The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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June 28, 2013

Classic field gets even more impressive

Immelman commits, brings number of Major Championship winners to 12

The list of Major Championship winners who will be participating in next week’s Greenbrier Classic has now reached a dozen.

Tournament director Monte Ortel announced late Thursday night that Trevor Immelman has joined the list of Major winners who will compete for the PGA TOUR title on the Old White TPC Course July 4-7 in White Sulphur Springs.

The 33-year-old South African won the 2008 Masters, one of two PGA TOUR victories. He’s also won four times on the European Tour and was the PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year in 2006.

Ryo Ishikawa, a 21-year-old Japanese golfer who became the youngest winner ever of a men’s regular tournament on the Japan Golf Tour in 2007, winning at the age of 15, will also be a part of this year’s Greenbrier Classic field.

Ishikawa has won 10 times on the Japan Tour since joining the tour in 2008. He began playing on the PGA TOUR last year. He’s played in the Masters five times, finishing tied for 20th in 2011, and the U.S. Open three times, finishing tied for 30th in 2011.

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Four World Golf Hall of Famers will also be in action on the Old White TPC this week.

Phil Mickelson, Tom Watson, Davis Love III and Vijay Singh have all received the game’s biggest honor and been inducted into the Hall in St. Augustine, Fla.

“That’s pretty unique,” said Ortel. “We’re proud of that.”

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There will be some star power on the Cobb Course at The Resort at Glade Springs Monday, as well, as golfers battle for the final four positions in The Greenbrier Classic Field.

Making it to the qualifier by finishing in the top 50 in Monday’s pre-qualifier were two former Masters participants in Corbin Mills and Drew Weaver, a former Virginia Tech Hokie.

The Monday qualifier will also provide plenty of local flavor. Marshall graduate Christian Brand was one of the top finishers at Thursday’s pre-qualifier. Concord assistant golf coach Darcy Donaldson and seven-time West Virginia Open winner David Bradshaw also made the cut.

These golfers will join with other PGA TOUR, Web.com Tour and Champions Tour professionals not already in the tournament to play for the final four spots.

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Bubba Watson is apparently enjoying his stay in Greenbrier County in preparation for next week’s tournament.

On Thursday, the 2012 Masters champion had a picture of the practice facility on his Twitter account, expressing his appreciation for The Greenbrier. On Friday, Watson posted a picture of himself with a falcon on his arm with the message, “Went to the falconry this morning. What n amazing place! #greenbrier.”

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The deadline for committing to play in the 2013 Greenbrier Classic passed at 5 p.m. Friday, but Ortel said there could still be some slight changes to the tournament field.

Any player who finishes in the top 10 at the AT&T National this week that is not already in the field can receive an automatic qualification to play.

Players can also withdraw from the tournament, moving players on the alternate list into the field.

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Ortel said ticket sales for the tournament have gone well, but he encouraged fans who have not yet purchased their weekly badges to do so soon.

Badges are available at www.greenbrierclassic.com. A grounds badge, good for all four competitive rounds, three practice rounds and both concerts — Kenny Chesney on Thursday and Aerosmith on Saturday — are available for $159.

— E-mail: chuffman@

register-herald.com and follow on Twitter @CamHuffmanRH.

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