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by Matt Fargo - 07/03/2012
This week, The Old White TPC at The Greenbrier plays host to the 3rd annual Greenbrier Classic. The event was pushed up from the end of July last year to its current slot and it was bad luck in timing at the course was damaged last week with the storms that rolled into the northeast. There were 70 to 80 trees damaged on The Old White Course with more than 200 hit but play will go on without an issue. The Old White TPC, built in 1914, is the oldest course to host a PGA Tour event.
The Greenbrier was on the brink of bankruptcy recently but renovations that took place between 2002 and 2006 helped attract the tour and the rest is history. Players will be playing to a par 70 on a rather short course totaling 7,274 yards. Driving accuracy will be important as the fairways are tight and greens will be firm. The Old White TPC is one of only two tracks that finish with a par three, the other being East Lake, host of the Tour Championship.
Last year it took a playoff to decide the winner as Scott Stalling defeated Bob Estes and Bill Haas on the first playoff hole. In its first year here, scoring was as easy as it gets as the course ranked 2nd easiest of the 14 par 70 tracks on tour and that was certainly justified after Stuart Appleby put up a Sunday 59 to card an overall score of 22 under par. Last year after it was lengthened and the greens done over, The Old White TPC ranked 13th out of 51 courses in difficulty. The tee to green game is where it will again be won.
The move up in the schedule has given the Greenbrier a stronger than normal field and it is highlighted by the appearances of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. They are the only two players ranked in the OWGR top ten but also teeing it up are two of the past three Major winners, 2011 PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley and 2012 U.S. Open Champion Webb Simpson. Other notables include Jim Furyk, Dustin Johnson and Steve Stricker to name a few.
Tiger Woods (+350) is the huge favorite this week. Last week, he was favored with no value heading into the AT&T National and he came away victorious. With even worse value this week, we will stay away from Woods as winning in consecutive weeks is tough enough let alone doing the second one on a course he has never played before.
Webb Simpson (+1,500) took the week off last week so he comes in fresh and likely more focused. After winning the U.S. Open, he played very respectable in Cromwell as he finished T29 at the Travelers. He finished T9 at the Greenbrier Classic a year ago after missing the cut two years ago and he is arguably playing his best golf right now.
Jim Furyk (+2,500) is getting excellent value this week. He is coming off T34 last week after a Sunday 69 which came after his meltdown at the U.S. Open two weeks before. He has three top four finishes this year including a runner-up at the Transitions Championship and in his lone appearance here in 2010, he finished with a T9.
Jeff Overton (+4,000) has had an up and down year but his last two events have resulted in a T13 at the FedEx St. Jude Classic and a T22 at the AT&T last week. He was the victim of Appleby's 59 here two years ago as he finished one stroke off the lead. He followed that up with a T49 last year but we know he can go low here.
Carl Pettersson (+5,000) is 12th on the money list and 10th in the FedEx Cup standings yet is getting longshot odds this week. He is a winner already this year and even though he has missed his last two cuts, he has taken the last two weeks off so he comes in better mentally and physically. He finished T18 here a year ago.
Jimmy Walker (+5,000) will get the second longshot look this week. He has missed only four cuts all season and has three top tens to his credit even though all of those were early in the season. He is coming off a respectable T32 last week but his history on this course is the main factor as after a T4 in 2010, he came back last year with an identical finish.
Recommended Tournament Win Five Pack at the Greenbrier Classic – (all for One Unit)
Webb Simpson (+1,500)
Jim Furyk (+2,500)
Jeff Overton (+4,000)
Carl Pettersson (+5,000)
Jimmy Walker (+5,000)
Record to date after 24 events: +29.1 Units
Sony Open -5 Units
Humana Challenge -6 Units
Farmers Insurance Open +22 Units
Waste Management Phoenix Open -5 Units
AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am -5 Units
Northern Trust Open -5 Units
Accenture Match Play +7.1 Units
Honda Classic -5 Units
WGC-Cadillac Championship -5 Units
Transitions Championship +6 Units
Arnold Palmer Invitational -4 Units
Shell Houston Open +16 Units
The Masters -6 Units
RBC Heritage -5 Units
Valero Texas Open -4 Units
Zurich Classic of New Orleans +21 Units
Wells Fargo Championship +36 Units
THE PLAYERS Championship -5 Units
HP Byron Nelson Championship -5 Units
Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial +11 Units
The Memorial -5 Units
FedEx St. Jude Classic -5 Units
U.S. Open -5 Units
Travelers Championship -5 Units
AT&T National -5 Units