WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS WV - JULY 29: A flagstick is seen on the 18th green during the first round of the Greenbrier Classic on The Old White Course at the Greenbrier Resort on July 29 2010 in White Sulphur Springs West Virginia. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Tiger Woods returns to action this week at The Greenbrier Classic, where he has never played a tournament in his career. After severe weather last week, will the golf course be ready for the surging Tiger?
Tiger Woods is fresh off his third win of the 2012 PGA Tour season as he prepares to play this week's Greenbrier Classic for the first time in his career. Due to severe weather and damaging winds over the past week, however, tournament officials and volunteers are scrambling to get the course ready for tournament play.
On Friday, storms rushed through the West Virginia course, uprooting many trees and causing damage on many areas of the course just three days before tournament activities opened to the players and public. Jim Justice, owner of the Greenbrier, scrambled to repair the heavy damage and asked the community for help via Facebook.
“The Greenbrier Classic has an urgent need for volunteers to help pick up debris, twigs, leaves, etc. around The Old White TPC today,” the posting read.
Meanwhile, Woods and his tour-leading three wins is sure to drive ratings and tournament interest through the roof on what is normally a rather difficult tournament field on an annual basis. Last year's winner Scott Stallings returns to action as well, in addition to other names like Phil Mickelson, Webb Simpson, and Dustin Johnson; but make no mistake about it: all eyes will be securely fixated on Tiger again this week.
Jim Justice had the following to say about Woods' decision to include The Greenbrier Classic to his schedule for the first time:
"[Tiger] really loves the history of the place, the history of the golf course, especially, the history that the Hogans and the Sneads played there," Justice said.
The Greenbrier will also serve as a potential British Open qualifying event for many players who are still trying to earn their way to Royal Lytham and St. Annes. This week will mark the final opportunity for a handful of players to grab one of two remaining open slots for the season's third major. Marc Leishman currently has the best chance at earning his way to the Open after his victory at the Traveler's Championship last month, but names like Jhonny Vegas, Charley Hoffman and Michael Thompson are also strong contenders.