The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

The Greenbrier Classic

July 3, 2012

6-man playoff needed

4 spots filled in dramatic fashion

DANIELS — Six fantastic rounds of golf.

But room for only four to move on.

In an Open Qualifier for The Greenbrier Classic held at The Resort at Glade Springs’ Cobb Course on Monday, the quartet was established in heart-stopping fashion — a six-man playoff.

Jonathan Mills, Garrett Willis, Michael Maness and Chris Wilson took the final spots for The Greenbrier Classic, a third-year PGA TOUR FedExCup event played at The Old White TPC Thursday through Sunday in White Sulphur Springs.

Christopher Ross and Ryan Blaum were eliminated in the playoff.

Each of the six shot 33-33, except for Willis, who shot a 34 on the front nine and rallied for a 32 on the back nine.

“The course was not easy,” said Dave Wright, tournament director for PGA Tri-State. “The level of talent has definitely risen over the three years. With The Greenbrier Classic being a third-year tournament, the word has spread that it’s a great tournament. Guys want to make it in.”

Mills birdied on the first playoff hole, while four others parred, to claim the first spot. Ross bogeyed and was the first one eliminated.

With three slots left, the remaining four all parred on the second playoff hole.

Blaum bogeyed on the third playoff hole, while three others claimed qualifier spots by hitting par to wrap up the day.

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David Bradshaw narrowly missed a spot in The Greenbrier Classic for the third year in a row.

His 69 on Monday was three strokes shy of the lead.

The previous two years, he lost in playoffs, however. In 2010, Bradshaw shot a 69 in the Open Qualifier. He fired a 67 in 2011 and still fell short on the bonus holes.

Bradshaw, a 29-year-old Harpers Ferry native, is a winner of six of the last nine West Virginia Opens. He was coming off a PGA Tri-State victory last weekend at the Frank B. Furer Jr. Golf Invitational in Pittsburgh.

Other notables that didn’t make the 2012 qualifier were Jon Bartlett (35-34, 69), Garrett Frank (37-35, 72), David Morland (35-37, 72), Alex Hamilton (35-37, 72) and Christian Brand (39-38, 77).

Hamilton and Morland claimed spots in the inaugural Greenbrier Classic in 2010. Hamilton shot a 66 in the pre-qualifier at Glade Springs on Friday.

In 2011, Frank (65) made the Greenbrier Classic field.

Brand played in the 2011 Greenbrier Classic through an exemption given to the W.Va. Amateur champion, as did Bartlett, in the inaugural Greenbrier Classic in 2010.

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Like the Old White TPC in White Sulphur Springs, there was storm damage on the Cobb Course in Daniels.

“They lost about 30 trees, but they did a heck of a job with it,” said Wright. “They had to remove some giant trees from the course, but you really couldn’t tell it. Their staff did a great job.

“And the volunteers, the members at Glade Springs, were tremendous,” he added. “This is one of the only places in the country that we get that kind of volunteer support out on the course.”

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