The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

July 8, 2012

Absence of Tiger, Phil doesn’t keep fans away


No Lefty.

No problem.

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.”

— E-mail:

Text Only
Latest Sports
  • 072414 WV Open.jpg Familiarity with Cobb helps Hess take lead

    It wouldn’t be a stretch to say Kenny Hess is comfortable playing the Cobb Course at Glade Springs Resort.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Golf and motocross are Jude’s passions

    Motocross and golf have very little in common.

    July 24, 2014

  • WVU’s Worley clear starter at cornerback

    There were few bright spots in West Virginia University’s 4-8 football campaign last year, and even fewer on the defensive side of the football, where the Mountaineers gave up more than 455 yards and 33 points per game.

    July 24, 2014

  • How to discover and love Major League Soccer

    When I began my soccer fandom following a missions trip to Brazil in 2000, I didn’t know what my next step was. I knew I loved watching the game, but there weren’t a lot of options for seeing it in the U.S. I knew of Major League Soccer — mostly from my friend and current FC Dallas beat writer Drew Epperley — but it was hard to find.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Holgorsen to appear on ESPN special

    West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen will appear Wednesday on ESPN’s annual mid-summer college football coaches’ “car wash” — in which guests appear across multiple programs and platforms over one day.

    July 23, 2014

  • 072314 brand Bradshaw or the field?

    If a betting window were set up on the Cobb Course at The Resort at Glade Springs for the 81st West Virginia Open Championship, which begins at 8 a.m. this morning, the most popular wager would probably be David Bradshaw against the field.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Holgorsen: WVU getting comfortable in new league

    Dana Holgorsen remembers the glory days of West Virginia University football — the ones that included conference championships and BCS bowl wins. In fact, he was part of one of those, leading the Mountaineers to a Big East championship and an Orange Bowl victory in his first season as head coach in 2011.

    July 23, 2014

  • 072314 justice Home sweet home away from home

    When Greenbrier owner Jim Justice was handed a copy of the Richmond Times-Dispatch Sunday, his eyes lit up like a Rockefeller Center Christmas tree on a cold December night.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072314 miners Miners take series with Paints

    The way the West Virginia Miners see it, they don’t have the luxury of planning for tomorrow.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

Saints Training Camp