Featured Groups: Tiger takes center stage at GreenbrierJuly 04, 2012
Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
Here's a look at this week's Featured Groups at The Greenbrier Classic. For a complete list of all groups and tee times, click here. Which groups are you most interested in following this week? Let us know.
Tee times Webb Simpson, Tiger Woods, Steve Stricker Rd. 1: 8:10 a.m. ET (10th tee) Rd. 2: 1:20 p.m. ET (1st tee)
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- Tiger Woods is making his first appearance at The Greenbrier Classic, where he's coming off his third and arguably most impressive win of the season.
The victory was the 74thof Woods' career on the PGA TOUR, which puts him second all-time behind only the late Sam Snead (82), who of course was the pro emeritus here at The Greenbrier.
Webb Simpson has only won three times in his career, but one of those came at the U.S. Open last month. And at 26 years old, he represents the future of American golf with Woods 10 years older than him and Steve Stricker, the third member of the group, 45 years old.
Much of the focus, however, is on Woods. Even though this his first trip to West Virginia, he comes in playing well having won three of his last seven starts.
"If you have a positive tournament, you try and ride that, and if you have a negative tournament, that didn't exist," Woods said. "So I feel obviously very excited about what I had done last week."
This is the second straight trip to The Old White TPC Course for Simpson, who tied for ninth here a year ago after an opening-round 65.
Simpson has played well most of this year, too, with four other top 10s in addition to his U.S. Open win.
Stricker, on the other hand, has played a limited schedule, choosing to spend more time at home with his family this season.
This marks just his 11th start of the year, though when he has played, he's done well with four top 10s, including a win at the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
Stricker is also comfortable playing with Woods (and vice versa) as the two have played on several Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup teams together.
Other Featured Group Phil Mickelson, Scott Stallings, Stuart Appleby Rd. 1: 1:20 p.m. ET (1st tee) Rd. 2: 8:10 a.m. ET (10th tee)
Phil Mickelson is making his second straight trip to The Greenbrier Classic, where he missed the cut a year ago.
Maybe Mickelson can get some pointers from one of his playing partners -- Scott Stallings is the defending champion here.
Stallings, however, almost didn't make it here. He had to pull out of the Travelers Championship prior to the events two weeks ago because of a herniated disc in his back before flying home to receive treatment.
"We had, I think, 13 or 14 therapy sessions in seven days," said Stallings, who has missed seven of his last eight cuts. "Everything worked its way out the way we wanted it to and we didn't have to do any drastic measures, just kind of a lot of patience and time."
The third member of the group, Stuart Appleby, has also had to be patient this year. The Aussie has just two top 25s all season.
Perhaps a return trip to The Old White TPC Course will help. He shot a final-round 59 here to win two years ago.