The Greenbrier Classic. Lieutenant Hurley Eyes the Win

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Lieutenant Billy Hurley 111 eyes the win at The Greenbrier Classic at The Old White TPC.

Hurley in line for first win

Billy Hurley 111/ Getty Images

Billy had a -3 under par 67 third round to take a two shot lead into the final day at -12 under par, and has a good chance to lift The Greenbrier Classic trophy. His military training helps with the rigors of the Pro golf circuit;

“Played nicely today and look forward to doing it again tomorrow. I think that mental toughness and timing are two keys, they’re both very similar and very important in both jobs.”

“I slept fine last night. A benefit of the Navy is you learn to sleep anywhere. I think I’ll sleep fine tonight, too.”

“Sometimes you kind of can look at a guy like that who has won a bunch and two majors, kind of like, ‘Oh, he does that pretty nice.’” It will be a new experience, but I’ve played with a major winners a couple times before.”

“I feel like I have my card locked up for next year, which is kind of a big piece of playing the last couple weeks for me. So at this point, a win is kind of a bonus. I’m going to give it my best and try to win tomorrow, and try to hit shots and just  have fun doing it. I haven’t really thought about it too much.”

“I’m going to try to keep doing what I’m doing, I just want to put my mind in position so that I can play well. I figure if I shoot the lowest score tomorrow, I can’t lose. So we’re just going to go out there and play nicely. If I play well with a two‑shot lead, I’m going to have to play really, really well.  I just tell myself to be Billy Hurley.”

The Major winner Billy was referring to is second placed Angel Cabrera, who carded a third round -6 under par 64 to climb into contention at -10 under par.

 Angel spoke of his Major wins, but does think that experience will help him here;

“I’d like to continue winning majors, but if I win this nice tournament, I’ll be very happy. It’s been a while, I’ve been working very hard, so it’s just hard work to get me in this position.”

“That’s probably not going to play into it. All I have to do is keep playing well. I’d like to have the title, and I’ve just got to keep working.”

Kevin Chappell is in third spot at -9 under par, following his third round -1 under par 69.

 

The Greenbrier Classic. Billy Hurley Had Fireworks on Display Today.

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Billy Hurley 111 lit up The Greenbrier Classic as he climbed the leaderboard at Old White TPC  to claim a one shot lead at the mid-way point.

Billy Hurley III has three top 10s so far this season. (Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)

Billy Hurley 111 / Getty Images

Billy carded a second round -7 under par 63 to get to -9 under par for the tournament and have a one shot lead going into the   week-end. Lieutenant Hurley served in the military, so today was extra special for him;

“Anytime you play good, it’s great; right? but certainly, there’s special days of the year for our country, and being the only person playing this week who has served in the military, it adds kind of stuff. So it’s kind of pretty cool, I guess, to shoot seven under on the Fourth of July.”

“Just kind of fell in love with the Naval Academy, and the tradition, honor, courage, commitment, all the ideals and the whole place really, it was definitely the right school for me.”

“I obviously became a very nice player in college, but it wasn’t like one of those sure things, like some of the guys out here who were pretty much going to be out here since they were 17 years old. That said, golf was completely a secondary kind of thing. I was a naval officer first, and if you ask the people that I served with, they’d say that’s for sure.”

Kevin Chappell and Chris Stroud are tied in second place, at -8 under par for the competition. Chris was full of praise for Billy;

“It’s awesome, he went to the military and took off three, four, five years of golf and comes out and gets his game back and gets on TOUR. There’s a lot to be said about that. He couldn’t be a more solid guy.”

As good a day as it was for Billy, the low round of the day went to Troy Matteson recording a -9 under par 61, which moved him up to fourth place at -7 under par for the competition.

But you can not take away Lieutenant Hurley ‘pride in his achievement on Independence Day, the 238th Birthday of the U.S.A.

The Greenbrier Classic. Johnson Jumps Into Lead

Johnson Wagner jumps into the lead at The Greenbrier Classic at The Old White TPC , with a third round of -6 under par 64 and a total of -14 under par tournament score.

Wagner pulls ahead

Johnson Wagner / Getty Images

Johnson who played here several times a year as a student at Virginia Tech, already has his game plan laid out. He ranks 21st in fairways hit, sixth in greens in regulation and 10th in putting through 36 holes.

