Mother Nature conspires with Finchem for sorry end to B.C. Open
What Tim Finchem planned for 2007, Mother Nature brought about in 2006. The B.C. Open has officially been moved from En-Joie Golf Club to Atunyote Golf Club at Turning Stone Resort, denying the small central New York town one last opportunity to entertain the big boys of the PGA Tour.
For those of you who live in metropoli, this is a minor tremor on the richter scale. For folks who live in smaller towns and villages, the B.C. Open represented the last vestiges of a PGA Tour known to our parents and grandparents. In an era known as the Finchem Fistful of Dollars, En-Joie and Endicott represented a community working together to pull off a PGA Tour event. The big news in Broome County (B.C., get it?) is SUNY-Binghamton (the state university) and Johnny Hart, creator of the B.C. comic strip. Oh, and the tournament. Tiger played it once, as a tour rookie, trying to earn his card without attending tour q-school. Most of the big names avoided the event, but the guys who showed up were consistently overwhelmed and humbled by the hospitality of the townspeople.
The rumor mill has been awash the last quarter-score (that’s five years, for you new-agers) that the B.C. would eventually move up the I-81 to Turning Stone, which boasts top-notch courses by Smith, Trent II and Fazio, and has plans and land for at least two more. Turning Stone is not the villain in this mix, simply the beneficiary of Finchem’s plan and Mother Nature’s anger. After a tremendously successful national PGA club pro championship two weeks ago, Turning Stone proved it is ready for the big time, and will get its chance sooner than it had planned.
As for me, I’ll remember the scruffy old En-Joie course that received a 1990s facelift from Dr. Michael Hurdzan, only to have its crown jewel removed from the museum. Some things just don’t work out the way they should.
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