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The Tour Report

June 28 2013

9:01 PM

First Look: The Greenbrier Classic

The Old White TPC is set among the Appalachians in West Virginia (Martin/Getty Images)

FIELD LIST: The Greenbrier Classic

By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent

COURSE: The Old White TPC, 7,274 yards, par 70. Named for the Old White Hotel that stood on the grounds until 1922, designer Charles Blair Macdonald modeled several holes after those in his native Scotland. The eighth hole features a sloped “redan” green modeled after North Berwick’s 15th, while No. 13 was styled after the “Alps” at Prestwick and No. 15 imitates “Eden” at St. Andrews. The PGA TOUR’s first visit was one for the record book, when Stuart Appleby’s stunning Sunday 59 catapulted him to victory in the Greenbrier Classic’s debut.

FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 500 points.

CHARITY: More than 150 organizations have received proceeds from the Greenbrier Classic’s “Badges for Charity” program, including the Children’s Home Society, RememberTheMiner.org and Make-A-Wish Foundation for Southern West Virginia.

FIELD WATCH: Phil Mickelson, making his first start since finishing behind Justin Rose at the U.S. Open, joins recent major winners Webb Simpson, Bubba Watson and Keegan Bradley in a lineup that includes seven of the top 30 players in this week’s world rankings. … Michael Kim, the U.S. Open’s low amateur after tying for 17th at Merion, is in the field on an exemption given to the Haskins Award winner. Kim took college golf’s top honor after winning four events as a Cal sophomore. … Hall of Famer and 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson makes his third start in the event. Watson has held the title of “Professional Emeritus” at The Greenbrier since 2005.

72-HOLE RECORD: 258, Stuart Appleby (2010).

18-HOLE RECORD: 59, Stuart Appleby (Fourth round, 2010).

LAST YEAR: Ted Potter Jr. used an eagle/birdie finish to force a playoff against Troy Kelly, then birdied the third extra hole to complete an improbable first PGA TOUR victory. Four shots off the pace with four holes left, Potter drained a long birdie putt at No. 15 to set up his final charge that ended with a second consecutive 6-under-par 66. Kelly had a chance to lock up the victory with birdie putts on his final two holes, but missed each time. After both men played the first two extra holes in pars, Potter drew a 9-iron to the top tier of the 18th green and watched it trickle to 4 feet for the win. Simpson, newly crowned as U.S. Open champion, lost a one-stroke lead on the back nine for the second straight year and closed with a 73.

STORYLINES: Following three Sunday surprises in as many editions, does the Greenbrier have another bolt-from-the-blue champion in store? Sandwiched between Appleby’s 59 and Potter’s victory was Scott Stallings’ playoff win two years ago. … After two weeks to shake off the sting of a sixth U.S. Open runner-up finish, Mickelson returns seeking his first weekend play at The Greenbrier. He missed the cut in each of the past two years. … Simpson, twice empty-handed after taking a one-shot lead to Sunday’s back nine, will try to put himself in position again. Those final nines have combined to produce seven bogeys.

SHORT CHIPS: British Open berths remain on the line this week. The top five and ties at The Greenbrier who wouldn't already be exempt for their spot in the top 20 on the FedExCup points list following The Greenbrier earn spots. … Just three players have top-10 finishes two of in the event’s three years – Simpson (2011-12), Brendon de Jonge (2010-11) and Jimmy Walker (2010-11). … Kenny Chesney headlines a Fourth of July concert on The Greenbrier grounds following completion of Thursday’s opening round. Another concert comes after Saturday’s play, this time featuring Aerosmith.

TELEVISION: Thursday-Friday, 3-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 3-6 p.m. (CBS).

RADIO: Thursday-Sunday, noon-6 p.m. ET (SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio).

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