By Cam Huffman
Golf’s two most famous left-handers will both be in White Sulphur Springs next month.
The Greenbrier chairman and CEO Jim Justice confirmed late Monday night that Bubba Watson, the 2012 Masters champion and a four-time PGA TOUR winner, has officially committed to play in The Greenbrier Classic, which will be held July 1-7 on The Old White TPC Course at The Greenbrier Resort.
Watson, who will play the fourth-year tournament for the first time, will join the other big left-hander, four-time Major winner Phil Mickelson, who will be playing the event for the third straight year.
“This is really big for us,” said Justice, who identified Watson as one of his top targets at a media event earlier this month. “We’re really excited that he’s going to come.”
Watson — who famously stated after winning the Green Jacket that he’s never had a golf coach — played college golf at The University of Georgia. The 34-year-old Bagdad, Fla., native turned professional in 2003.
Justice also confirmed two other commitments Monday.
n Nick Whatney — A five-time PGA TOUR winner, the 32-year-old Fresno State University product finished seventh in the 2010 Masters and seventh at the British Open that same year.
n Ben Curtis — The Columbus, Ohio, native has four PGA TOUR victories since turning professional in 2000.
His biggest victory was the 2003 British Open title, and he finished second in the 2008 PGA Championship.
With Mickelson, Watson, Tom Watson, John Daly, Webb Simpson, Boo Weekley and other big names signed to play, Tiger Woods becomes the last big question.
Justice has repeatedly said that the world’s No. 1 player, who made his Greenbrier Classic debut last summer, hasn’t committed, but he hasn’t said no, either.
ESPN.com golf writer Bob Harig gave Greenbrier Classic fans some hope in a story he wrote following the Sunday conclusion of the U.S. Open.
“Woods is scheduled to defend his title June 27-30 at the AT&T National,” Harig wrote, “and there’s a chance he will play the Greenbrier Classic the first week in July, although he has yet to commit to that tournament.”
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