WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. – Officials from the PGA Tour and The Greenbrier announced Tuesday that they have signed a six-year extension that will keep The Greenbrier Classic on the schedule through 2021.
“It’s a world-class event,” said Andy Pazder, chief of operations for the PGA Tour. “You go ask 156 players what they think of this tournament, they’re going to tell you the same thing: It’s incredible.”
Resort owner Jim Justice estimated that he spent $10 million to stage this year’s tournament – not counting the money needed for cleanup after the windstorms that knocked down numerous trees last Friday.
“I’m trying to make this event great for our state,” Justice said. “I’m so sick and tired of us being 50th in so many things, and I’m trying for our state, I’m trying for our people.”
Both parties expressed a desire to keep the event on the week of the Independence Day holiday.
“Is there a better place to have a tournament during the July 4th week than America’s Resort?” Pazder said. “I don’t think so.”
Virginia Tech alum Brendon de Jonge, who finished tied for 11th last week at Congressional, has been one of the top contenders in this tournament since its inception.
He and Jimmy Walker are the only two golfers to score top-10 finishes in both years of The Greenbrier Classic.
“I think that’s cool,” Walker said. “You see a lot of guys, they play well at certain courses. I remember talking to veterans where they said they’d made all their money on four or five tournaments a year where they felt really good.”
Former Hokie Johnson Wagner, who is 17th on the PGA Tour money list, also is entered.
NOT SO ELEMENTARY, WATSON
Tom Watson may be the pro emeritus at The Greenbrier, but he’s here to compete, too. The 62-year-old Hall of Famer hasn’t played since The Masters as he’s battled a hand injury that has required time to recover.
“I’m getting my legs right now,” he said. “I’m playing hit and miss, miss and hit, hit and miss, hit and hit, miss and miss. I’m playing not very consistently, but I’m driving the ball pretty well.”
Eight holes on the course have been lengthened from last year and four fairways have been narrowed…Last year’s cumulative scoring average was 70.59, compared to 68.54 in the inaugural tournament in 2010…Tiger Woods took over the FedExCup standings for the first time in 100 weeks with his victory at Congressional.