“This is the kind of golf course that if you play tentative at all you’re going to miss fairways, and when you miss fairways out here you get some awkward angles on some of these tough TOUR pins especially on Sunday. So I think my main key for tomorrow is going to be aggressive off the tee and hit as many fairways as I can, which will set up a lot of birdie opportunities.”

Jimmy Walker is alone in second place, two shots off the pace at -12 under par tournament total. He also had a third round of -6 under par 64, and likes this course;

“I like the golf course, I’ve always liked it. The first time we came here we really enjoyed it, just the whole atmosphere. Everybody’s so nice and everybody’s so accommodating. The hotel is amazing and just really enjoyed being here and the golf course really seems to fit my eye. I like the tee shots, like the second shots, and I feel comfortable.”

Jonas Blixt is in third place at -10 under par for the tournament total, the only other player on the course to finish in double figures.

Bill Haas is in a group of players who are on -8 under par, and is bidding to win again after last week, but admits the leaders will have to help by coming back a bit;

“This week I’ve tried to do a good job of staying in the moment and telling myself that last week you did it, you never know what will happen. I’m going to need the leaders to not go crazy low but a good round tomorrow will put me in a great position. Today was kind of a mixed bag, I hit a lot of nice shots that didn’t result in birdies.Then those last four holes I played in three under and it could easily have not been that way. So I’m counting my blessings to shoot 3 under par and with that said, I’m going to go hit a few on the range and hopefully figure something out and have a decent Sunday.” 

To be honest the winner will come from the current top three, the others are realistically too far away.

The Greenbrier Classic. Matt Makes A Move.

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Matt Every makes a move on the leaderboard at The Greenbrier Classic, his second round of -8 under par 62 propelled him to the summit, at -9 under par. The Old White TPC course has surrendered another 62, this could be a record breaking winning score here this weekend.

The Greenbrier Classic

Matt Every / Getty Images

Matt’s bogey-free round gave him sole possession of the top of the leaderboard at -9 under par, he said making some putts really helped him;

” I played really well tee-to-green, finally made some putts. I haven’t made anything all year and it  just finally happened today. Been waiting for it.”

On an extremely tightly packed leaderboard there are five players tied in second place, all at -8 under par for the tournament. it reads like this; Daniel Summerhays, Bill Lunde, Steven Bowditch, Russell Henley and one of the first round leaders Johnson Wagner.

Johnson fell back with his disappointing second round effort of even par 70, a long way from yesterday’s 62. The other first round leader Tommy Gainey fared even worse, with a second round +1 over par 71, leaving him in the next group of players at -7 under par for the tournament.

In a strange statement Tommy said the course played really tough today. The stats prove something different, it played easier on Friday than it did in the first round with a scoring average of 69.668 to 70.096. I guess Tommy never saw Matt at the top of the board with his 62;

“You have to give credit to the golf course. The golf course, it gave up some low scores yesterday, but what’s the lowest score it gave up today?  I mean really, in any other tournament besides the majors, everybody’s shooting 7, 8, 9 under on the first or second rounds. The golf course hung up pretty good today, it played tough.”

In amongst those who will not play at the weekend is Phil Mickelson, who got his first sub-par round at The Old White TPC but missed the cut at The Greenbrier Classic for the third straight year, a first in the World Golf Hall of Famer’s career. Joining Phil on the early bus ride home are  2010 Greenbrier Classic champion Stuart Appleby; Roberto Castro, who finished second at last week’s AT&T National; Charles Howell III, Brian Gay and former major champions Lucas Glover, Mike Weir, Trevor Immelman and Vijay Singh.

The Greenbrier Classic. -8 Under Par 62, Two of Them, Lead.

 

Tommy Gainey and Johnson Wagner are tied for the lead at The Greenbrier Classic on -8 under par after the opening round The Old White TPC  in White Sulphur Springs.

No looking back

Johnson Wagner and Tommy Gainey / Getty Images

A clean-shaven Johnson Wagner and Tommy Gainey each shot an 8-under 62 to enjoy a two shot lead at the top of the leaderboard at The Greenbrier Classic.

Johnson admitted that he had endured some hard times recently, and his mustache had been removed as a birthday offering to his wife;

” The last couple of months have been really hard, I just haven’t been much fun to be around. It’s just been tough. Nobody likes to be bad at what they do, especially golfers. “I’ve been disappointed with 76’s and 79’s the last month, so I’m very happy to be disappointed with a 62 today. I didn’t get her a gift,  so I thought maybe surprising her with a clean lip would suffice, I love irritating my wife too much to let it go for too long.”

