The Greenbrier Classic is without doubt, one of my favorite golf tournaments of the year. An old style golf course set in the Appalachian section of West Virginia, and the home of Slamming Sammy Snead. What could be better. Ted Potter Jr won his first PGA tournament in 2012 with an eagle/birdie finish at The Old White TPC Course and forced a playoff with Troy Kelly which he won on the third playoff hole.
Potter was four shots back with four to play, and made a comeback for the ages. He made a long birdie putt at the 15th hole to set up the first, and only PGA Tour victory of his career. He has had a terrible 2013 season, and is currently ranked 154 in Official World Golf Rankings(OWGR) and is 87th in FedEx Cup points.
The Old White TPC golf course is 7274 yards in length, and plays to a par of 70. It was built on the grounds of the Old White hotel that stood on the grounds until 1922. Course designer, Charles Blair MacDonald designed several holes after holes from his native Scotland, including the 15th, which emulates “Eden”at St Andrews.
Phil Mickelson, making his first start since finishing behind Justin Rose at the U.S. Open, joins recent major winners Webb Simpson, Bubba Watson and Keegan Bradley in a lineup that includes seven of the top 30 players in this week’s world rankings.
I love these old courses that are not necessarily long, but like Merion, require accurate tee shots that will play to spots on the greens where accuracy can gain a stroke. Phil Michelson will need to continue to find fairways and greens if he wants to be in contention on Sunday afternoon.
With the end of the FedEx Cup season coming to an end, everyone needs to be cognizant from this point with their finishes. Especially those who haven’t yet secured a berth in golf’s playoff system. The Greenbrier Classic is one of only eight tournaments left for players to gain FedEx Cup points with 500 available for a win here on Sunday afternoon.
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