PGA Tour: The Military Tribute at the Greenbrier Preview

Golfer lines up iron shot

We take a look at the Military Tribute at the Greenbrier Preview set to take place at the Old White TPC Course between 5 and 8 July. 

This year the organisers of this event have chosen to honour the memory of the military with a rather convoluted sounding new name: the Military Tribute at the Greenbrier. Jingoistic sentiment aside, this event has the misfortune to fall quite close to the Open Championship, ensuring a slightly depleted field- only seven of the world’s top 50 players will be in attendance this week.

This will be the eighth edition of an event that has endured some upheaval over the years. It had its inception as recently as 2010 and was cancelled in 2016 due to biblical flooding that resulted in a course overhaul.

The Military Tribute at the Greenbrier | 5 July - 8 July | Old White PC Course

The Greenbrier is one of the oldest resorts in America, dating all the way back to 1778. The Old White TPC Course was opened in 1914 and was co-designed by Charles Blair McDonald and Seth Raynor. The course was renovated by Lester George in 2006 but went through a dramatic redesign in 2012. Course organizers felt that the course had become too easy, as evidenced by Stuart Appleby’s closing 59 in claiming the inaugural title. The greens were reseeded with bentgrass and the course was lengthened. It certainly has had an effect on a course that does sit around 500 meters above sea-level.

Xander Schauffele is back to defend his maiden PGA Tour title. He is an exceptional talent and will be looking to fine-tune his game ahead of the forthcoming Open Championship. A three-time PGA Tour winner this season, Bubba Watson will clearly be one of the favourites this week. Fellow lefty Phil Mickelson is the other marquee name in attendance while the massive hitting Tony Finau is the name leading the markets. West Virginia will look to put on a great show this week as this is the only PGA Tour event that the state hosts all season.

Past Winners
2017: Xander Schauffele (-14)
2016: cancelled due to waterlogging 
2015: Danny Lee (-13)*playoff
2014: Angel Cabrera (-16)
2013: Jonas Blixt (-13)

To Win Outright:
Tony Finau 12/1 | Phil Mickelson 16/1 | Bubba Watson 16/1 | Webb Simpson 18/1 | Russell Henley 20/1

Value Bets

Jimmy Walker- To Win 30/1, To Place 13/2
The former PGA Championship winner seems to have overcome the worst period of his battle with Lyme disease and hasn’t missed a cut since February. He finished runner-up behind the inspired Webb Simpson at TPC Sawgrass. He also has a fourth at the Texas Valero Open and sixth at the Byron Nelson. He also has course form, with his last six starts yielding finishes of 18-MC-2-MC-4-4. Considering this is a par 70 course, par 4 scoring could prove paramount. Walker is second in the field in par 4 scoring over the last three months.

Kevin Na- To Win 40/1, To Place 17/2
Kevin Na has slowly started to creep back to his best form and could be great value in this weakened field. He had excellent back-to-back finishes at the Byron Nelson and Fort Worth Invitational- finishing T6th and T4th respectively. He had time recently also to pop overseas and secure a T5th at the Korean Open. He has already secured a runner-up finish at the Genesis Open this year and will be looking to go one better this week. He has made the cut on all four of his visits here, which includes a tie for seventh in 2012.

Abraham Ancer- To Win 100/1, To Place 22/1
The young Mexican has been a breath of fresh air on the PGA Tour and couldn’t quite withstand the avalanche thrown down by Francisco Molinari last week. His ultimate tie for fourth included GIR stats of fifth. That is a stat which could prove vital this week. He loves the pace of bentgrass greens and one should not discount him of producing back-to-back weeks as a result of his youth. After a tie for 16th at the Valspar earlier this year he manged to follow up with top 15 finishes at the Corales event and Houston. 100/1 looks extremely enticing considering the field this week.

The Man to Beat- Russell Henley- To Win 20/1, To Place 44/10
Russell Henley’s putting and general short game abandoned him at the Players, but since then he has been trending in the right direction. His last four starts have seen finishes of T58, T29, T25 and T6. His iron play seems to have improved dramatically, which bodes well for this golf course. He has made the cut in all three of his starts here, which impressively includes a pair of top five finishes. Those two results came in his last two starts, indicating his ability to deal with the renovations made to this course.

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Written by Damien Kayat for

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