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Tiger Woods coming to The Greenbrier Classic

By From staff reports

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Get your tickets fast, golf fans. Tiger Woods will play at this summer's Greenbrier Classic.

Greenbrier owner Jim Justice confirmed Monday the golf star will appear at the White Sulphur Springs tournament, set for July 2-8.

Justice said the resort likely would stop selling tickets if sales increase more than 10 percent over last year's turnout.

"At most events Tiger goes to, their attendance jumps over 30 percent," he said.

The Greenbrier drew about 217,000 spectators last year. More than 100,000 more people bought tickets for the tournament's concert series.

Justice said The Greenbrier has managed traffic well during previous tournaments, thanks to the help from State Police, the Greenbrier County Sheriff's Department and White Sulphur Springs police. He said the resort could not handle a dramatic increase, however.

"It can't be an unlimited number," tournament organizer Tom McNeely said. "You can only accommodate so many bodies."

McNeely said the event's security procedures also would be changed to accommodate a star of Woods' stature. Greenbrier Classic organizers will meet with PGA Tour officials in coming months to discuss changes.

"When Tiger comes to an event, it changes the entire security and everything. It's a complete different level of a lot of different things," Justice said.

Spectators likely won't notice, however.

"It will probably be virtually invisible. Frankly, we have a really significant security effort already," he said.

Justice and McNeely said they learned Woods would appear at The Greenbrier Classic on Monday morning.

"We've been working with his agent for a while, trying to figure out what his schedule's going to be for this summer," McNeely said.

Justice said the tournament tried to court Woods last year, but the golf star's schedule prevented him from appearing.

"Whether you like him or you don't like him, he's the most noticeable name in all athletics today. There's no question about that," he said. "To have him here for a week, and have people to be able to go out and see him play ... that's really good."

The event already has brought top-tier golfers to the Mountain State. Six-time Masters Tournament winner Phil Mickelson played in White Sulphur Springs last year and is set to return this July.

Late last year, the PGA Tour named The Greenbrier Classic "Best in Class." The tournament beat out 44 other events for the honor.

Justice said he sees Woods' appearance as validation for The Greenbrier Classic.

"It's validation of how good we really are. People say 'You have a great event, but Tiger's not there.' Now he is here.

"It will show off West Virginia just tremendously. It's a great state and, daggone, we're going to be in the limelight here for six days and that makes it really good," Justice said.

The Greenbrier Classic's concert series also has become quite popular. Last year, The Black Eyed Peas headlined the series. This year, music stars including Toby Keith, Lionel Richie, Rod Stewart and Bon Jovi will appear.

For more information or to purchase tickets for The Greenbrier Classic, visit www.greenbrierclassic.com or call 1-855-453-4858.

Basic grounds badges for the tournament start at $189, though top-level tickets go for $5,000. Discounts for children and members of the military are available.

Contact writer Zack Harold at 304-348-7939 or zack.harold@dailymail.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/ZackHarold.


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