PGA Tour Opening Drive: Greenbrier Classic Never Fails to Excite
The Old White TPC plays host to this week’s Greenbrier Classic and I have to wonder if we’ll see history made again at this course. Will someone be able to match the stunning 59 shot by Stuart Appleby at the debut of this event in 2010? This course is somewhat different than the normal PGA Tour track because several of the holes are inspired by those from designer Charles Blair Maconald’s homeland of Scotland. That makes this event a great tune-up for the British Open that will be taking place in just a few short weeks.
The field is a little on the thin side this week with only two of the top 10 golfers in the world and eight of the top 30. There are, however, 21 of the top 50 golfers in the current FedEx Cup standings on the roster, so it’s not as if this event is going to be easy to win. This event has a history of huge surprises happening on the final day, meaning that no lead is safe until everything is said and done. The finishing holes at this track are littered with scoring potential, so a player who is a few shots back coming down the stretch is by no means out of contention.
The story of the week is Phil Mickelson’s return to competitive play. “Lefty” has been off since his disappointing finish at U.S. Open and is assuredly looking to take out some frustration on this course. He missed the cut here each of the last two years, but a motivated Mickelson is a scary thing for the rest of the field. Webb Simpson, Bubba Watson, Keegan Bradley and amateur Michael Kim are just a few of the guys looking to make sure Mickelson’s frustrations continue. Defending champion Ted Potter Jr. isn’t likely to go down without a fight, either.
If the past results are at all indicative of future performance, we are going to be in for a wild ride this week.