With big names such as Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson in the 2012 Greenbrier Classic, the tournament actually came down to two relatively unknown players, as Ted Potter Jr. defeated Troy Kelly in a three hole playoff to capture his first career PGA Tour event.
Ted Potter Jr.
Having only made six cuts in fifteen starts on the PGA Tour in 2012, the chances of Ted Potter Jr. winning the Greenbrier Classic were truly slim and none. However, with the game of golf anyone can catch a hot streak over the course of a few rounds, and that is exactly what happened with Potter Jr. Ted shot below 70 in all four rounds, with the final two rounds being 64-64, so he certainly deserved the win after that sort of performance. The key for him was his putter and driver, as he ranked in the top three in putts per round, strokes gained from putting, and driving accuracy. What is more amazing about his performance was that he went eagle-birdie on the last two holes on Sunday to get into the playoff, which rally says something about the guy's nerves, and hopefully he can use the win as added confidence going into the rest of the year.
The biggest surprise on Sunday was Webb Simpson, who came into the final round with a two shot lead and was looking great from tee to green. However, as anyone can have a hot streak in golf anyone can have an off-day as well, and unfortunately for Simpson it came on the final day. Simpson hit less than 50% of the greens in regulation on Sunday (he had been averaging around 80% over the first three rounds), and couldn't really make anything within ten feet on the greens. It was just one of those days for Simpson, and I am sure that he can recover from it and compete at the Open Championship in a couple of weeks.
As mentioned earlier, Tiger Woods was among the names at the Greenbrier Classic, but Tiger actually missed his second cut of the year at the event after shooting rounds of 71-69 at the par 70 course. His long game wasn't much of a problem for him, but his putting was just off, as he ranked 84th in the field in putts per round and 87th in strokes gained from putting. I was surprised that he played in the event to begin with coming off of the win at the AT&T National, and I guess Tiger thought he could carry the momentum over into the next week but just wasn't able to. Regardless, I still think he will be the favorite heading into the Open Championship, and with the way he is hitting his driver and irons right now he certainly will have a good chance to break through and get a major win the board.
Ryan Kekoufski is a scratch golfer who has both played and watched the sport for well over a decade.
- Sports & Recreation
- Tiger Woods
- Webb Simpson
- Ted Potter Jr