By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Jul 24, 2005 at 5:27 AM

{image1}Quiet, and unassuming, the US Bank Championship is an accurate reflection on the game of golf itself.

The PGA Tour stopped in Milwaukee for the 38th consecutive year this past weekend, and once again, the City showed that it belongs on the national sporting stage.

Name changes, and musical-chairs dates have done little to deter the event, which despite losing a lot of the sport's biggest names due to the British Open, continues to draw sizeable and enthusiastic crowds.

In many ways, the Championship is the best event of Milwaukee's summer. It is staffed by an army of volunteers and headed by people with a love for the game, and for the community.

Through the years, spectators have watched Wisconsin's Steve Stricker, Jerry Kelly and J.P. Hayes grow up before their very eyes, and got a glimpse of what a cub named Tiger Woods was about to unleash on an unsuspecting golf world.

There's been storms and sun; there have been playoffs, and runaways, superstars and rising stars, but the constant has always been the community.

Spectators have packed the course at North Short, Tripoli, Tuckaway and now Brown Deer Park since Sam Snead took home $40,000 by winning the inaugural Greater Milwaukee Open in 1968. Tournament officials don't release attendance figures, but it is comparable to similar tournament stops.

The event has also provided benefits to the community that supports it. Last year, a record $600,000 was donated to area charities, bringing the total to over $4.5 million in the past decade.

So, the big names aren't here. Who really needs them? Sure, it would be nice if Tiger Woods comes back to repay the favor when he was given an exemption to make his professional debut in 1996.

The absence of guys like Woods, Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia, Phil Mickelson and so forth actually add to the image of the tournament.

Milwaukee is a blue class city, and the US Bank Championship follows in that manner. It's the only event on the tour played on a true, public, municipal course. So why is it a bad thing that the big shots don't feel like playing so quickly after the British Open. It's actually more entertaining to watch a balanced field battle through four rounds.

No matter what, the spectators will show up, and they will be treated to a good show. Milwaukeeans don't need to be wowed; they just want to get the most bang for their buck.

For 38 years, that's just what they've gotten out of the US Bank Championship.