Monday Finish: Payday for Cabrera, fans at Greenbrier
All of our favorite things from the week at The Greenbrier Classic
July 07, 2014
By D.J. Piehowski, PGATOUR.COM
- Angel Cabrera became the oldest winner of the 2013-14 season with his win at The Greenbrier Classic.
Angel Cabrera shot back-to-back 64s to claim victory at The Greenbrier Classic Sunday, holding off a charging George McNeill (61) for his third PGA TOUR victory.
Here were the best headlines our Twitter followers came up with:
FIVE STATS TO REMEMBER FROM THIS WEEK
1) This is Angel Cabrera’s first PGA TOUR victory that isn’t a major championship, which is a little bit mind-blowing. Cabrera has been a horse in majors for years, but this is the first time he’s broken through on TOUR outside of his wins at the 2007 U.S. Open and the 2009 Masters. In fact, it’s his first top-10 finish on TOUR in 53 weeks.
2) This week’s win also gives Cabrera (44 years, 9 months) the dubious title of 2013-14’s oldest winner, replacing 42-year-old Valspar Championship winner John Senden.
3) Brendon Todd has a great chance to make the U.S. Ryder Cup team. If you’re sitting on the couch a few months from now wondering how that happened, remember this stat: Todd has now finished in the top 10 in five of his last six starts, including a win at the HP Byron Nelson Championship at the start of that stretch. Todd is currently No. 10 on the U.S. points list (the top 9 qualify automatically). Among the players he’s ahead of: Phil Mickelson (11), Webb Simpson (12), Zach Johnson (15), Keegan Bradley (16), Brandt Snedeker (28) and, of course, Tiger Woods (72).
4) With their finishes at The Greenbrier Classic, George McNeill (2), Chris Stroud, Cameron Tringale and Billy Hurley III (T4), all earned a spot at this month’s The Open Championship. The spots were gained through the new Open Qualifying Series, which gives exemptions to the top four players not otherwise exempt among the top 12 finishers at each event from the Quicken Loans National through the John Deere Classic.
5) The Greenbrier Classic has only been around for five years, but it’s already established itself as a place for comebacks. All five winners of the tournaments have made Sunday comebacks at the event (Stuart Appleby’s was the largest; he rallied from seven back when he shot 59 and won in 2010). A more pessimistic way to say that stat: No 54-hole leader has ever gone on to win the tournament.
One more tournament stat for the What Does It All Mean file: All five winners of The Greenbrier Classic were playing the event for the first time in their careers when they won.
THIS WEEK’S THREE BEST VIDEOS
1) Let’s start with the shot that essentially sealed the victory for Cabrera, a holed 8-iron from 176 yards at 13, which allowed him to keep his breathing room even after making bogeys at 14 and 15.
Angel Cabrera’s incredible eagle hole out on No. 13 at The Greenbrier
2) We saw two aces on Sunday (Bud Cauley and George McNeill), but this shot from Thursday was almost more impressive. Here’s Andrew Loupe hitting his second shot to a foot at the 613-yard 17th. That’s about as close to an albatross as you can possibly come.
Andrew Loupe’s near albatross on 613-yard par-5 at The Greenbrier
3) Speaking of those aces, here’s the one from Cauley, the first of his PGA TOUR career. What made it even cooler was the fact that Tom Watson, playing in the group behind him, was on the tee watching and waiting to hit. He was the first to offer a congratulatory handshake.
Hole in One
Bud Cauley's hole-in-one on No. 18 at The Greenbrier
ODDS AND ENDS
That Bud Cauley ace that you just saw above had some serious financial implications for those watching. First of all, it meant that Angelina A. from Hasbrouck Heights, N.J., doesn’t have to make a mortgage payment for a year thanks to the Quicken Loans Hole-in-One Sweepstakes. (More on that here.)
Second, it meant that everyone in the grandstands around No. 18 received a crisp $100 bill from Greenbrier owner Jim Justice, who has famously promised a cash payout for an ace at No. 18 since the tournament’s inception five years ago. In case you didn’t take Justice at his word, fans quickly posted the proof to social media.
Players like Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson can’t go anywhere in public without being recognized and mobbed for photos, autographs and selfies. However, there are hundreds of other players on TOUR who enjoy an incredibly lucrative profession and maintain a high level of public anonymity.
The perfect example: Hunter Mahan, a five-time winner who has earned nearly $26 million in his PGA TOUR career. But even Mahan proved last week in a pretty awkwardly-funny video that he can even walk undisturbed through an Under Armour store filled with giant photos of himself.
See for yourself:
I’m obsessed with golf trick shot videos. So if you’re like me, you’ll be just as happy as I was to hear about the new segment the Web.com Tour team is launching, #WebTricks.
The idea is that fans send in trick shots that they’d like to see Web.com Tour players replicate or top and this installment with Ben Kohles didn’t disappoint.
Web.com Tour Trickshot Challenge with Ben Kohles
Since I’m helping to run the PGA TOUR’s Twitter account five days a week, it was especially fun to see Billy Hurley III’s reaction to taking the 36-hole lead at The Greenbrier.
Hurley played in the final group on Sunday and tied his best career finish on TOUR (T4).
Webb Simpson finished solo third Sunday at The Greenbrier. That’s pretty good considering he was in a rental car 230 miles away on Friday afternoon.
Simpson flew home to Charlotte, N.C., after thinking he had missed the cut with an even-par 36-hole total of 140. When he landed, Simpson found out that a season-high 89 players had made the cut, which meant renting a car and turning around to drive back to The Greenbrier.
Going 67-63 on the weekend certainly made the trip worthwhile.
Read more on Simpson’s weekend here.
ONE REASON TO BE EXCITED ABOUT THIS WEEK…
Jordan Spieth will be a defending champion for the first time in his career, returning to the John Deere Classic.
Spieth was at TPC Deere Run for a media day in June and tried to recreate the famous bunker shot that got him into a playoff last year. Here’s what happened on his first try: