WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS —
Despite the unceremonious loss of golf’s two biggest stars, fans still showed up en masse for The Greenbrier Classic’s third round on Saturday. Both Tiger Woods, fresh off his PGA TOUR-best third win of the season at the AT&T National, and Phil Mickelson missed Friday’s cut line of 1-under.
Some fans missed the first two rounds for various reasons, so their hopes of witnessing the co-main events dissipated into the highly humid air.
“We had tickets for Thursday and couldn’t make it because of the power outages, and my mom had some health issues,” said Hurricane resident Steve Price.
“But, yeah, definitely we came up to see those guys. Disappointed, but there is always next year.”
Mack Owens, a 17-year-old from Abingdon, Va., was on hand Thursday and Friday, but missed both Woods and Mickelson.
And he didn’t sound broken up about it.
“It was overbearing at first,” Owens said, “but it calmed down once you got a seat in a nice shady spot.”
Woods came oh-so-close to holing out No. 18 to close his second round, but had to settle for a birdie to finish at even-par — missing the weekend by a single stroke.
Mickelson, meanwhile, was playing in his second Classic, and still has not experienced a weekend on the Old White TPC. A year after missing the cut in his tournament debut, the four-time major winner shot a 2-over and was done early.
It was the first time ever that Woods and Mickelson missed the cut in the same tournament.
That the Classic sold out for the first time in its three-year history in the same year Woods was making his first Old White appearance is hardly a coincidence. But not even his and Mickelson’s absences — nor temperatures in the 90s and thick humidity — kept fans away Saturday.
“It’s good to be here; this is a major event,” Price said. “Kudos to Jim Justice (chairman and CEO of The Greenbrier) for bringing this to West Virginia. Really, it’s an honor to be here.”
Price, whose son Zach is a rising sophomore on Hurricane’s golf team, acknowledged there are far more attractions than just Woods and Mickelson. There is the Greenbrier Concert Series and, of course, more than 100 other golfers.
He and Zach have been pulling for Scott Stallings, the 2011 Classic champion who was at 3-under after the third round.
Zach won a contest online that afforded him a chance to meet Stallings during Monday’s pro-am.
“We like Scott, and always Tom Watson,” Price said, referring to the Greenbrier Pro Emeritus. “He’s 62 years old and he’s out here with these young guys, tearing them up.
“We love golf. My son is an avid golfer. I play when I can, so I consider myself a ‘weekend warrior.’”
The hunt for Tiger was not as bad as has been made out, according to Owens. The strategic angles orchestrated by the professionals at The Golf Channel helped to beef things up.
“I don’t think it’s as bad as it looks (on TV),” Owens said. “I think they film the (busiest) spots.
“I liked seeing most of the professional golfers play. This is only my second golf tournament, so it was nice.”
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WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS —
- The Greenbrier Classic
Greenbrier partners with PGA golfer Webb Simpson
West Virginians now have another PGA TOUR golfer to support.
Webb Simpson, the 2012 U.S. Open champion, has been added to The Greenbrier’s team of professional golfers who represent the resort. Simpson, a Raleigh, N.C., native, will join The Greenbrier Golf Pro Emeritus Tom Watson and Kenny Perry and will display The Greenbrier logo on his golf bag in all professional golf tournaments, pro-am golf events and public golf exhibitions.
Recruiting a focus for new Greenbrier Classic director
Monte Ortel always saw himself as a college basketball coach. A Division II basketball player at Columbia Union College (now Washington Adventist University) in Takoma Park, Md., Ortel was majoring in physical education and taking all the necessary steps along that career path.
Monte Ortel named new director of The Greenbrier Classic
Monte Ortel is about to be a very busy man.
The Washington Adventist University graduate was promoted Tuesday as the director of The Greenbrier Classic. Formerly the assistant director of the PGA TOUR event at The Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, Ortel is now the man in charge, replacing Tim McNeely, who had been the tournament’s director since its inception, before resigning last month to become the athletic director at Fairmont State University
McNeely leaves Greenbrier Classic to become AD at Fairmont State
Fairmont State University wasn’t officially looking for a new athletic director, but it hired one anyway.
Greenbrier gives 25-year-old golfer Silvers his Big Break
Mark Silvers has played in a U.S. Open — qualifying for the 2010 event at Pebble Beach, where he missed the cut after a pair of 82s the first two rounds — he played collegiate golf at the University of South Carolina, and just last month he finished 95th at the PGA TOUR Qualifying School, earning conditional status for the Web.com Tour (formerly the Nationwide Tour) for 2013.
Ted Potter Jr. captures first PGA TOUR victory after three-hole playoff
Fans get behind Daly
Besides the leaders, the largest contingent of spectators gathered Sunday at The Greenbrier Classic were tracking fan favorite John Daly.
Classic runner-up Kelly receives a nice consolation prize
It happens all the time on The Price is Right or Wheel of Fortune.
The Greenbrier Classic Scores
Simpson ends the day on top
Who said all of golf’s big guns are out at The Greenbrier Classic?
U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson spent most of the day Saturday chasing others at the top of the Greenbrier Classic leaderboard. But he ended the third round of the third-year PGA TOUR event just where he started it — on top.
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- Greenbrier partners with PGA golfer Webb Simpson