The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

The Greenbrier Classic

July 6, 2014

McNeill fires 61 to take clubhouse lead at Greenbrier Classic


George McNeill took the tee at The Old White TPC this morning simply looking to finish his round — and The Greenbrier Classic — as soon as possible.

McNeill's older sister, Michele, is battling a serious health injury, and he's already withdrawn from next week's John Deere Classic to go home and be with his family. Admittedly, golf was the last thing on his mind when he pulled out a club and looked over the Greenbrier Valley.

"You go out and golf doesn't mean a whole lot," he said. "It's hard. I have been playing OK this week, but there are some things going on elsewhere."

But after three straight pars to begin his final round, McNeill, who started the day at 5-under-par in 19th place, saw things start to change. 

It started with a birdie on the par-4 fourth, and then came birdies at 5, 6 and 7. Then came the highlight of the day, an ace on the par-3 eighth.

"It was playing at a perfect number," he said in describing his second hole-in-one on the PGA Tour and seventh overall. "It was about 220 (yards) to the pin, which is a 4-iron for me. I just hit it right against the slope. I saw it rolling left and didn't pay too much attention. I was just hoping it wasn't going to gain too much speed. The crowd started getting a little louder, and then they jumped out of their seats and I knew. It's not something you can really plan on, but it's nice when it happens.

"Four birdies in a row and a hole-in-one, that doesn't hurt any round. I've never seen anybody get upset about that."

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The Greenbrier Classic