Tyler Mertins/MetroNews

Tom Watson is making his fourth start at the Greenbrier Classic.


WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — The Greenbrier Classic field will feature all four of the event’s previous champions, along with the expected inclusion of resort golf pro emeritus Tom Watson.

The Greenbrier Classic announced Thursday the commitment of Watson, an eight-time major champion who will captain the U.S. Ryder Cup team in September. At

“Tom Watson is one of the all-time greats in the game,” said Greenbrier owner Jim Justice.

Watson’s third start at The Greenbrier three led to his best finish, a tie for 38th at 4-under.

“Competing on The Old White TPC Course with some of the best players in the world during The Greenbrier Classic is always one of the highlights of my year,” Watson said. “I’m especially looking forward to this year’s tournament as we celebrate the 100th birthday of The Old White.”

Meanwhile, Stuart Appleby (2010), Scott Stallings (2011), Ted Potter, Jr. (2012), and reigning champion Jonas Blixt will be seeking their second Greenbrier titles.

Blixt, the 30-year-old Swedish native, tied for runner-up at The Masters and is currently ranked No. 36 in the world.

The 30-year-old Potter recorded his lone PGA Tour victory at the 2012 Greenbrier. He holds tournament records for lowest scoring average at 66.88 and career earnings with more than $1.3 million. This will be Potter’s third start at The Greenbrier Classic coming off a tie for sixth last year. The Florida native has three top-25 finishes during the 2013-14 season—topped by tying for 13th at the FedEx St. Jude Classic.

Stallings, the 2011 Greenbrier champion, will be making his fourth start on The Old White ad owns a tournament scoring average of 68.5. The 29-year-old has recorded three PGA titles since turning professional in 2007. His latest victory came at the 2014 Farmers Insurance Open. Stallings is currently ranked No. 76 in the world.

The Australian Appleby, 43, set The Old White TPC Course record with a final-round 59 in the 2010 inaugural Greenbrier. He has recorded two top-10 PGA finishes this season. A T8 finish at The Honda Classic is currently his best outing of the year. Appleby has posted nine career PGA victories over his 22-year professional career and has career tour earnings eclipsing $28 million.

The Greenbrier Classic will take place from June 30-July 6.

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  • indianboy

    This event brings national TV coverage to our state for 4 days. The announcers spend those 4 days talking about how wonderful and beautiful WV is, and how great the people are. The economic impact on Southern WV in substantial. As to the field, Phil has played, Tom Watson is always here and if you watch any golf on TV you would know this field compares well to any of the other non -majors in this current era.I for one think it is money well spent and thank Jim Justice for providing this showvase for our state.

    • Mason County Contrarian

      With a budget tighter than the bark on a tree with an increasing shortfall to boot, I was not under the impression we could afford a showcase at this time.

      Ol' Diamond Jim and the Fatcats had to know that the Versailles du Hillbilly could not survive without a substantial tax subsidy from the state and the Fatcats obliged. Shameful that the people of West Virginia who provide the cushion can't afford a souvenir pillow.

  • tim

    Is tiger woods and Phil Mickelson the tours best payers? How much bigger do u want. Prob not 8 regular tour events where they both played last year

  • Mister G!

    If the PGA Tour players cared as much about this insignificant tournament as MetroNews and the Gazette care about pumping up a megalomaniac like Jim Justice, then we'd have something in the Greenbrier "Classic." As it stands, they don't -- so the whole thing serves only to fuel Justice's substantial ego, which roars to be fed as much as his substantial belly ...

    • Mason County Contrarian

      Excellent post.

      Ol' Jim is a very big fish in an ever-shrinking pond, all made possible by the minnow taxpayers' Legislature's One Percent approach to economically developing our state.

      Why not prioritize economic development in terms of needs rather than egos? As a member of the ninety-nine percent of West Virginians who can't afford a brewski at the Versailles du Hillbilly, I'd like to know.

      • leroy

        at least wva has a 1%

  • Derek

    Keep it going bringing a lot of high paying jobs to the southern part of WV. Keep giving tax money to this bunch rds in McDowell County haven't been updated for yrs glad we have our priorities straight.

  • wvu999

    They still aren't drawing the PGA Tour's best players. The field year in and year out is average at best. The players seem to enjoy the course, resort and WV hospitality, but can't draw the top players in the world.

    • Frank W. Helvey