Two Gloves Tommy said he had forgotten to have fun out on the golf course;

“I had gotten away from that and I’m trying to get back into that now, I felt like I knew what was going on. I was putting too much pressure on myself. Hitting out of the rough is no fun, trust me, I’ve been doing it for the past three years. I believe you can get to at least 20 under this week. It depends on how much rain we get and how much softer this course gets.”

Webb Simpson and Jim Park are tied in third place at -6 under par, with their opening rounds of 64.

Phil Mickelson is back at -2 under par and is at a loss as to why this golf course gives him so many problems;

“I don’t know what it is, I felt like I was playing really well heading in here. I don’t play this course well. I don’t know what the reasoning is. It’s just given me problems the last few years.”

The Greenbrier Classic, Ted Potter Jr. Wins

Merry Potter

Ted Potter Jr/Martin/Getty Images

The Greenbrier Classic 2012 was won by Ted Potter Jr, on Sunday at The Old White TPC, White Sulphur Springs, Western Virginia.      Ted spoke about all the missed cuts he has endured over the years;

“When you’re missing cuts every week, you get down on yourself, It’s hard to pick yourself back up. But the one plus side for me is I was still young. I was only 20 years old. I knew I had a long road ahead of me. I just like to win, I just always enjoyed coming down the stretch and having a chance to win. It was the thrill of that. Finally to win, I mean, I know it’s my first year out here, but just to win, period, I mean, it was just a big relief.”

Ted made a  4-foot birdie putt on the third hole of a playoff Sunday to beat Troy Kelly, both players had finished tied at -16 under par for the tournament. Ted had a last round -6 under par 64, and Troy also had a great round of -4 under par, 66, which left them both in the play-off.

A disappointed Troy Kelly earned his best career finish yet, and is looking forward to more of the same;

“I had a lot of fun, and looking forward to kind of getting in that position some more.”

Webb Simpson, the third-round leader, had gone 50 consecutive holes without a bogey in the tournament, but then made three of them in a row. Webb finished tied seventh, in the log jam at -11 under par;

“I felt really confident and then just got on a bad run there. I’m probably going to learn something from it. Have to learn the hard way.”

Tied in third place at -14 under par were, Charlie Beljan and Charlie Wi.

Footnote:

John Daly and Tiger Woods have teamed up to help Greenbrier owner Jim Justice to lose some weight. The 6ft 7in Justice is literally larger than life, but needs to lose some of those excess pounds. John and Tiger came up with a plan to help Jim by offering him $100 dollars for every pound lost, donated to any charity he pleases. John spoke to Jim on Sunday;

“I told him I’d give him $100 for every pound he loses, to any charity he wants, Tiger said he’d do it, too. We care about him. If we could get him to lose some weight and add about 30-40 years to his life, he’ll be happy. It’s time somebody did something for him after him always doing something for everybody else. He’s just got the biggest heart of any man I’ve ever known,” Daly continued. “I just want him to know that we all care about him. Every year I talk to him, his back is hurting him, and his knees are hurting him. I can get to my doctor and help him lose a ton of weight. He’ll feel better. We just want to help him. We want to add years to his life. “

The Greenbrier Classic, 54 hole leader, Webb Simpson

Unfinished business

Webb Simpson/Martin/Getty Images

Webb Simpson has a two shot lead at The Greenbrier Classic after a beautifully crafted third round of -5 under par 65 and a total of -14 under par, at The Old White TPC, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. The tournament he could and probably should have won last year. Two strokes adrift is Troy Kelly, who enjoyed a magnificent round of -8 under par, 62 for a tournament total of -12 under par, and a further shot back are three players on -11 under par. Those players are, Ken Duke, J.B. Holmes and Charlie Beljan.

After being congratulated on a good round, Webb replied;

” It was a similar round to yesterday. I just had to be patient there early, I couldn’t get anything to drop on the first six holes. But, you know, this golf course will give you some birdies. If you kind of keep plotting and putting the ball in the fairway, you’ll have plenty of wedge opportunities. That’s what I did, and fortunately for me I took advantage of those holes coming in. I wasn’t greedy, I would have taken two or three, but I got five so it’s a great feeling to play another bogey-free round and I’m in great position for tomorrow. “

He admitted that not having Tiger Woods in the mix was comforting;

“When he’s not lurking around on Saturdays and Sundays, it makes it a little easier I think for other guy’s. I’ve almost got to imagine that these guys are all going to shoot 4, 5 under. I’ve got to stay aggressive.”

