Buick Open Bashing

I read today that golfer Mark Calcavecchia made a negative comment about coming to the Buick Open in Michigan. The quote that upset me was, when discussing rain delays during the tournament he’s currently in, he said, "Ever been to Flint, Michigan?" he asked. "I'm in no hurry to get there.”

First off, the Buick Open is held in Grand Blanc, MI, not Flint, but that’s beside the point. Many of the golfers stay with families as opposed to hotels during the Buick Open. My neighbor had one of the tournament winners stay with her for years and she not only took him around, but also his wife while he was practicing. They also provided day care for the kids of the golfers and the caddies, too. These volunteers go out of their way to make sure the golfers and their families are comfortable and well taken care of and it appears that Mark isn’t exactly appreciative.

Right now Flint is going through a rough time and having him make a negative comment about the city during this time just reeks of kicking someone when they’re down. It’s really not professional to bash a place that’s welcomed you either. Remember Sienna Miller’s unfortunate comment about Pittsburgh? At least she had the class to apologize. Besides, Flint has come along way and the downtown has really been revitalized with new restaurants, etc.

And yes, I am from Grand Blanc originally and I not only grew up attending the tournament, but worked it as a journalist and TV producer’s assistant. I remember marking off Mark’s name on sheets so that we had TV footage of him to use in the specials. He didn’t particularly stand out to me, but you always pay attention to who goes out of their way to be nice to fans as well as the press. Some of the golfers do go out of their way to sign autographs (if asked politely) and chat with fans in the first few days. Some even hand out golf balls to fans. However, when the competition heats, up, people wait until the golfers are done playing for the day to get autographs. Fans, workers, and volunteers have always been pretty courteous and supportive in all the years I’ve attended, so I was hurt to hear anyone making a negative comment.

So for all who are going to the tournament, have a great time. I’ll be watching on TV since I’m out of the country unfortunately. I already know who I won’t be rooting for this year. But here’s hoping Mark Calcavecchia does the classy thing and apologizes….and donates to a local food bank and a charity or two ;)


JoAnn said…
Hey, if you google Mark Calcavecchia your blog comes up 5th in the rankings. Way to go! ;)

And, yeah, what a dork.
Unknown said…
I too have grown up loving the Buick Open. And while yes, Flint does have it's issues, it's not like we need someone who is in town for one week out of the year making comments that would make us feel worse about the city. While I don't live there anymore it'll always be home, and I hate hearing people talk that way about it. I enjoyed the blog!
Unknown said…
Mark C stated that he is in "no hurry to get there (Flint)." You now what? We're in no hurry to have him. It seems to me as the hospitality of the Grand Blanc/Flint residents in the past far surpassed anything he deserves. I hope no one offers him a place to stay. I'm sure they won't now.
I wasn't aware of the housing offers to the golfers, caddies and their fmailies. I find that to be an incredible offer. I can't imagine having to travel constantly, staying with or without my family. Day after day, nothing but hotels to stay in. For someone to offer their own personal space for a stranger is a wonderful. It says a lot about the people in the Flint area that Mark C is in no hurry to get to.