The Confidence Factor: A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier

Happy July 4th week/weekend!

Tough nut to crack this week!

Enjoy reading on the beach, the bar, the bed, wherever!

A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier

The Old White TPC

White Sulfur Springs, West Virginia


The Old White TPC Cheat Sheet

Yards (per official scorecard): 7,286
Par: 70 (34-36)
Greens: V-8 Bentgrass; 6,500 sq. ft. on average.
Stimpmeter: 12′
Rough: Kentucky bluegrass up to three inches.
Bunkers: 85
Water Hazards: 9
Architects: C.B. MacDonald (1914); Keith Foster (2016)
Purse: $7.3 million; $1.314 million, 500 FEC points (winner).
Defending Champion: Xander Schauffele (-14, 266)
Fact of the Week: The winner of this event has never led outside of Sunday. That’s amazing over seven events (24 rounds)



  • 156 players.
  • Top 70 and ties will play the weekend.
  • Similar to last week, the top four finishers inside the top 12 not already qualified will punch their ticket to The Open Championship.
  • The last chance to get in will be the top finisher not already qualified at the John Deer Classic next week.


2017-18 Winners

*First-time winner

**First-time winner AND rookie winner

Event Winner
Safeway Open Brendan Steele
CIMB Classic Pat Perez
WGC-HSBC Champions Justin Rose
Sanderson Farms Ryan Armour*
Shriners Hospitals for Children Patrick Cantlay*
OHL Mayakoba Patton Kizzire*
The RSM Classic Austin Cook**
Sentry TOC Dustin Johnson
Sony Open Patton Kizzire (2)
CB Challenge Jon Rahm
Farmers Insurance Open Jason Day
WMPO Gary Woodland
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Ted Potter, Jr.
Genesis Open Bubba Watson
Honda Classic Justin Thomas
WGC-Mexico Championship Phil Mickelson
Valspar Championship Paul Casey
Arnold Palmer Invitational Rory McIlroy
WGC-Match Play Bubba Watson (2)
Corales Puntacana Resorts Brice Garnett*
Houston Open Ian Poulter
Masters Patrick Reed
RBC Heritage Satoshi Kodaira*
Valero Texas Open Andrew Landry*
Zurich Classic of New Orleans Billy Horschel & Scott Piercy
Wells Fargo Championship Jason Day (2)
THE PLAYERS Championship Webb Simpson
AT&T Byron Nelson Aaron Wise**
Fort Worth Invitational Justin Rose (2)
Memorial Bryson DeChambeau
FESJC Dustin Johnson (2)
U.S. Open Brooks Koepka
Travelers Championship Bubba Watson (3)
Quicken Loans National Francesco Molinari


The Confidence Factor is the weekly column I write for PGATOUR.COM and contains plenty of angles on the track and those who have aced this exam. ADD LINK HERE

You need course form? Read the above.

You need keys to victory? Read the above.

You need course preview? Read the above.

You need a history lesson? Read the above.

Every week.

Every column.

Previous champions

*- playoff

Year Winner Total
2017 Xander Schauffele -14
2016 Cancelled  
2015 Danny Lee -13*
2014 Angel Cabrera -16
2013 Jonas Blixt -13
2012 Ted Potter Jr. -16*
2011 Scott Stallings -11*
2010 Stuart Appleby -22


Facts and Figures:

Tournament Record: 258; Appleby
Course Record: 59; Appleby (2010)
Defending Champion(s): n/a
Multiple Winners: n/a
First TOUR Win (most recent): All but Appleby, Blixt and Cabrera
First Win in First Appearance: All but Lee
Low Round Last Year: 61; rookie Sebastian Munoz
Rookies of Note Last Year: Schauffele (Win), Munoz led for 54 holes (T3); Bryson DeChambeau (T14),
Odd Facts: Hole No. 18 is a Par-3; both Par-5 holes are on the back nine.


Quick Thoughts

The lovely Alleghany Mountains serve as a mellow backdrop for a tournament that annually changes somebody’s life. It’s late enough in the season that a victory can either cement Playoff status or push that status to the brink of qualifying for The Tour Championship (Top 30). It also is part of The Open Qualifying series where four players will punch their ticket for Carnoustie.

The field isn’t very deep and the winners here, oddly, have never do very well after they’ve won. With a field that churns annually, this week will reward a guy who is hot and isn’t afraid to run down the leaders on Sunday. Nobody has ever pulled a “Molinari” at this event as the biggest margin of victory is two shots once (Cabrera) so don’t expect someone to run away and hide.

Course history is pointless this week so current form should be the tiebreaker if you can’t decide. Players who prefer non-tropical weather conditions (and more bentgrass) will be encouraged by the weekend forecast. They’ll also be encouraged to have more of a “resort course” feel after a brutal week at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm.



In order of preference for this week and this tournament; LTO= LAST TIME OUT; LW= Last week; LY= Last year this event. I’m tired of typing all that out!

Bubba Watson: With three wins under his belt already I wouldn’t be surprised if this was No. 4. He’s already bagged one win this year at a “new” event so adding to the tally isn’t breaking any new ground. He’s a member and there won’t be many more comfortable than him this week.

Tony Finau: He’s 20-under-par in the last two years, 10-under each time. His stroke average is 67.5 here and his worst round of eight is 69. The last time we all piled on him he went home early from Memphis. Solo fifth at Shinnecock LTO.

Russell Henley: He’ll get some serious OAD action this week as he checks the course-form box (5th, T5) in two trips and his form is trending perfectly (T58, T29, T25 and T6 LTO Travelers). He’s 10th in fairways and 22nd GIR.

