Michael Kim will tee it up next at the Old White TPC next month. (Redington/Getty Images)
By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
Michael Kim won’t have to wait long to make his next PGA TOUR start after his impressive performance at the U.S. Open. Kim, the low amateur at Merion Golf Club after finishing T-17, is in the field for the Greenbrier Classic on July 4-7 at the Old White TPC in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va.
Kim, who recently completed his sophomore season at Cal, earned the Greenbrier start by winning the Haskins Award as college golf’s player of the year. He finished in the top 11 in all but one event this season, and was medalist four times. His 70.73 scoring average was a school record.
Kim was tied for seventh with nine holes remaining in last week’s U.S. Open. He was trying to become the first amateur to post a top-10 at the Open since Jim Simons in 1971 at Merion. Kim played his final three holes in 3 over, though, and finished three shots outside the top 10.
Kim joins the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Luke Donald and Graeme McDowell as past Haskins Award winners. Last year’s Haskins Award winner, Justin Thomas, finished 46th at the 2012 Greenbrier Classic.
By Fred Albers, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
There was little in Ted Potter's resume to indicate he was about to win The Greenbrier Classic. He was 119th in FedExCup points coming into the week and 167th on this year's money list with $176,904. Potter had missed six of his last seven cuts and hadn't made a check since a T69th at the Shell Houston Open.
So what happened here? He had the best putting week of his
career. Potter was 68th in Strokes Gained-Putting this season but
was first this week in SGP and had just 48 total putts, 24-24, over
this weekend. A hot putter can elevate any PGA TOUR player into a
18th hole: Sometimes a player gets fortunate with the number and hole location, and that was the case for Potter at the 18th. At 164 yards and a back-right hole location, it was a perfect 9-iron and draw for the lefty. On the other hand, Troy Kelly never appeared comfortable with either the yardage or the hole location. He hit pitching wedge three times and never got inside 20 feet on Sunday.
Seventh hole: If Webb Simpson needs a lucky number, he should try seven. He played the seventh hole in 4 under for the week. Simpson hit it three feet, eight feet, 11 feet and four feet in making birdie every day.
Tough start: There is no doubt as to what was the most difficult stretch at The Old White TPC. The first six holes took their toll on the field and then the remaining 12 holes could be had. The Old White TPC begins with five tough par 4s and a par 3. The second hole is 488 yards and the sixth measures 471. Simpson stayed patient during the first half-dozen holes and then was aggressive. He was even par on the first six through three rounds and 14 under for the remainder of the course. The strategy worked perfectly until Sunday when he played the last seven holes in 4 over.
Holding court: Legendary instructor Bob Toski held court before the final round in the players lounge. He regaled present TOUR players with stories from the '50's when Ben Hogan and Jimmy Demaret walked the fairways. Toski works with Ken Duke, who had to force himself to leave for the range and his pre-round warmup. After making eagle at the 12th, Duke pointed directly at Toski with a look of determination.
Hole locations: A couple hole locations really bothered players in the final round. At the 11th, the flag was placed back-right and on a precipice. It was a hard hole to challenge and gave up just eight birdies on Sunday. Troy Kelly had the shot of the day to three feet and converted the birdie.
The 15th hole was even more difficult with the hole cut in the front of the putting surface. The green is just 12 paces wide in the front with bunkers flanking left and right. The hole gave up just three birdies in the final round with Charlie Wi, Kris Blanks and Ted Potter converting putts.
Bogey-free: Simpson went on quite a bogey-free run. He made a four at the par-3 15th hole, the sixth hole of his opening round on Thursday, and then did not make another bogey until the 12th hole of the final round. That's a run of 59 holes. Unfortunately, Webb followed up with bogeys at 13 and 14, making four bogeys in his last seven holes.
Pumped up: Troy Kelly was feeling the adrenaline in the final round. Trying to win his first tournament, Kelly crushed a 192-yard 9-iron and a 204-yard 7-iron which flew the green at the 15th. He has always been a long hitter and is ranked 15th on TOUR in driving distance at 300.5 yards, but some of his irons on Sunday were truly launched. He had a hard time controlling the distance in the final holes.
King of the flop: Charlie Beljan made quite an impression this week with his flop shots. At the 13th hole, he holed out a flopper and followed the dunk with a little dance which included a spin move. At the 17th hole, Beljan almost duplicated the hole out by flopping out of the rough to within 4 feet.
Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. For more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, click here.
Troy Kelly sinks a 22-foot putt to save par on the par-5 17th hole during a playoff before losing one hole later.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- Not all was bad for Troy Kelly, who lost on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff Sunday at The Greenbrier Classic.
By finishing second, the 33-year-old journeyman earned a spot in the field at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in two weeks.
Kelly will be joined by Marc Leishman and the player Kelly lost to, Ted Potter Jr. Leishman and Potter punched their tickets via a six-tournament min-money list that ended this week. Kelly earned his spot by being the top finisher here not otherwise eligible.
Similarly, the top finisher in next week’s John Deere Classic not otherwise eligible will also earn a spot in the British Open.
Not that Kelly wouldn’t have minded trading places with Potter.
He almost did, too.
