Greenbrier Classic preview with Skeeter McGillicuddy
The Greenbrier Classic returns after a washout in last year. Just two weeks to go before the Open this event serves as a warm up for the top players entered. Even though it’s the PGA Tour and all that this means to the winner these supporting events always feel a little second rate not that the eventual winner will care.
The course has undergone extensive renovation after last year’s serious floods and now comes in at just under 7,300 yards par 70. At 200o ft above sea level it will not feel long and with 7000 sq ft greens and softish conditions predicted the winner will have to go low. Sounds like the ideal Open prep!
Patrick heads the market this week, which is an indication of the relative weakness of the filed and a return to form. He’s a stable favourite of ours but not at the price. Bubba has local connections and will be pumped but his game is as down as his weight and Milky steps out with his brother Tim as opposed to Bones for the start of a new era. I fail to see how this makes any sense as a prep for his Open bid but hey it’s Milky.
Bryson De Chambeau: 1pt win at $85
Tony Finau: 1 pt win at $32
Bryson De Chambeau is always on my radar and I’ll be dammed if he sneaks his maiden tour win without us on. The pressure must be mounting given his elevated commercial status and ranking but he seems to have finally found the game to get into contention. Much improved tee to green play in his last two events. After eight missed cuts he’s thrown in a 26th and 17th and four of his last eight rounds are in the 60’s with a average score of 69.125. He’s not just hitting well tee to green – he’s found his putting. Talented we know and now showing the form we know he can it could be Bryson’s breakthrough.
1pt win @ $85
Tony Finau is another stable favourite and like DeChambeau appears to have found his putting boots. His overall strokes gained putting figure of -250 belies some great recent efforts on the greens. When you combine better putting with a 70.29% GIR figure you get contender. Finau will hit a lot of greens this week and without the pressure of Fed Ex playoffs and in this weakfish field he’ll be freewheeling it.