The PGA Tour is in West Virginia this week for the fifth running of The Greenbrier Classic at The Old White TPC. Sweden’s Jonas Blixt is the defending champion.

TAGS:

Lowdown:
The PGA Tour is in West Virginia this week for the fifth running of The Greenbrier Classic at The Old White TPC. Sweden’s Jonas Blixt is the defending champion.

As with last week at the Quicken Loans National, four places in the Open Championship will be up for grabs at The Greenbrier. The top four finishers not already exempt will earn a start at Hoylake (as long as they finish in the top-12 and ties.) Among those hoping to secure a spot are: K.J. Choi, Tim Clark, Davis Love III and Vijay Singh.

The Old White course at The Greenbrier originally dates from 1914 and was the work of Charles Blair Macdonald and Seth Raynor. In 2006 Lester George completed a redesign that aimed to restore the layout to play as it had in its early years.

After Stuart Appleby won the inaugural Greenbrier Classic in 2010 with a final round of 59 and a four-round total of 22-under-par, the course was toughened up for the 2011 edition. The alterations made had the desired effect and Scott Stallings’ winning total the following year was 12 shots higher.

Last year Sweden’s Jonas Blixt emerged from a crowded pack to take the title by two shots. Blixt carded a closing 67 in testing conditions to beat Johnson Wagner, Matt Jones, Steven Bowditch and Jimmy Walker.

Sam Snead, a former “Golf Professional Emeritus” at The Greenbrier, scored his final hole-in-one on the Old White course’s 18th hole back in 1995.

Current “Golf Professional Emeritus” at The Greenbrier is Tom Watson and the five-time Open champion will play this week. So too will England’s Nick Faldo.

The Greenbrier is no stranger to professional competition. The club’s Greenbrier Course was used for the Ryder Cup matches in 1979 and the 1994 Solheim Cup. It was also host to a Champions Tour event from 1985-87.

There may be stormy conditions early in the week, but these should pass leaving it dry and warm with relatively little wind.

Venue: The Old White TPC, White Sulphur Springs West Virginia
Date: Jul 3-6
Course stats: par 70, 7,287 yards
Purse: $6,500,000 Winner: $1,134,000
Defending Champion: Jonas Blixt (-13)

TV Coverage:
Thursday 3 – Sky Sports 4 from 8pm
Friday 4 – Sky Sports 4 from 8pm
Saturday 5 – Sky Sports 4 from 7pm
Sunday 6 – Sky Sports 4 from 7pm

Player Watch:
Jimmy Walker – He hasn’t played since finishing in the top-10 at Pinehurst, but he still leads the FedEx Cup and has three wins this season. He was tied second in this event last year and was tied fourth in both 2010 and 2011.

Brendon Todd – One of the form players right now on the PGA Tour, he secured his first victory in the Byron Nelson Championship and has three further top-10 finishes since then.

Brendan Steele – He’s been tied fifth in his last two tournaments and will look to continue his good run this week.

Key hole: 18th. Unusually, The Old White Course finishes with a short par 3. At just 175 yards, it’s a birdie chance. The tee shot must be fired over the river to a green surrounded by bunkers.