The Greenbrier Classic, Home of The Last “59”

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It is Greenbrier Classic week on the PGA Tour and a favorite stop for tour players showcasing the majestic resort in West Virginia. This is Sam Snead’s home course as he was the pro here for 58 years from 1944 until his death in 2002. For 4 decades the tour has made this Presidential Palace a regular stop and history has been made here over and over again during that time.  

Sam Snead may have played more rounds with presidents then any other tour player in history and most of them were here at the Greenbrier. It is even rumored that Sam Snead was the first civilian to get the tour of the “Bunker”, a cold war operations center built beneath the resort in 1958 during the Eisenhower era, which was active until 1988. There was talk at the time that Eisenhower played so much golf that it was his choice to locate the facility at the Greenbrier so he could play golf with Sam Snead. The first President to play at the Greenbrier was Woodrow Wilson in 1914 when the resort opened.

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In 2010 Stuart Appleby carded a final round “59” to win the Greenbrier Classic. It was the last 59 carded on the tour and was done with a 28 on the front and a 31 on the back.  There have been only five elusive “59’s” since 1977 on the PGA Tour and of those 5 three went on to win that week.

There is a full field at the event this week including Phil Mickelson, who loves a great scoring venue and yes, of course, Stuart Appleby. The first player on the list is native New Englander, Brad Adamonis from Cumberland, RI who won the qualifier Monday in a playoff. Brad has struggled in recent years to keep his PGA Tour card and has had some nagging health issue along the way. Last week, 44-year-old Ken Duke won the Travelers after 20 years on the tour. There have been more first time winners on the tour in 2013 than in any other year in history so anything is possible out there.

The Greenbrier Classic will kick off this Thursday with a full field of 156 players competing for a purse of $6.3 million.

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