The man who made Key Biscayne a force in the tennis world is bringing his creative expertise to golf.
Butch Buchholz, founder of the Sony Open Tennis tournament, has been named tournament chairman for the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump Doral on March 6-10.
"I am thrilled to be associated with a world-class event like the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship and look forward to reconnecting with South Florida business and golf communities,” Buchholz said in a statement. “The Cadillac Championship is truly a jewel of an event featuring one of the best fields in golf and one of the game’s best and most recognizable title sponsors in Cadillac.”
Buchholz, 72, a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, played on the U.S. Davis Cup team and rose as high as the No. 5 amateur player in the world. But he is best as an event organizer.
In 1985, he founded the Lipton Championships in Delray Beach and built the event, now known as the Sony Open Tennis and staged on Key Biscayne, into the largest tennis tournament in the world outside of the four Grand Slam events.
Buchholz’s role with the WGC-Cadillac will be to raise the charitable impact, profile and entertainment and social atmosphere of the event.
“We are going to bring fashion, music, business leaders and celebrities together to create events during tournament week that will make the Cadillac Championship one of the most desirable tickets to get here in the Miami area,” he said.
Buchholz’s legacy is the Crandon Park Tennis Center, transforming a rundown 70-acre patch of Key Biscayne into a world-class tennis facility.
When he stepped down as chairman of the Sony event in 2010, Buchholz recalled, “I was in heaven, until I realized it was a garbage dump. It was horrific. There was a dead dog, broken down cars, and the smell was awful. But then I looked across the street and saw 5,000 parking spaces, then I knew we had found our home.”
With the Cadillac Championship, Buchholz will be lending his expertise to enhancing one of golf’s premier events at a renowned facility that is in transition since being purchased last year by The Trump Organization.
Photo: Butch Buchholz, at the Crandon Park Tennis Center, which he had built as home of the the Sony Open Tennis tournament. (Sun Sentinel, file)