—President Trump is scheduled to make a brief appearance at the Greenbrier this evening. His remarks will be at the Salute to Service Dinner, which is part of the PGA Tour event this week at the resort. Trump and Governor Jim Justice, who owns the Greenbrier, have built a relationship in recent months, one that has strengthened since Justice flipped from Democrat to Republican.
—Several familiar names are coming to the Greenbrier for the pro-am event tomorrow. They include New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald, former WVU coach Don Nehlen and his son-in-law former WVU and NFL quarterback Jeff Hostetler, former Marshall coach Bob Pruett, NASCAR drivers brothers Austin and Ty Dillion and ESPN basketball analyst Seth Greenberg.
—Bubba Watson is back for another crack at the Old White course. Watson has played the course more than most golfers on the Tour because he has a home at the Greenbrier. He has scored in the 60s in 14 of his 16 rounds here in tournament play, but has never been in serious contention on Sunday. Watson is playing well, though. He has three Tour wins this year and is 3rd in the FedExCup standings
—Speaking of the points race, this tournament has attracted five of the top 12 points leaders. They are Watson, Patton Kizzire, Webb Simpson, Tony Finau (fee-now) and Phil Mickelson. Mickelson has had trouble with this course. He has played in the tournament five times, but survived the cut just once.
—Rumors continue to swirl about the tournament changing dates, but tournament officials say nothing has been finalized yet. Tournament spokesman Cam Huffman says he’s heard speculation that as the PGA Tour rearranges its schedule next year that the Greenbrier event could be shuffled to the fall, but no final decision has been made.
—As always, there are West Virginia connections to the PGA Tour event. Slugger White, the Vice President of Rules and Competition for the Tour, is a native of Beckley. PGA Tour official Ken Tackett is from Charleston and still lives there. Both White and Tackett are at this week’s tournament.
—We are broadcasting Talkline and Tee to Green all this week from Slammin’ Sammy’s bar at the Greenbrier, named for legendary golfer Sam Snead. He was the pro at the Greenbrier for decades and held the Old White course record of 60. That was narrowly eclipsed by Stuart Appleby, who shot a 59 on the final round to win the 2010 tournament.
—The weather is always a concern for any golf tournament, especially this time of year in West Virginia when the chance for afternoon thunderstorms increases. Forecasters predict partly to mostly sunny skies today and tomorrow with only a minimal threat of rain, but the chance of showers increases later in the week when tournament play begins.
From A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier, I’m Hoppy Kercheval