PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- The PGA TOUR and The Greenbrier announced today that they have signed a six-year extension that carries The Greenbrier Classic agreement through 2021.
By extending the original six-year contract, which runs through 2015, The Greenbrier Classic now becomes the longest tournament commitment on the PGA TOUR. It also extends through the length of the TOUR's television agreements with CBS, NBC and Golf Channel. The Greenbrier Classic, which begins Thursday at The Greenbrier's The Old White TPC Course, is televised by Golf Channel through the first two rounds and by CBS during the weekend.
"The first three years of our contract with the PGA TOUR have been a thrilling ride," said Jim Justice, Chairman and Owner of The Greenbrier. "The TOUR is a fantastic partner and we're so proud and excited to announce that The Greenbrier Classic will remain a bright light on the landscape of the PGA TOUR and continue to give our fans heart-pounding tournament action for years to come. The entire state of West Virginia and the region as a whole have embraced the tournament from the very beginning. Without the passion and support of our local and regional communities The Greenbrier Classic could not have grown so quickly into one of the premiere events on TOUR."
A West Virginian who was born and raised near The Greenbrier, Justice wanted to bring a PGA TOUR tournament to The Greenbrier from the time he purchased the resort in May 2009, believing a top-tier tournament would help restore The Greenbrier's reputation as a five-star resort.
In just its second year, The Greenbrier Classic received several awards from the PGA TOUR at last year's Annual PGA TOUR Tournament Meeting in December, including the coveted Best in Class among all tournaments.
"Jim Justice has shown genuine passion and commitment to not only host a PGA TOUR event, but to build one into a premier stop on the PGA TOUR," said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. "Through his dedicated efforts, Jim has managed to achieve his goal in just two years, as evidenced by last year's Best in Class Award. He has turned The Greenbrier Classic into a true celebratory event during Fourth of July week. We're obviously thrilled that Jim had a desire to move forward and extend beyond his original commitment after just three years."
The Old White TPC Course, The Greenbrier's original of four golf courses dating back to 1914, was designed by Charles Blair MacDonald. Following the inaugural Greenbrier Classic in 2010, when champion Stuart Appleby closed with a 59 to tie the all-time PGA TOUR single round record and finish 22-under par, the course underwent a renovation to make it more challenging for TOUR professionals. Last year, Scott Stallings won a one-hole playoff against Bob Estes and Bill Haas after they tied at 10-under par.
"I know the players will be excited that The Greenbrier Classic will be on the schedule for years to come," said Andy Pazder, Chief of Operations for the PGA TOUR. "The Greenbrier is one of the finest resorts in the world and provides the players and their families with a great experience to complement the tournament."
The Greenbrier is steeped in golf history and has enjoyed considerable involvement with professional golf over the years. The Greenbrier Course, built in 1924 and renovated by Jack Nicklaus in 1977, played host to the 1979 Ryder Cup Matches as well as the 1994 Solheim Cup Matches. It also played host to a Champions Tour tournament from 1985-87. World Golf Hall of Fame member Sam Snead, the winningest player in PGA TOUR history with 82 victories, served as Golf Professional Emeritus from 1994 until his death in 2002. Tom Watson became The Greenbrier's second Golf Professional Emeritus in 2005. The Golf Club also features a large collection of Snead and Watson memorabilia.