Greenbrier Classic Preview

The PGA Tour moves on to the Greenbrier Classic on The Old White TPC at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. This event is virtually new to the Tour having only made its debut in 2010 to replace the long-standing Buick Open in Flint, Michigan.

The Old White course was opened in 1914 and joined the TPC network in March 2011. The event was first staged in late July but was subsequently moved to the start of the month and is contracted to run for the next six years.

The inaugural event was won by Stuart Appleby following a sensational final round 59, only the fifth in PGA Tour history. That was enough to give him a one-stroke victory, his first on tour for four years.

In 2011 the tournament went to a three-way sudden-death playoff with Scott Stallings defeating Bob Estes and last week’s Tour winner Bill Haas. A playoff was needed again last year before Ted Potter Jr could be crowned champion over Troy Kelly. The event was also notable for being the first time that Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson had both missed the cut in the same tournament.

Greenbrier Stats

Stuart Appleby’s round of 59 in 2010 remains the most recent on the PGA Tour. It came less than a month after Paul Goydos had recorded the fourth sub-60 round on the Tour in the John Deere Classic. This year’s purse is $6.3m with $1.13m going to the winner. Last year’s playoff was a battle between two virtually unknown golfers who had graduated from mini-tours.

Greenbrier Betting Tips

Phil Mickelson is headlining at the Greenbrier Classic this week and has been installed as 14-1 favourite with the bookmakers. His play this season has been a strange mixture of his mercurial best and the occasional disaster.

Since his virtual no-show at the US Masters, Mickelson has played just four tournaments with a record of third, missed cut, second, second. When he’s in the mood, there is no finer striker of the ball in golf. The fact that he missed the cut here last year can probably be overlooked as he carded two rounds of 71. He is so dangerous that we have to keep him on-side.

Webb Simpson sign posted a return to form at the Travelers Championship when fifth and Bubba Watson also hinted at a return to winning ways at the same event. Not surprisingly, they figure prominently in the betting this week and I wouldn’t put you off either but there may be better value elsewhere.

Bill Haas is seeking back-to-back tour victories after the AT & T but the two golfers that I’d like to include from that event are Roberto Castro (2nd) and Charlie Wi (7th). As well as their good recent form, they both have good records here having been third and tied seventh respectively last year.

For my fourth choice this week I’m taking a chance on Kyle Stanley despite the fact that he completely bombed out at the US Open recently. He missed the cut at the Travelers subsequently but had previously finished third at the Memorial and has played this course well in the past.

Phil Mickelson 14-1 Bet365
Roberto Castro 51-1 Betfair
Charlie Wi 89-1 Betfair
Kyle Stanley 61-1 Betfair