JULY 16, 2012
LAKE ORION, MICHIGAN | John Cook
wasn’t sure he could even tee it up at
Indianwood. He had serious doubts
early in the week whether neck spasms
would ease up enough to allow him to
He started slowly but finished
strong – with a final-round 66 – to finish
at 6 under and post another top- 10 finish in a senior major.
“I played late Wednesday afternoon,
(my) only practice round,” Cook said.
“As soon as I stepped up on the 10th
tee, I went, yeah, I get this. This is all
right. And the more I played it, the more
comfortable I got.”
The atmosphere and the golf course
at Indianwood had a lot to do with Cooks’
comfort zone, an Ohio State Buckeye who
was venturing into Michigan.
“My caddie, Tommy Anderson, is
from Shelby Township, and he’s been
up here, and he’s played it and been
around,” Cook said. “He said, ‘J.C.,
you’ll love it. This is a major championship crowd.’ They love their golf up
here. I know that. I’ve spent a lot of
time in this area. My two roommates in
college are from here. I went to a different school down there in the South.
“The people up here love their golf,
and they loved it when the Buick Open
was up here. They loved it when any
major was up here at Oakland Hills or
wherever it might be here with the gals.
Over at Benton Harbor, we had great
crowds. It really felt like major championship atmosphere. That’s a great tribute to
the kind of people that are up here.”
Fred Couples didn’t hesitate to give
a hearty thumbs-up to speculation that
the Champions Tour might return to
Warwick Hills, the longtime home of
the defunct Buick Open.
The rumors resurfaced at the U.S.
Senior Open at Indianwood Golf and
Country Club. Warwick Hills was home
to the Buick Open for most of its 51
years as a PGA Tour stop before it
became another casualty of Michigan’s
economic woes after the 2009 event.
Warwick Hills, located in Grand
Blanc, a suburb of Flint, a city devastated by the loss of jobs in the automotive industry, has been eager to attract
another professional tournament. But
Warwick Hills isn’t alone.
Stan Aldridge, owner of Indianwood,
is determined to bring a regular Tour
event back to the Detroit area. Now that
the Champions Tour has experienced
his course with such positive results, Aldridge believes Indianwood would be an
ideal venue for an annual senior event.
“We’d love for that to happen,”
Tom Pernice Jr., the 1999 Buick
Open champion, mentioned the
Warwick rumors to Couples.
T.C. Chen returned to Oakland Hills
for the first time since the 1985 U.S.
Open to revisit the two most famous
shots in his professional career. Indianwood is only about 20 miles from Oakland Hills and Chen, along with his son
and caddie, Jason, reminisced during
what Jason described as an emotional
walk down memory lane.
With staff and members watching,
Chen dropped a ball alongside the fifth
green on the South Course – better
known as the Monster – and pitched
onto the green. No double-hit this time.
Chen had not been back to Oakland
Hills in 27 years. Chen had a four-shot
lead through 58 holes in the 1985 U.S.
Open before his infamous double-hit
led to a quadruple-bogey 8 and ulti-
mately paved the way for Andy North’s
victory. On the second hole during the
first round, Chen began his historic run
at Oakland Hills by making the first-
ever double-eagle in U.S. Open history
on the Monster’s par- 5 hole.
Corey Pavin was penalized two
shots in Thursday’s opening round
when his ball, in deep rough, moved
after he grounded his club.
Bernhard Langer hit 17 greens in
the first round and said it wasn’t all A