Troy Kelly said he had fun out there;

” You know, I played good. I got off to a good start. I made about an eight-footer on the 1st hole and I made about, gosh, probably about a 20-footer on 2. So that got my round going at least, got me comfortable for the day. It was just nice to see some putts go in. I haven’t made a lot of putts the last, I mean, pretty much the whole year. I mean, if you look at my statistics, my ranking’s not very good in the putting category, so it’s just good to see some putts go in. And I had fun today, it was a fun round. I haven’t made a lot of putts pretty much the whole year. It’s just good to see some putts go in. I had fun today.”

Troy Kelly underwent hip-replacement surgery in September 2010 after being diagnosed with arthritis, he is happy just to be playing;

“For me to just play this game at a high level, I had to go get it done.”

43-year-old Ken Duke commented on how hot it was out on the course, but he also had some fun;

” Very hot day, but it was a good solid round. Didn’t get off to a very good start, but made a couple of birdies on 5 and 6, kind of got the round going. Hit some really good shots in that little stretch right there, and got 10, 11 and 12, so it kind of got the day going and having fun out there and that’s what it’s all about.”

J.B. Holmes had part of his skull removed in September 2011, four months after he started having vertigo symptoms. He only returned to the Tour in January. He believes his swing and yardage assessment has become better since his return;

“I feel like I’ve improved a whole lot and really narrowing it down and getting back to where I was.”

The Greenbrier Classic, Woods and Mickleson Miss the Cut

Both Tiger Woods and Phil Mickleson missed the cut at The Greenbrier Classic, played on The Old White TPC course, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. It was the first time both of them had missed a cut at the same event, as playing as professionals on the U.S PGA Tour. The only previous time both failed to make the cut in a  U.S. PGA Tour event was the 1993 HP Byron Nelson Championship, when Tiger Woods was in high school and competing as an amateur.

Simpson surges to top

Webb Simpson (Getty Images)

Webb Simpson was at the top of the leaderboard at the conclusion of play, with a tournament total of -9 under par, in the weather affected second round of The Greenbrier Classic. A lightning storm had halted play for two and a half hours, and there are still some players who have to complete their second rounds, which was suspended due to darkness. Most notably of the players having to return tomorrow to complete their rounds is Martin Flores. Martin still has two holes to complete, the par five 17th and the par three 18th, and as he is currently at -8 under par for the tournament there is a good possibilty that he could surplant Webb at the top of the board.

The leaderboard is tightly packed at  the top with five players currently tied at -8 under par, and two others at -7. To predict a winner from here would be an impossibility, but it certainly will not be Tiger Woods.

Other names not making it to the weekend are; Jim Furyk, Jhonattan Vegas and Camilo Villegas.

The Greenbrier Classic, 1st Round, Vijay shoots 63

   

Pleasant surprise

Vijay Singh/Stan Badz/PGA TOUR

Vijay Singh shoots a 63, -7 under par on the opening day of The Greenbrier Classic on Thursday at The Old White TPC · White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. It was the big Fijian’s lowest round for  six months, to take a one-stroke lead over Jeff Maggert, Jonathan Byrd and Martin Flores, and also leave Tiger Woods eight shots behind. Vijay was pretty surprised at the sudden upturn in his form;

“Gosh, I don’t know where that came from, I’ve been playing pretty good golf for a while, but just never got any scoring going. But today seemed I hit it close and drove the ball really well, hit a lot of greens and made some nice putts. Hopefully it keeps going, I don’t feel tired. I feel really energized. I’ve been working really hard on my game, so it’s nice to see something happen.”

On the other hand, Tiger Woods struggled all day with his putter;

“I was a little bit off with my game, and on top of that I didn’t have the speed of these greens at all. I missed literally every single putt high today.”

Jeff Maggert found it hard to recall some of his putts;

“At my age, it’s hard to remember, short-term memory’s going. I feel really comfortable here, there’s a lot of guys out here in their 40s, late 40s, that can really play some good golf still. So it’s not surprising to see some of the old guys up on the leaderboard.”