This week sees the first running of a new tournament on the PGA Tour schedule. The Greenbrier Classic will be contested over the famous West Virginia resort’s “Old White” course.
With the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational taking place next week at Firestone and the USPGA the following week, many of the top players are taking this week off competitive action to prepare. As a result, this will be a good opportunity for one of the PGA Tour’s lesser lights to shine.
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.
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.
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.
Venue: The Old White Course, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia
Date: Jul 29 – Aug 1
Course stats: par 70, 7,020 yards
Purse: $6,000,000 Winner: $1,080,000
Defending Champion: Shane Lowry (-17)
Thursday 29 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Friday 30 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Saturday 31 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 6pm
Sunday 1 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 6.30pm
Jim Furyk – The veteran American is the highest ranked player on the start sheet and he could take the lead in the FedEx Cup standings with a victory.
Nick Watney – Has played well in recent weeks including a tie for seventh at the Open Championship. He’s due a win.
Matt Kuchar – He’s had an extremely consistent season and is seventh on the FedEx Cup and Ryder Cup rankings. He’ll be looking to consolidate and secure a spot on Corey Pavin’s team for Celtic Manor.
Key hole: 18th. Unusually, The Old White Course finishes with a short par 3. At just 162 yards, it’s a birdie chance. The tee shot must be fired over the river to a green surrounded by bunkers.
Skills required: Accurate approaches. The greens on the Old White course are extremely undulating and it’s crucial to leave the ball on the correct side of the cup if you’re to have a makeable putt. Although it will be on the greens the tournament is eventually decided, finding the right section of those greens will be key.