By Chuck Garbedian Special to Published Jul 17, 2009 at 5:05 AM

One of the best things about U.S. Bank Championship is the fact that if you love the game of golf, you can almost get your fill.

There is British Open coverage coming live, since the Open Championship is seven hours ahead of us here in the Midwest. That leaves all afternoon free to enjoy some of the best that the PGA Tour has to offer.

Add to the equation that the US Bank Championship in Milwaukee is played at Brown Deer Park Golf Course, a public layout where anyone can tee it up, and you have the makings of a fine day spent at the Park.

Hard Knock: One of the knocks delivered time and time again in regard to the US Bank Championship in Milwaukee as well as the Greater Milwaukee Open at times, is and has been the field.

The boo-hoo of "ohhh, no Tiger this year, is he ever coming back...?" No, he's not coming back to Milwaukee for the Greater Milwaukee Open, the U.S. Bank Championship, or whatever the next incarnation of a PGA Tour event may be in the state of Wisconsin.

There are many events that Tiger does not enter. Everyone has to start somewhere and Tiger began his career in Milwaukee at the GMO in late August of 1996. Milwaukee, no one can ever take that away from you. Embrace it, revel in it and turn the page to look at some of the exciting new stars that have also come through the Cream City.

A little history for you as we look back through the years at some of the other names in the field here in Milwaukee, beginning with 1994, the first year at Brown Deer Park.

In 1994, making the cut and cashing a check in Milwaukee, future major championship winner David Toms finished tied for 18th and collected $12,171.42 for his effort. Also in 1994, broadcasters Brandel Chamblee (Golf Channel), David Feherty (CBS) and Roger Maltbie (NBC) all tied for 29th.

In 1995, Champions tour stalwart Jay Haas finished tied for 10th. Again, another future major championship winner was in the field, this time it was Justin Leonard who finished 17th. Also in the field, the unique swing of Jim Furyk who tied for 58th.

In 1996, not only did Tiger Woods make his debut at Brown Deer Park but so did John Maginnes, my sometime broadcast partner on the PGA Tour Network, Sirius 209 and XM 146. By the way, in '96 Tiger tied for 60th while Big John shot a final round 63 to notch finish 12th.

See if you remember and recognize these names now, because you might not have then.

In the field in 1997, you will find Golf Channel broadcasters Charlie Rymer and Andrew Magee. In 1998, future GMO winner Mike Springer and my occasional Sirius/XM broadcast partner, Larry Rinker. Then in 1999, future PGA Tour winner Mark Wilson and a left-handed Australian by the name of Greg Chalmers, who just so happens to be co-leading the 2009 US Bank Championship in Milwaukee with Jeff Klauk.

In 2000, future US Bank Championship winner Joe Ogilvie and Champions Tour winner and golf entertainer Peter Jacobsen.

Long story short, you can go year by year in the U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee Media Guide and find name after name that you recognize now that you may not have then. It is the same today.

First round co-leader Jeff Klauk is one of the up and coming rookies on tour. When you look at the first-round leader board, you'll see names near the top like those of Klauk, Jason Gore, Jeff Quinney, Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey and Johnson Wagner. They are playing today but there is always the chance that they will have even greater success down the road and remember that Milwaukee was the place that jump started their career.

W-I-N-D-Y: Thursday was one of the windiest days that I recall, especially at Brown Deer, for any round of the US Bank Championship. The irony was not lost that it was much more calm overseas at the British Open than it was here in Milwaukee.

And the wind did play havoc with club selection as it swirled around Brown Deer Park's mature trees and caused several players to change clubs more than once heading into a green. On Friday the weather forecast is for much cooler temps along with more breezes coming from the north and northwest. Ah, summer in Wisconsin, feels just like fall. Nothing like a little late September in the middle of July.

Moving On: Both Chalmers and Klauk did what they had to do to successfully manage their golf ball around Brown Deer Park. The numbers will say that Brown Deer Park is a "short" golf course. In strict yardage, that may be true, but there is nothing more maddening for a tour professional than to make an unforced error, especially from the middle of the fairway. Brown Deer Park has a way of confounding even the most veteran players.

Day Two opens with 64 players at par or better. If the wind freshens and the temps drop, that number will also be lower. Brown Deer Park is not a bombers paradise but instead a tactical golf course that requires patience and precise shot execution. A hot flat stick doesn't hurt either. So far that combination has been put in place by a right-handed rookie and a left-handed vet. Now we'll see who can put the formula in place Friday.


Chuck Garbedian Special to
Chuck has more than a decade of experience in many aspects of the golf industry -- from sales to teaching to hosting radio talk shows. He has been media chairman for the Greater Milwaukee Open since 1992, has served as women's golf coach at Wisconsin Lutheran College and is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America. He currently does work for PGA TOUR Network on SIRIUS XM Radio.