Webb Simpson: With 10 top-25’s and six top-10’s in 14 made cuts this is an easy one. In four of five weekends at The Greenbrier he’s cashed T14 or better and has played here annually. Perfect combo.

Phil Mickelson: The star of the show will spend all week addressing his antics at Shinnecock Hills but that’s the least of my worries. This is exactly the event he needs before jetting off to Europe. He found something here last year as he closed with 64 and will enjoy making birdies again.

Charles Howell III: 12 in a row and six of the last seven T26 or better. It’s not hard.

Xander Schauffele: One of the hardest things to do is defend the first title. I also thought it would be difficult for a rookie to win The TOUR Championship final playoff event. His only two paychecks in his last five were at THE PLAYERS and Shinnecock Hills. IS THIS COURSE HARD ENOUGH TO ENTERTAIN HIM???

Joaquin Niemann: Ok, I’ll bite. The bounce-back round on Sunday last week told me all I need to know. His 64 as an amateur here last year is hardly putting me off either.

Ryan Armour: He’s solo second last week extended his streak to five and three have gone for T23 or better. His worst round in this stretch is 72 once.

Ryan Blaum: This Ryan was playing better than (arrow up) that Ryan until last week. This one has rattled off six of seven with the last four T23 or better. Half of his last 18 rounds are 67 or better and that works this week. He was T7 LY with 64 on Sunday too.


Next Tier

Just missed the list above because of a wart or two; order isn’t important.

Danny Lee: One of the few previous winners who has defended his title to some degree. Regardless of the design changes he produces here with T16, WIN and T9 LY.

Anirban Lahiri: He’s appeared in the Round 3 E9 the last two weeks. Time to see one of these bust open.

J.B. Holmes: It’s natural for gamers to abandon ship after a MC. I’ll remind you he’s T27 or better making five of six here. His T9 LY is the best of the lot.

Brian Harman: His form here is absolutely dire yet he keeps coming back. He was T14 at Colonial (Par-70) and T6 at Travelers so I’m leaning on his class and form. He makes too many putts and too many birdies to leave out.

Kevin Streelman: Got loosened up last week with 62 before fading. He’s second on TOUR in rounds in the 60’s.

Brian Gay: This is going to test all of the nerves if he’s on your radar. He’s played 13 rounds and 10 of them are par or WORSE. His excellent early summer makes this a tough one. When in doubt, I eject. There’s 155 others to drive you crazy.

Jimmy Walker: Super-soft landing spot after a tough Shinnecock-TPC Potomac double as the tee ball won’t be as demanding. He’s rattled off 13 in a row and has three top-four finishes here.

Keegan Bradley: Hasn’t missed in five tries as he finds too many fairways and greens. He won’t need four rounds of putting to win this week.

James Hahn: Wonderfully hot-and-cold so I’m trying to get in before it gets to the HOT phase again. He’s 17-under the last two years with THREE rounds of par or worse.

Andrew Putnam: He’ll look to continue the first-time winner in their first event trend. Of his last 12 rounds, four are 64 or better. Knocked the rust off last week with 64 to open at QLN before fading to T27.  

Ben Crane: He’s picked up checks in nine of his last 10 and sandwiched his last MC with T8 and T13 LW. Big family guy so that’s not bothering him this week.

Jamie Lovemark: Cashed in 12 of 13 since February. 82 last Sunday should throw a few off the trail but his T3 last year probably won’t. His 20 birdies last year were T2 and his T3 included a double on his first hole Sunday. #Revenge

Ryan Moore: He’s getting warmed up for his annual paycheck at JDC next week. This is his first time but we know this isn’t a course that needs extra reps to get acquainted.

Patrick Rodgers: He’s teeing it for the 26th time this season. He’s grinding. My kind of guy.

Aaron Wise: Took two weeks off after the U.S. Open so I’d expect some rust but we’ve seen his class.

Abraham Ancer: Should be full of confidence after his career-best T5 LW from the final group.


Long Shots, Course Horses, Etc.

Robert Streb: He almost won this event putting with a sand wedge for nine holes on a Sunday. He’s also had a dire 2018 but if there is a place, this is it.

Kelly Kraft: One look, T5 so finding the sprinkler line and holing a few putts can work. Wonder why Gay hates it here? Wonder why he keeps coming back!

David Hearn: Every DFS lineup will include the Canadian after his closing 66 LW. That and he loves it here. Don’t be left out.

David Lingmerth: Pair of top 10’s in four tries here and five rounds of 68 in his last five. Probably should move up the list.

Scott Stallings: He’s never missed in six attempts but 13 events in a row with a round of 73 or worse.

Chris Stroud: Loves it here but is battling thru a knee deal. Navigated TPC Potomac last week with a closing 67 for T32.

Norman Xiong: He’s making his pro debut at 19. Maybe not THIS week but he needs to be on your radar moving forward.

Ted Potter, Jr.: Solid, yet unspectacular as he’s cashed in six of his last eight and never missed here in four tries.

Brandon Harkins: Six of seven and top 10 in rounds in the 60’s.

Tyler Duncan: Up to eight straight and nine of 10 total. Downside is T26 is the best.

J.T. Poston: Six paychecks in his last nine all T30 or better.

Bronson Burgoon: His T6 LW is his first on TOUR and got him a ticket to Carnoustie. Free wheel.

Harold Varner III: Straight gut

Wesley Bryan: Nappy Factor

Austin Cook: Nappy Factor



The road to success is filled with potholes. You don’t drive your car over them so why put them on your fantasy team?

Kevin Kisner: I’ll be reminded of his playoff appearance but I’ll point out that’s it here. His last two months haven’t been encouraging either with T52 the best of the bunch. Sigh.


If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out through Twitter or email me


2 thoughts on “The Confidence Factor: A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier

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