The First Look: A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier
September 06, 2019
By Adam Stanley, PGATOUR.COM
- Kevin Na earned his second career PGA TOUR victory at the Greenbrier in 2018. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)
The 2019-20 PGA TOUR season is upon us, with the first round teeing off Thursday at A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier in West Virginia, making its debut as the season opener on the schedule.
Making its debut as the season opener on the schedule, the 156-man Greenbrier field is loaded with rookies set to make a big splash. Kevin Na is the defending champ, having won the Greenbrier when it was last played as part of the 2017-18 season.
FIELD NOTES: The highest-ranked golfer from the 2019 FedExCup standings is Bryson DeChambeau, who finished 12th. … Rookie Viktor Hovland will make his debut as a full-fledged PGA TOUR member after earning a TOUR card via the Korn Ferry Tour Finals. Hovland notched four straight top-20 finishes to end last season, including a fourth at the Wyndham Championship. … Past champions Stuart Appleby, Danny Lee, Ted Potter Jr., and Scott Stallings will join Na in the field. … Major winners Zach Johnson, Bubba Watson, Jason Dufner, Jimmy Walker, Keegan Bradley and John Daly also are teeing it up. … Scottie Scheffler, who topped both The Finals 25 Points List and the combined (The 25) Points List on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2019, is in the field. Scheffler is the lone golfer fully exempt on the PGA TOUR due solely to his play on the Korn Ferry Tour this year. … Tom Lewis, who won the Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing and Finance, will make his debut as a PGA TOUR member this week. … Sungjae Im, the only rookie to reach the TOUR Championship last season, is making the first of his six planned starts in the next eight weeks. … Air Force Captain Kyle Westmoreland – who Monday Qualified for an event on the Korn Ferry Tour this summer – received a sponsor exemption.
FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 500 points.
COURSE: The Old White TPC (7,286 yards, par 70). Has been the host venue since the inaugural Greenbrier in 2010.
STORYLINES: Due to the condensed nature of the new PGA TOUR schedule, A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier is unveiling its new date, moving from July to September. … Players who hope to make this year’s Presidents Cup as a captain’s pick for either Tiger Woods’ U.S. Team or Ernie Els’ International Team certainly want to play well this week. Keep a close eye on Americans such as Na, Watson and Bradley, and Internationals such as Im and Branden Grace . … Making an early move in the FedExCup standings also is key, especially with 11 events schedule for this fall. Last season, 75% of the winners in the fall advanced to the TOUR Championship, the highest percentage in the last six seasons … This will be the first tournament using the TOUR’s adjusted cut line of top 65 and ties … The 2019 edition of the tournament marks the 10th playing of the event… No 54-hole leader has gone on to win the title Sunday, as Kelly Kraft (the 2018 third-round leader) shot even par Sunday to lose by five to Kevin Na.
72-HOLE RECORD: 258, Stuart Appleby (2010)
18-HOLE RECORD: 59, Stuart Appleby (4th round, 2010)
LAST TIME: It had been seven years since Na had found the winner’s circle on the PGA TOUR, but he fired a near flawless Sunday round to notch his second career TOUR victory at the Greenbrier in 2018. He would go on to finish 28th in the FedExCup standings and make The TOUR Championship for just the second time in his career. Na was emotional following his victory, thanking all those who had supported him in his long journey back to the top of a PGA TOUR leaderboard.
He rode those good vibes into 2019, too, and won the Charles Schwab Challenge – his second victory in just 10 months.
Kelly Kraft held the 54-hole lead but stalled Sunday shooting even par and ended up five shots back of Na’s win.
Brandt Snedeker finished T3, his best result on the PGA TOUR in almost two years. After matching Na with a Sunday 66, Snedeker would parlay that finish into a victory at the Wyndham Championship the following month.
HOW TO FOLLOW
Television: Thursday-Friday, 2 p.m.–6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 3 p.m.-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel)
PGA TOUR LIVE: Thursday-Friday, 7 a.m.-6 p.m. ET (featured groups)
Radio: Thursday-Friday, 12 p.m.-6 p.m. ET. Saturday-Sunday 1 p.m.-6 p.m. ET (PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.com/liveaudio)