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Buick Announces Record Purse Increase for Buick Open

DETROIT--Buick Motor Division announced that the purse for the 1999 Buick Open will be a record $2.4 million, an increase of $600,000 over 1998 and the largest increase in the history of the tournament.

"We are very pleased to be able to announce a record increase in the Buick Open purse," said Anthony Derhake, Buick's brand manager of golf. "This will make the tournament even more attractive to the PGA Tour's top players and it will provide us with another outstanding field."

Prior to 1999, the previous record increase for the Buick Open purse was $300,000. In 1989, the Buick Open purse went from $700,000 to $1 million; in 1997, the purse went from $1.2 million to $1.5 million; and in 1998, the purse went from $1.5 million to $1.8 million.

The purse for the inaugural Buick Open in 1958 was $52,000. Since then, it has gone from $100,000 in 1978, to $700,000 in 1988, to its current high of $2.4 million. First place money has gone from $9,000 in 1958, to $126,000 in 1988, to $432,000 in 1999.

The 1999 Buick Open will take place August 2-8 at Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club in Grand Blanc, Mich. It is the second to last chance (PGA Championship) for players to earn points for the 1999 Ryder Cup (Sept. 21-26).

For Buick Open tickets, or information, call 1-800-878-OPEN.

Entering its fifth decade as the PGA Tour's original corporate partner, Buick Motor Division is title-sponsor of four PGA Tour events: The Buick Invitational (Feb. 8-14, Torrey Pines Golf Course, LaJolla, Calif,); the Buick Classic (June 21-27, Westchester Country Club, Harrison, N.Y.); the Buick Open (Aug. 2-8, Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club, Grand Blanc, Mich.); and the Buick Challenge (Sept. 27-Oct. 3, Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain, Ga.).

The official car of the PGA Tour since 1984, Buick sponsors four PGA Tour professionals--Steve Elkington, Ben Crenshaw, Chip Beck and David Berganio Jr. Actress Cheryl Ladd is Buick's "Golf Ambassador" and represents Buick at golf tournaments, golf exhibitions and golf events nationwide. Buick is also sponsor of ESPN's "PGA Tour shot of the week" series and "Inside the PGA Tour" program and is a sponsor of USA Network's coverage of the PGA Tour. Through its four tournaments, which are all televised nationally, Buick has donated more than $14.4 million to local charities since 1982.

Derhake Named Buick Open Chairman

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