Woods changes Greenbrier dynamic
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2012 Greenbrier Classic | Preview | 03 Jul 2012
The Greenbrier Classic gets the ultimate boost this week when Tiger Woods tees it up in the event for the very first occasion. Woods had considered playing at event at the Old White TPC in 2011 but health issues prevented him from doing so.
Woods will play this week’s event as his final lead in to the Open Championship at Lytham-St Annes which begins on July 19th.
The impetus Woods’ involvement will provide to the tournament is undeniable but not only do tournament organisers have Woods as their star attraction but a new date has allowed them to secure the services of US Open Champion Webb Simpson, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk in what is a very impressive line-up.
The tournament venue suffered from the damaging winds and storms that hit much of the USA’s East Coast in recent times but by all accounts will be ready to go come Thursday.
Woods comes off the back of his stunning win at Congressional last week and although new to this venue it should prove no real hurdle in him continuing on his push to get back to the mantle of the world’s leading player. He probably already is but to have it official will complete a remarkable turnaround in 2012.
Webb Simpson played very well in the event last year, actually leading through the middle stages of the tournament before finishing 9th. He did very well to follow up his recent US Open victory with a solid tournament at the Travelers Championship especially given the media attention he received and after a week off to recharge the batteries he should do very well.
Mickelson missed the cut when he played here for the first time last year and his recent efforts in 2012 have not been great either so if he is to have his game in the sort of shape it needs to be in to produce another great week at the Open in two weeks time he needs to show something this week.
Dustin Johnson will also play the tournament for the first occasion, his recent win in Memphis however suggesting he is playing well enough to contend despite two average efforts at the US Open and the AT&T.
Brendon de Jonge is an interesting player this week. Having played so well through three rounds at last week’s AT&T National event, de Jonge returns to a venue he has performed well on in the past two years finishing 4th and 3rd in each of his last two starts in the tournament.
The Zimbabwe golfer has missed very few cuts in 2012 and at both the Travelers and the AT&T National he contended at various stages. He could be a dark horse in this field.
Jim Furyk was a little disappointing last week in Washington DC but with his US Open stumble now three weeks behind him he could get better and quickly. Furyk finished 9th in this event in 2010.
Andres Romero finished 4th in this event last year and his runner-up finish at the Memorial and a midfield finish at the AT&T National after some time off was good enough to suggest he could be in for a good week.
Seung Yul Noh continues to build on the reputation that proceeded him on his arrival from Korea and the man with the outstanding golf swing appears well on track to follow in the footsteps of K.J. Choi and Y.E Yang as great Korean players on the PGA Tour. His 4th place finish last week at the Congressional highlighted how far he has come this season and further improvement would not surprise.
Pat Perez is another putting together a series of good tournaments of late and having finished 9th in this event two years ago he has the credentials for another good finish in the event. His last round of 64 in 2010 in his only start in the tournament suggests he enjoys the golf course.
Australia is well represented with Marc Leishman, Nathan Green, Mathew Goggin, Greg Chalmers, Nick O’Hern, Stuart Appleby, Rod Pampling and Gavin Coles teeing it up, Leishman now at a different level as a tour player following his victory in Hartford and his good follow up tournament last week.
Leishman played well in the tournament on debut in 2010 and although he missed the cut last year his chances look good of his recent form continuing.
Appleby holds the course record at the Old White TPC, his final round of 59 in 2010 sweeping him to an unlikely victory given his form at that time so he will be hoping to again reverse current form in an event which offers good memories for him. He needs to as his season in 2012 is poor to date.
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