This week sees the tour pitch up in West Virginia at The Old White TPC course at the Greenbrier Resort. The course was designed by the first ever winner of the US Amateur Championship, Charles Blair Macdonald in 1914. Charles was born in Canada but was shipped of to St Andrews University where he fell in love with golf.
Located in White Sulphur Springs, the course was named after the famed Old White Hotel, which stood on these grounds from 1858 to 1922. You will see a lot of that Scottish influence on this course, where Macdonald used some of the courses he played in Scotland as a template, the 8th hole is based on the Redan at North Berwick, the 13th on the Alps at Prestwick and the 15th on the Eden course at St Andrew’s.
President Woodrow Wilson was one of the first golfers to play at The Old White course in April of 1914. The Old White is a very strategic course with wide fairways and challenging, undulated greens.
In 2001 Lester George was commissioned to restore The Old White Course, bringing back many of the original features to this Charles Blair Macdonald masterpiece. All 18 greens, as well as the practice putting and pitching greens have been reconstructed with minor tweaks and narrowing fairways, lengthening to 7,274-yards and expanding the lake on the16th.
My tips to win:
Paul Casey 28/1 – with Coral – was very unlucky not to win last week, but going by several interviews over the weekend he seems to be more content within himself. I am hoping that he will take the positives out of last weekend and not let it get to him, which has always been his downfall, along with his many injuries which he also seems to be free of. If a positive Paul Casey turns up this week expect him to be in the thick of it again come Sunday.
Webb Simpson 30/1 – with BetFred – was one of my outside tips for this year’s US Open, that was before I heard him mouthing off how bad the course was before the tournament had started, if I had known that I wouldn’t have tipped him. The reason why I did was because his golf game seems to be in really good shape at the moment with two Top 10s and a runners-up so far this year. Webb seems to enjoy teeing it up at the The Old White TPC and I am hoping those positive vibes kick back in again this week.
JB Holmes 33/1 – with StanJames – has a win and two runners-up finishes so far this year and should be another player that turns up this week in confident mood, and with a week’s rest after the US Open I am sure he will be raring to go again this week. J.B hasn’t played here for the last two years but he did shoot a 60 here in the events first year back in 2010 on his way to a Top 20 finish.
My each-way tips:
I must admit I was surprised to see Kevin Na 40/1 – with Ladbrokes – miss the cut last weekend at the Travelers, he has played so steady this year and hopefully that has given him a jolt as well. Last weekend was only the third time that Na has been outside the Top 20 since March, having five Top 10 finishes in that time. Kevin does have a Top 10 finish here so knows how to play the course and I expect to see him back on track this week.
Pat Perez 66/1 – with BetVictor – is another player who has had a Top 10 here opening and closing with rounds of 64 in the competitions inaugural year back in 2010. Pat has been playing well in recent weeks with five Top 20s from his last seven starts and although he didn’t do great at The Memorial Tournament in his last outing I am sure he would have been working on his game the last couple of weeks.
My outside tip:
One player who has consistently done well over the Old White TPC is Johnson Wagner 300/1 – with StanJames – not only was he runner-up in 2013 but he also has a Top 15 finish and just missed out on the Top 25 last year. Johnson opened with a round of 62 here on the way to that runners-up finish and he has also had a runners-up finish this year at the Houston Open last month. Wagner has missed the cut the last five weeks on the bounce – hence these odds – I think with his record here he is worth a quid each-way.
For a full updated list of betting odds during the tournament go to planetgolfreview.com