THE GREENBRIER will host another significant tournament, this time for the top youth golfers around the world. The Faldo Series Grand Final will come to the resort in October. The Faldo Series was created by six-time major winner Sir Nick Faldo to offer opportunities through golf for youth around the world.
Past Faldo Series winners include two-time major winner Rory McIlroy and five-time LPGA major winner Yani Tseng. According to Faldo's website, more than 7,000 young people each year benefit from the program.
"What we do is bring all our winners from Europe over, so about 60 kids will come from Europe," Faldo said. "And all our winners from Asia who won earlier in March, they will be here. Probably, I'm going to invite, for the first year, the leading top 20 or so American players, boys and girls from age groups from about 13 to 21."
Faldo, who is building a home at the Greenbrier, will play in this year's British Open at Muirfield. He's won three British Open titles and two of those came at Muirfield.
"I realized how important Muirfield is tome, especially the 18th hole," he said. "To win two majors, to win two opens at the 18th hole, that 18th green is a very special spot in my career. I thought, hey, I should go back and give it a go."
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LIGHT-TO-MODERATE rains dampened Tuesday's practice rounds, but for Justice, it was nothing compared to the chaos last year's derecho brought through this and other areas of West Virginia.
"Gosh, that would be like, say, compare the tournament this year versus Mount St. Helen's last year," Justice said. "It was catastrophic."
That storm, which hit the Friday before the Classic, left hundreds of thousands of West Virginians without electricity and caused $87 million in personal property damage. At the Greenbrier, the derecho's winds uprooted about 60 trees around the resort, sent a 200-year-old sycamore tree tumbling into the 16th-green grandstand and damaged several skyboxes.
"To be just as honest as I can be, if I would have truly known the magnitude of the catastrophe, we may have thrown up the white flag and said we can't do it," Justice said. "The magnitude of what John Doe, the everyday guy, went through was that was really way beyond what I thought we were faced with."
But, thanks to a massive vendor and volunteer undertaking, the course was cleaned up, repaired and ready to go for the next weekend.
"I felt like West Virginians were too tough for this to beat us," Justice said. "It's really important to our state in a lot of different ways and I wasn't going to let it beat us. But we had a lot of people put in a lot of licks to pull it off."
Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at derek.r...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/marshall. Follow him on Twitter @derekredd