Expert Picks for The Greenbrier Classic
After 46 players shot all four rounds in the 60s during the inaugural Greenbrier Classic, tournament organizers wisely decided to give The Old White TPC course at The Greenbrier some needed adjustments. For the second trip to the historic resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. players should find the difficulty dialed up a bit. Last year's event was won in historic fashion by Stuart Appleby thanks to the fifth round of 59 in Tour history.
Phil Mickelson [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #13
Since winning the Shell Houston Open, Mickelson has added three more top-15 finishes in six starts, including a share of second at The Open Championship. Lefty did not compete in this event a year ago, but is always on the short list of favorites just about anywhere. On Tour, Mickelson is currently seventh in birdie average, 11th in scoring average and ninth in All-Around Ranking.
Sergio Garcia [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #11
In 10 Tour starts this season, Garcia has only missed one cut with seven top-20 finishes, including consecutive top-10s in the U.S. Open and British Open events. He only managed to finish T60 at the Greenbrier last year, but is playing too well to knock him for that result. Garcia ranks second in eagles (holes per) and fourth in scoring average.
Webb Simpson [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #61
Currently sitting first in All-Around Ranking, Simpson continues to knock on the door of his first career Tour win. He has finished as the runner-up in two events this season while landing inside the top-20 in five straight. Simpson ranks fifth in birdie average, sixth in scoring average and 10th in total driving.
Charles Howell III [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #93
Since missing the cut at THE PLAYERS Championship, Howell has been on an absolute tear. He's finished 28nd or better in six straight starts with three top-fives. Howell picked up a top-10 a year ago at The Greenbrier while sharing the top ranking in greens hit. He ranks 10th in scoring average, 24th in strokes gained - putting - and 27th in All-Around Ranking.
Brandt Snedeker [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #24 - Not Entered
Prior to missing the cut at The Open Championship, Snedeker had finished 24th or better in four consecutive starts. A year ago, he finished T16 at the Greenbrier with a top-10 ranking in both fairways hit and putting. Snedeker ranks second in strokes gained - putting, 12th in scoring average and 16th in All-Around Ranking.
Spencer Levin [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #179
Since missing the cut at the Memorial Tournament, Levin has three top-15 finishes in his last five starts. A year ago at the Greenbrier, he entered Sunday tied for 11th and finished T21. Levin ranks eighth in scoring average and figures to improve on last year’s result as his career season rolls on.
Chris Kirk [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #67
After missing two consecutive cuts, Kirk finished T8 at the AT&T National, T22 at the John Deere Classic and is coming off a win at the Viking Classic. The rookie ranks 22nd in birdie average, 28th in greens in regulation percentage and 12th in All-Around Ranking. Now cruising at warp speed, make sure you beam Kirk into your lineup.
During his last five starts, Overton has finished T8 at the HP Byron Nelson Championship and T3 at the AT&T National. Last year at the Greenbrier, Overton finished one stroke behind the winner while ending up 18th or better in fairways hit, greens hit, driving distance and putting. In 2010, Overton finished sixth in the FedExCup standings and could be rediscovering that form.
Bill Haas [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #33
After a fast start to the season, Haas has cooled off over the last two months. After picking up a fourth-place result at the Wells Fargo Championship and another top-10 at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, Haas' best finish in four starts since June is T23. However, his overall skills are too good to ignore. Haas ranks sixth in greens in regulation and 14th in both total driving and All-Around Ranking.
A year ago, de Jonge dropped a round of 65 in three of four rounds at the Greenbrier and finished third. Due to a season of ups and downs, the native of Zimbabwe doesn’t own a notable ranking aside from being 26th in birdie average. In his last two starts, de Jonge finished T7 in the John Deere Classic and T13 in the Viking Classic.
Over his last eight starts, Gay has picked up three top-15 finishes while missing two cuts. He ranks third in driving accuracy percentage, 15th in scoring average and 18th in strokes gained – putting. Gay is coming off a disappointing T59 result at the RBC Canadian Open, but should bounce back on a much easier course.
Coming off a season-best finish of third at the RBC Canadian Open, Romero now ranks 30th or better in eagles (holes per), birdie average, strokes gained – putting and All-Around Ranking. Over his last nine starts, the Argentinian has finished 16th or better on four occasions. Romero did miss three cuts in that span, but is worth the risk in his first trip to the Greenbrier.