WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — A star-studded field of pro-am tournament competitors drew golf fans and autograph-seekers to The Old White TPC at The Greenbrier Wednesday.
The celebrity guests included professional players and coaches from many other sports. New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton and former Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni golfed alongside PGA Tour pro and Greenbrier Sporting Club resident Bubba Watson and his wife, Angie. A slew of basketball, football and golf fans followed the group around throughout the morning Wednesday, including Anderson Goldman, 11, and Ellie Goldman, 13, of Charleston.
“I like Tuesday and Wednesday because you get autographs, and on Tuesday you get to play some golf,” Anderson Goldman said. “Usually we don’t stay by Sunday (because) on Wednesday the players will give you autographs and celebrities will be there.”
The Greenbrier Classic’s Pro-Am pairs PGA Tour golfers with benefactors, junior golfers and celebrities invited by The Greenbrier owner Jim Justice for a round of golf. Many fans like The Greenbrier Classic’s Pro-Am day because it’s more relaxed: there’s less of a crowd than what typically is present during the competition, and photography is allowed so fans can take pictures of their favorite players. Photography is forbidden once the tournament itself begins Thursday.
Tiger Woods, a fan-favorite during his first appearance at The Greenbrier Classic in 2012, teed off from the first hole at 7 a.m. Wednesday in front of a few dozen spectators and reporters. Fog hung over the course and dew covered the grass, and fans who woke up early enough for Tiger’s tee time were treated with the rare opportunity to see and hear one of golf’s most legendary players up close and personal…