Greenbriar Classic Picks – 27048

The Greenbriar Classic
Dates: July 5-8, 2012
Course: The Old White TPC White Sulphur Springs, WV
TV: The Golf Channel/CBS
by Evergreen, PGA Handicapper,

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The heat has definitely been on and since it seems there is no end in sight, find some A/C after watching the fireworks and check out the action at the 2012 Greenbriar Classic.Tiger conquered the heat, thunderstorms and the field to win last week and he will have to do it all again if he wants to make it two wins in a row.The same severe thunderstorms that damaged Congressional also took out nearly 80 trees at The Old White TPC but all has been cleaned up and the PGA is looking forward another great week of golf.The 2011 Greenbriar featured an average field but a move to the first week of July has produced a star-studded field that includes Woods, Phil Mickelson and U.S. Open Champion Webb Simpson.We are about a month and half out from the start of the FedExCup Playoffs so many players are anxious to gain a better position on the points list as well as gain exemption to the final Majors.

The course named after the Old White Hotel has been in the PGA Tour rotation for just two years but has been around for nearly 100 years and has already produced some memorable moments in just two hosting opportunities.Stuart Appleby stormed the 7,229 yard, par-70 course in the final day in 2010, carding a course record 59 on the way to victory and the final two days last year turned into a shootout that required a playoff before Scott Stallings came out on top.A bit like Congressional, The Old White can be attacked as long as players can find the fairways but the greens will definitely be slower and we should see some more greenlight putts.The scoring pace should be similar with the winner coming in at the low double digits under par and players will struggle if they are crooked off the tee.

Each week, we take a look at the online betting sites and highlight a few players that we think can win it all.We make a short, middle and long odds pick to win and breakdown a couple of head to head matches that you can find at any golf sportsbook.Here are our picks to win the 2012 Greenbriar Classic.

Short Favorite: Webb Simpson (16 to 1 odds to win)
The U.S. Open champ has to be freewheeling it at least a little bit after cashing in his first Major but he should be plenty motivated to stay hot heading into the British.Simpson ran T9 at the 2011 Greenbriar and is one of the best players in this field that has some course experience.Webb’s driver has been spotty this year but he obviously found his way around Olympic Club and he still hits the 12thmost greens on Tour.Simpson is a top-30 putter and that has produced the best birdie average per round and the best par-4 birdie or better percentage.If Webb can keep the driver in play, he will be a factor on Sunday.

Middle of the Road: Steve Stricker (22 to 1 odds to win)
Stricker is making his first Greenbriar start and looks to regain the form that saw him win the opening Tournament of Champions.The putter has been below average of late by Steve’s standards but he is still hitting plenty of fairways and greens to win.It won’t be long until one of the best putters on Tour regains his form and that will mean birdies since Stricker ranks second in proximity to the hole on all approach shots and first on shots from 125 yards on in.

Longshot: Charley Hoffman (66 to 1 odds to win)
Hoffman has been a warrior this year having played eighteen events already and the results have been pretty good with fourteen made cuts and he’s been hot of late with T22 and T2 finishes in the last two weeks.Charley is one of the better drivers on Tour, ranking 14thon total driving and adds a nice iron game that adds up to the 21stbest ball striking stat.The putter is below average by pro standards but Hoffman still has the 8thmost birdies on Tour and the 32ndbest birdie average per round.If he can manage to solve the greens this week, the rest of the game is plenty good to win.

Head to Head Matches *picks to win based on total score after all four rounds.Check with your favorite online bookie for single round matches and a variety of prop bets.

Dustin Johnson (-115) v. Phil Mickelson (-115) (our pick to win: Johnson)
I’ve just had the feeling for a while that Mickelson is missing something from his mental game.Maybe it’s the arthritic condition taking part of his game away or just a general slide that comes to every golfer but it would be hard to pick Lefty to win against any golfer of his caliber.Both of these guys hit it a ton and rely on the short clubs to score but gains the advantage by having a steadier game at this point.Neither is going to probably hit a lot of fairways this week but Dustin scores the same Phil with less birdies and The Old White will not be kind to mistakes.Just a guess, but Mickelson is probably looking more forward to the British Open than winning this week.

Bill Haas (-115) v. Jonathan Byrd (-115) (our pick to win: Haas)
Haas nearly made cut for the longshot pick this week instead of Hoffman but he does appear to be a good head to head guy this week regardless of the opponent.Haas lost in a playoff last year and has a pretty large ballstriking advantage against Byrd with both hitting about the same amount of greens.Haas makes a few more birdies and that is a good thing to have when a couple under is going to be a good round.

Good Luck!