll make do with a stellar field right before a major. Buckle up for the WGC Bridgestone Invite.
About the Sponsor
The week, we’re playing the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, which is cool since Bridgestone bought Firestone (the tire company) back in 1988!
Now in the golfing circle, Bridgestone makes kind of ok golf balls, and pays some guys like Brandt Snedeker, Matt Kuchar and Fred Couples some money to go on tv and talk about how they’re a golf company.
Well I’m sitting here thinking, how does a company that makes tires get into the golf bidness? So I’ll do a little investigating and get back to you. In the meantime, enjoy this not at all cheesy commercial brought to you by Bridgestone.
Hope you enjoyed that, and I’m back with the lowdown on the history of Bridgestone. Here’s a quick synopsis for you all, cause I care so much.
So Bridgestone was started in 1931 by Shojiro Ishibashi, who’s last name of “Ishibashi”, means “stone bridge”. A simple flip of the two words and you’re left with Bridgestone! Now Bridgestone’s primary business is making tires. Tires for cars, motorcycles, bikes, and airplanes, where it is the #1 manufacturer in the world. But along with just making tires, they’ve always led with innovation and being able to stay ahead of competitors with research, something that Japanese companies tend to do, and probably allowed them to stay on top for 80 some years now.