With just a few weeks left until the British Open begins, the PGA stop for the upcoming weekend is at The Old White TPC for the Greenbrier Classic in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. Tiger Woods, fresh off his third win on the season, will be making his final appearance in the US before catching a plane for the other side of the pond. My bad, he has his own plane.
The Old White golf course, which sustained damages Friday night from the same storms that wreaked havoc with Congressional , was designed by C.B Macdonald and opened for business in 1914, and was the first course of the Greenbriar. The course was named for the well-known Old White Hotel, which stood on the grounds from 1858 to 1922
Like most golf courses, The Old White was designed with generous fairways and challenging, undulated greens. In other words, a thinking mans course, unlike some of the modern golf courses where all they do is grip it and rip it. One of the first to play the new golf course was President Woodrow Wilson in the spring of 1914.
Charles Blair Macdonald, a dominant figure in the early history of American golf, designed the course and modeled several holes from some of the most famous European holes. The Old White TPC Courses No. 8 hole was styled after the Redan at North Berwick; No.13 after the Alps at Prestwick; and No.15 after the Eden at St. Andrew’s.
The Greenbriar has three additional courses on the property but not used during the PGA event, they are The Meadows Course, The Greenbriar Course, and The Snead Course.
In 2011, the Old White added the title TPC, and became one of the most prestigeous courses in the PGA network. Sam Snead who was from West Virginia, made his last hole-in-one on tour here in 1995. Slammin Sammy passed away in 2002 at age 90 in nearby Hot Springs, and is to date the all time wins leader on the PGA Tour with 82 total wins.
With action beginning Thursday morning, and another somewhat weak field for Tiger Woods to beat up on, if he continues to putt like he did last weekend. Phil Mickleson will be teeing it up along with some others as they all prepare for the Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes. Your defending champion at the Greenbrier last year was Scott Stallings who will be tting off Thursday at 1:20 PM Eastern. Tiger Woods has an early 8:10 AM tee time, but goes out at 1:20 on Friday.
Tiger is your new FedEx Cup points leader with 1952 points and leading a second place Jason Dufner with 1849 points, Hunter Mahan, Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar round out the top 5. Luke Donald is still the Number 1 golfer in the World Golf Rankings with Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood, Tiger Woods, and US Open winner Webb Simpson in fifth place.
What should come as no surprise, the same five who lead the FedEx Cup, also lead the money list and scoring average on the year. Tiger Woods leads the money list, but The Kuch leads the scoring average.
The Old White TPC received damages from Friday Nights storms, and some 70-80 trees were knocked down. Over 200 trees sustained some kind of damage. Volunteers have worked feverishly all week to get the course and facility ready for the tournament.
I’m looking forward to seeing Phil Mickleson in action this week and seeing if he has rested and is ready to play golf. He has had the look lately, of someone who was tired of the grind the PGA tour can be. Although Phil has never been real competitive at the Open Championship, it would be nice to see his game come around before the long trek to England. The Old White is a beautiful Golf Course in Wild and Wooly West Virginia, and I hope everyone enjoys this tournament on our Nations Birthday weekend.
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