CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Bubba Watson joined an exclusive group last season when he emerged from a sudden-death playoff to win the Masters.
As he slipped on that famous green jacket at Augusta National, he had reached the echelon of major champions.
When Watson tees off at the Greenbrier Classic in the first week of July, he'll join a growing group of former major winners who will try to tame the Old White TPC.
The Classic announced Watson's commitment to playing in this year's even earlier this week.
As of Wednesday, nine former major winners holding a total of 22 individual major titles were in the 2013 Classic field. Along with Watson are eight-time major champion Tom Watson, four-time major champion Phil Mickelson, three-time winner Vijay Singh, two-time winner John Daly and four players holding one major title each - Ben Curtis, Lucas Glover, Justin Leonard and Webb Simpson.
Tournament Director Monte Ortel said he believes this will be the strongest field yet as the Classic enters its fourth edition. He said that the Greenbrier Classic is working hard to make the tournament a must-see, must-play event every year.
"We are a young event," Ortel said. "What we're doing is building a tradition here where it's a must-attend event, and that doesn't happen overnight. That's what we're trying to strive for, is trying to build a great base of players year in, year out."
Among those major winners not in the 2013 Greenbrier Classic field is Tiger Woods. The owner of 14 major titles and part of the 2012 Classic lineup, Woods said on his website Wednesday that doctors found a strain in his left elbow and advised him to take a few weeks off to heal.