The PGA Tour is in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., this week for the Greenbrier Classic. Plenty of the game's biggest stars are out, including Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson.
Like much of that region of the country, the Greenbrier was nailed by a powerful summer storm last week, but PGA Director of Instruction Billy Winters tells us things are looking up. The community has rallied around each other and while there are still some power outages, the course is ready for play.
Winters also talked about having Tiger in town and told us whether or not he sees another potential 59 in the cards this year like Stuart Appleby shot in 2010.
PGA.com: Thanks for joining us, Billy. Sorry to start off on a sour note, but how is the course looking after the storm that caused so much havoc last week? I'm sure the staff has been incredibly busy getting the course in shape.
Winters: It was quite the storm. In fact, some are still without power and it could even be until the end of this week before they will receive it. West Virginians are a resilient bunch and the whole community came together to get the community and golf course back into shape.
PGA.com: I'm sure everyone in West Virginia was already excited about Tiger Woods making his first appearance in the Greenbrier Classic this week. Has that excitement level increased at all since his win last week at Congressional?
Winters: Yes it really has. Obviously no matter where you go he will have a following but the buzz that is in the air is incredible. Throughout the day all you can hear is, "Has anyone seen Tiger yet?" It's going to be an even more amazing event with him in attendance.
PGA.com: Tiger isn't the only star in the field. There are many, including Phil Mickelson, Webb Simpson, Davis Love III, Vijay Singh and Dustin Johnson. Can you talk a little about the quality of field?
Winters: The quality of the field is the best of any. It's amazing in just three short years how the quality of the field has increased. This is a true testament to the Old White TPC golf course, our employees, amenities and facilities. Also, we really have great volunteers that take ownership in their duties for this event. It's their backyard.
PGA.com: In 2010, Stuart Appleby stunned the golf world with an incredible 59 at the Greenbrier. As someone who knows the course, can you quantify just how impressive that is?
Winters: I really can't. I saw it firsthand and it was truly amazing. I remember watching the scoreboard and thinking this guy could shoot 59! I watched him on 18 make the 10-footer and was stunned. On top of that it was to win the tournament!
PGA.com: Final question for you, Billy. What are you most looking forward to during tournament week?
Winters: What I enjoy most about tournament week is how it showcases our resort and the region. It shows how wonderful The Greenbrier Resort is and everything that we have to offer here. Also, all week being able to hang out inside the ropes with the tour players at the practice facility isn't bad either!