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by Matt Fargo - 07/02/2013
Bill Haas ran away from the field with five birdies in his last 11 holes to win by three shots over Roberto Castro at the AT&T National from Congressional Country Club. This week, The Old White TPC at The Greenbrier plays host to the 4th annual Greenbrier Classic. 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. The Old White TPC, built in 1914, is the oldest course to host a PGA Tour event.
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. It is a par 70 that that stretches 7,274 yards and as with most tour layouts, driving accuracy will be important as the fairways are tight and greens are firm. Three years ago, 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.
Two years ago, it ranked 13th out of 51 courses in difficulty while last year it was 27th out of 49 tour stops and was the fifth easiest par 70. The finishes have been some of the best of late as two years ago, Scott Stallings defeated Bob Estes and Bill Haas on the first playoff hole. Last year, Ted Potter Jr., after closing eagle-birdie on the final two holes, defeated Troy Kelly on the third playoff hole. We can expect more drama this week with another wide open field in play.
Tiger Woods was the main attraction last year but he missed the cut by one stroke as did Phil Mickelson who has missed the weekend in both of his appearances. Woods is not playing this week but Mickelson is back, part of seven of the top 30 players in this week's world rankings. Recent major winners Webb Simpson, Bubba Watson and Keegan Bradley are also playing. Just three players have top 10 finishes two of three years here, Simpson (2011-12), Brendon de Jonge (2010-11) and Jimmy Walker (2010-11).
Webb Simpson (+1,200) is the co-favorite this week along with Mickelson and for good reason. He is coming off a T5 at the Travelers which was his fourth top ten of the season, including three top fives. He has not been able to nab his fourth tour win but finishes of T7 and T9 at the Old White TPC the last two years has him in good position.
Graham DeLaet (+2,200) looks to be close to his breakaway victory on the PGA Tour. He has made 15 cuts in 18 starts and that includes 10 top 25's and five tops tens. Two of those have come in his last two starts with a T8 at the AT&T last week and a solo third at the Travelers. He finished T12 at the Greenbrier last year.
Brendon de Jonge (+4,000) missed the cut at Congressional last week but he is still having a very solid season with eight top 25's including three top tens. He has yet to win on tour but if there is a place it will happen, this could it as he is three-for-three at the Greenbrier including a solo third in 2010 and a T4 in 2011.
Jimmy Walker (+5,500) is another player that is still seeking his first PGA Tour win. After 15 consecutive cuts made to start the season, he has missed the weekend in each of his last two starts but he is poised for a rebound here. As mentioned, he is one of only three players with two top tens here, a T4 in both 2010 and 2011.
Gary Woodland (+5,500) shares longshot odds with Walker and he is playing his best golf of the season. He has three top 20's in his last four events with the lone non-top 20 being a WD from the Travelers two weeks ago because of a sore back. He came back with a T16 last week and he finished T4 here two years ago.
Recommended Tournament Win Five Pack at the Greenbrier Classic (all for One Unit)
Webb Simpson (+1,200)
Graham DeLaet (+2,200)
Brendon de Jonge (+4,000)
Jimmy Walker (+5,500)
Gary Woodland (+5,500)
2012 Record to date after 36 events: +51.6 Units
2013 Record to date after 24 events: -30.4 Units
Hyundai Tournament of Champions -5 Units
Sony Open in Hawaii -5 Units
Humana Challenge - 5 Units
Farmer Insurance Open +3.5 Units
Waste Management Phoenix Open +19 Units
AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am -5 Units
Northern Trust Open -5 Units
WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship +25.66 units
The Honda Classic -5 Units
WGC-Cadillac Championship -5 Units
Tampa Bay Championship -5 Units
Arnold Palmer Invitational -1.5 Units
Shell Houston Open -5 Units
The Masters -8 Units
RBC Heritage +27 Units
Zurich Classic of New Orleans -5 Units
The Wells Fargo Championship -5 Units
THE PLAYERS Championship -5 Units
HP Byron Nelson Championship -5 Units
Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial -5 Units
Memorial Tournament -5 Units
FedEx St. Jude Classic -5 Units
U.S. Open -6 Units
Travelers Championship -5 Units
AT&T National -5 Units