The best golfers in the world are arriving in White Sulfur Springs starting Monday for the third annual Greenbrier Classic PGA TOUR event.
The golf, the concerts, the Fourth of July celebrations and the grandeur of the famed Greenbrier Resort present an odd juxtaposition this year with challenges facing hundreds of thousands of West Virginians following Friday night’s severe storms.
High winds knocked down trees and power lines, leaving thousands without electricity. The worst of the damage was in central and southern West Virginia, where power company officials say it could be a week before everyone has electricity again.
The extensive power outages caused a run on gasoline. Some stations left without power were unable to sell gas and others that had electricity quickly ran out of gas as motorists rushed to fill up.
That led to long lines at gas stations Saturday and Sunday many West Virginia communities.
The Greenbrier Resort was not exempt from the storm, which knocked down trees and spread debris on the Old White course. Crews were busy through the weekend trying to make the course ready for practice rounds Monday and the start of the tournament Thursday.
But the show will go on.
This year’s event brings Tiger Woods to the Greenbrier for the first time. Interest surged when Woods announced he was coming and last week Greenbrier owner Jim Justice cut off ticket sales.
Woods comes to West Virginia with a hot hand. Sunday, Woods captured the AT&T National, his third tournament win of the season. The victory propelled Woods to the lead in the FEDEX Cup standings for the first time in 100 weeks.
It was also his 74th career victory, second only to the legendary Sam Snead, who had 82.
Phil Mickelson is also returning. The winner of four major championships and a total of 40 tour events drew the largest crowds last year on Thursday and Friday, but failed to make the cut.
Webb Simpson, winner of the U.S. Open two weeks ago, joins the field as well.
Returning to defend his title is Scott Stallings. He won last year’s event in dramatic fashion, sinking a seven-foot putt on the first hole of sudden death.
The total purse for the event is $6.1 million. The winner’s share is $1,098,000.
Stay with Metronews for complete coverage all week, including Talkline at 10:06 a.m. and Tee to Green at 7:06 p.m. live from the Greenbrier.