The PGA Tour heads for West Virginia this week where New Zealand’s Danny Lee defends The Greenbrier Classic over The Old White TPC in White Sulphur Springs.
Danny Lee defends The Greenbrier Classic this week against a field that includes Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson and Jimmy Walker. Four places in The Open Championship are available to the top finishers who are not already exempt for Royal Birkdale.
Royal Birkdale Open history:
The Greenbrier Classic returns to the PGA Tour after a year off in 2016. Owing to the damage the course sustained in the West Virginia flood, the tournament was cancelled last season.
The Old White course at The Greenbrier, named after the Old White Hotel that stood on the property for many years, 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. The course features a number of nods to Scotland – the 8th green was designed with North Berwick’s famous 15th “Redan” in mind and the 13th draws upon Prestwick’s 17th “Alps.”
The Greenbrier has been a regular host to professional competition over the years. 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.
The Old White Course was first used for this event in 2010 and that tournament went down in history as Stuart Appleby closed with a 59 to take the victory. Since then, Scott Stallings, Ted Potter Jr, Jonas Blixt and Angel Cabrera have been winners. Last season, New Zealand’s Danny Lee won a four-man playoff over David Hearn, Kevin Kisner and Robert Streb. The win also earned Lee a place in the field for The Open Championship. Four spots at Royal Birkdale are available this week.
Unfortunately, the weather forecast doesn’t look to brilliant and thunderstorms could be a factor in the first few days of the tournament. Expect a delay or two.
Venue: The Old White TPC, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia
Date: July 6-9
Course stats: par 70, 7,287yards
Purse: $7,100,000 Winner: $1,278,000
Defending Champion: Danny Lee (-13)
Thursday 6 – Sky Sports 4 from 8pm
Friday 7 – Sky Sports 4 from 8pm
Saturday 8 – Sky Sports 4 from 8pm
Sunday 9 – Sky Sports 4 from 5.30pm
Danny Lee – The defending champion, albeit two years ago, will return with great memories of The Greenbrier. The New Zealander is also on fine form. He’s made his last six cuts and has posted three top-10s in those events.
Kevin Kisner – Lost in a playoff to Danny Lee the last time this event was held, Kisner has already won this season – at Colonial. He’ll fancy his chances this week.
David Lingmerth – Also playing brilliantly right now, the Swede had a chance to win last week but faded. He was tied sixth in this event in 2015.
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.