Important tour players rave about the Greenbrier. Woods used his press conference to speak reverently about Sam Snead, the long-time club pro and pro-emeritus at the Greenbrier, and to say how excited he was to finally play here.
Phil Mickelson said of the Greenbrier and the Classic, "It's a fun golf course to play, great resort and really a wonderful event, one of the best events we have on the tour, and it's only in its third year . . . pretty amazing what's been done here."
Credit must go to Jim Justice, the extroverted owner who has opened his considerable wallet to save the resort from closure and make the tournament one of the classiest non-major events on the tour.
The big-name golfers, the top-talent concerts, the July 4th week date, the over-the-top fireworks — all make the Greenbrier Classic one of most exceptional events annually in West Virginia.
Justice and his hard-working crew know that their state is on display, and they want West Virginia to shine.
The best news about the tournament, and for West Virginia, may have come before play began, when Justice and the PGA Tour announced an extension through 2021, six more years than originally scheduled.
That makes the Greenbrier Classic the longest tournament commitment on the PGA Tour. It guarantees that CBS will be here on Saturday and Sunday once a year for the next nine years.
The value of that to the state is almost incalculable.
Many of us in West Virginia try hard to put our best foot forward, to be ambassadors so that others will see and experience what we love about our state.
It can be a challenge at times, but the job is made easier with the Greenbrier Classic leading the way.
Kercheval is host of TalkLine, broadcast by the MetroNews Statewide Radio Network from 10 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. The show can be heard locally on WCHS 580 AM.