Kelly’s second shot to the par-5 17th ran through the green and down an embankment, but he chipped to 10 feet. He missed the birdie putt, however, and would par the 18th as well.
“I had a good look at it, actually just pushed it a little bit,” Kelly said of the putt. “I needed that, it just wasn't a great stroke. But I made a lot of good strokes. It's an improvement from what I've been doing, so it’s something to build off.”
Kelly, who got his PGA TOUR card after finishing 11th on the Web.com Tour money list last year, will play in his first British Open in two weeks. He’ll also likely get into some other tournaments.
“Just believe in myself,” Kelly said when asked what he learned from being in contention for the first time. “I think that's a huge thing in golf, is to really believe in yourself, and I think that's one thing that Tiger and those guys, Phil and all these great players, they really believe in themselves. When you're coming down the stretch, you've got to look back on things that you've had success in and just believe in yourself to hit those shots again.”
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- When Webb Simpson arrived at the 10th tee Sunday at The Old White TPC, he had a one-shot lead.
If the story sounds familiar, it should because Simpson was in the exact same situation a year ago at The Greenbrier Classic. The result was almost the same, too.
Simpson bogeyed four of five holes and shot 40 on the back nine to tumble out of contention and eventually into a tie for seventh, five shots back of eventual winner Ted Potter Jr.
“I don’t know,” said Simpson, who at one point had gone 59 straight holes without a bogey this week. “It’s just the nature of the game. You go from not making any mistakes all week to making them all on the back 9.”
The first one came inexplicably on the par-5 12th, where Simpson left his second shot short of the green, then ran his pitch shot 40 feet by the hole before three-putting.
The next shot he hit landed in a hazard left of the 13th fairway.
On the 14th, his fate was sealed when he failed to get up-and-down from the back of the green, missing a 6-footer to save par after getting relief from a tower next to the green.
Simpson’s final blow came on the par-4 16th, where he again missed a short par putt, this time from 4 feet. Not that it mattered at that point.
“I kind of made a couple bad swings and judged the wind wrong a bunch of times it seemed like,” said Simpson, who hit just eight fairways and eight greens on Sunday. He also took 29 putts. “It was just one of those unfortunate nine holes where all week everything had been going right and in nine holes everything couldn't have gone worse.”
Simpson will have plenty of time to digest what went wrong.
He is skipping the British Open because his wife is due with the couple’s second child in a couple of weeks. His next start won’t likely come until the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational at the beginning of August.
“It's one of those things where I'm going to take the positives from this week and the things that let me down today,” Simpson said. “I'll take a look at that and try to go out and work on it. Every situation I've been in like this where I've had a tough Sunday or a tough finish, I've been able to learn from it and it's helped me down the road.”
After losing in similar fashion here a year ago when he bogeyed three of his first seven holes on the back nine, Simpson got his first career victory a month later. Since then, no one on the PGA TOUR has had more wins or more top 10s than Simpson.
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- Ted Potter defeated Troy Kelly with a birdie on the third extra hole of a playoff at The Old White TPC. See below for play-by-play.
UPDATES (All times ET)
6:58 p.m. -- Potter didn’t miss this time, sinking a 4-footer for birdie to beat Kelly, who’s 44-footer came up just short of the hole, on the third extra hole. It’s the first win of his career.
6:53 p.m. -- Potter will have another chance to win after sticking his tee shot on the 18th hole to 4 feet -- the same distance he just missed. Kelly, meanwhile, didn’t get his tee shot above the ridge and is 44 feet from the flag.
6:50 p.m. -- The tournament was Potter’s to win, but he lipped out a 4-footer for birdie on the 17th hole after Kelly saved par from 22 feet moments earlier. Back to the 18th they go.
6:43 p.m. -- Potter went first, chipping to about 4 feet to set up birdie. Kelly, meanwhile, had an awkward stance in a greenside bunker and paid for it, barely getting it out of the trap after catching the ball fat.
6:38 p.m. -- Potter and Kelly both came up short of the green on the par-5 17th, where Kelly is in the worse of the two lies with his ball in a greenside bunker that will leave him an awkward stance and shot. Potter, meanwhile, came up just short of that same bunker.
6:32 p.m. -- Potter and Kelly both found the middle of the fairway on the par-5 17th. Remember, Potter eagled this hole on his way to forcing the playoff. Kelly has a slight advantage here, though, having outdriven him by 15 yards.
6:28 p.m. -- Kelly and Potter each made par on the 18th. Up next: No. 17.
6:22 p.m. -- Kelly safely finds the back left of the green (the pin is back right) and has another long birdie putt similar to the one he missed in regulation. Potter hits his tee shot right at the pin but it skids just off the back of the green. Birdie bids to come.
6:18 p.m. -- The playoff will begin on the par-3 18th. On No. 18 this week, Potter has gone par-birdie-par-birdie while Kelly has gone par-birdie-par-par.
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- Now the pressure is on troy Kelly.
Ted Potter Jr. played his last two holes in 3 under with an eagle-birdie finish to shoot 64 and get in the clubhouse at 16 under.
That leaves him in a tie with Kelly, who has two holes to go.
Both players are trying to win for the first time on the PGA TOUR.
Should they end in a tie, it would be the second year in a row the tournament has gone to a playoff.