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The wait is over as The Greenbrier Classic starts today


The Register-Herald

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — According to legendary rocker Tom Petty, “The waiting is the hardest part.”

Well, the waiting is over for fans of The Greenbrier Classic and the Old White TPC Course.

The premier sporting event in West Virginia starts today on the newly restored Old White TPC Course when the gates open at 8 a.m.

The Greenbrier Classic at The Greenbrier Resort starts today.
(File photo)

The event looked very much in doubt a year ago after historic flooding damaged much of the course and forced the cancellation of the 2016 Classic.

But in true West Virginia fashion, the staff at The Greenbrier pulled together and pulled off somewhat of a miracle to get the course restored for this year’s tournament.

“I really have to give credit to the people that work here,” said Josh Pope, golf course superintendent of the Old White TPC. “It would not have been possible without all of our contractors and crew members that have been on staff. If it weren’t for them, we would not be where we are today.”

Today will feature practice rounds on the Old White TPC and the Monday Pro-Am which starts at noon. The open qualifier will also be played today on the Cobb Course at The Resort at Glade Springs.

The four lowest scores in the qualifier will then join the field at the Old White TPC on Tuesday.

Today will also be the first day of a week-long junior golf educational event, “Learn With Lee.”

The Greenbrier’s Golf Professional Emeritus Lee Trevino will share with the juniors some golf basics and fundamentals, while entertaining the juniors with some tips and tricks he used during his Hall of Fame career.

The clinic for juniors ages 6-11 will start at 10 a.m. each day, while the clinic for ages 12-17 will start at 11 a.m.

Registration will take place daily at the Information Ambassador Booth located at the Welcome Center of The Greenbrier Classic.

There will also be a Kids Zone during the week near the No. 12 hole and a Kids Autograph Zone. The Autograph Zone allows kids the opportunity to get close to the PGA Tour pros and have more interaction with their favorite players.

The highlight of Tuesday’s festivities will be Youth Day, with plenty of activities for the kids to interact.

Wednesday will be the official Pro-Am event that will feature celebrities like Larry Fitzgerald, Jase and Willie Robertson from Duck Dynasty, Sean Payton, Austin Dillon, NBA Coach of the Year Mike D’Antoni and a host of former West Virginia University football players.

The Wednesday Pro-Am features a morning flight that tees off at 7 a.m. and an afternoon flight that tees off at noon.

During The Greenbrier Classic, first responders who assisted in the rescue and recovery efforts during the floods last year will be honored. Police, EMS, firefighters and National Guard members will be honored, and others will be selected to serve as caddies for the Wednesday Pro-Am.

Thursday and Friday morning the gates to the Old White TPC open at 7 a.m. for the opening rounds of The Greenbrier Classic, where 156 players, including 11 major championship winners, will vie for a purse of over $7 million.

The top 70 players, plus ties, will make the cut after Friday’s round to play on the weekend.

Past Greenbrier Classic champions are Stuart Appleby (2010), Scott Stallings (2011), Ted Potter, Jr. (2012), Jonas Blixt (2013), Àngel Cabrera (2014) and Danny Lee (2015). All six are in this year’s field.

The tournament is carried live on The Golf Channel Thursday and Friday and moves over to CBS for Saturday and Sunday.

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