One of the areas of top level golf that is often forgotten about is the impact that tournaments have on their local communities. The PGA Tour do a very good job of ensuring that all of their events raise considerable amounts of money for charity with much of those funds being spent locally. Few tournaments, however, will have as much of an impact on their local community as the Greenbrier Classic.
The Greenbrier’s official charity is called Neighbors Helping Neighbors. It was set up in May 2016 and was thrust into action just one month later when the local area was devastated by a huge storm. People lost their lives and hundreds were left homeless in White Sulphur Springs when the rain poured down and the Greenbrier’s host course, Old White TPC was left under three feet of mud in places. That meant that the 2016 renewal of the Greenbrier Classic could not take place and it’s taken a huge amount of work to ensure that this year’s tournament can go ahead.
Much of that work has been carried out on Old White TPC. Those in charge at the course have taken the enforced renovation of the course in their stride. They’ve sought to restore the course to the way that it was originally designed with slopes eased on the greens and the positioning of several bunkers around the course changed considerably. Everybody in the field will have to get used to the new look course but it’s still thought that approach play and putting will be more important than what the players do off the tee.
Bubba Can Secure an Emotional Win
Bubba Watson knows as well as anybody the effects of the storm in White Sulphur Springs. He lives locally and lost power for four days after the storm. The two time Masters champion also played a considerable role in the renovation of the local area and he’s spoken movingly about the power of his local community.
Watson would dearly love to win the Greenbrier Classic and he may well oblige at odds of 28/1 with Betfair. Watson has had his problems this season but the Old White TPC is a course he loves and if his putter gets hot, the rest of his game looks well suited for an assault on the leaderboard.
Donald Can Putt His Way Back to Form
No golf tournament can be won thanks to just one aspect of the game but previous renewals of the Greenbrier Classic show that putting is a very important attribute to master on the way to success at Old White TPC. That will be music to the ears of Luke Donald.
After finishing second at the RBC Heritage, Donald has missed four cuts from his last five starts. That’s an alarming run of form but this week could see things change drastically. Despite all the areas of his game which require improvement, Donald ranks fourth on the PGA Tour for strokes gained putting. As long as the Englishman can keep his ball in play off the tee at Old White TPC he should have birdie chances. Take them, and Donald could be in for a big win at 100/1 with Ladbrokes.