Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

July 1, 2014

Greenbrier Notebook: Day done before tourney starts

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS — Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson have made a habit of missing the cut at The Greenbrier Classic, disappointing fans that held tickets to see golf’s biggest stars on the weekend.

This year, one of the tournament’s biggest draws is out before the competitive rounds even begin. Jason Day, No. 6 in the official World Golf Rankings, has withdrawn because of lingering problems with a thumb injury.

Day missed most of three months with the injury which occurred in early March, coming back to compete in the Masters in April and then not competing again until the Memorial during the first week of June.

Day, considered one of the best young golfers yet to win a major championship, finished fourth in the U.S. Open and then played the next two weeks in the Travelers Championship and last week’s Quicken Loans National, where he missed the cut after back-to-back 73s.

He expressed excitement at the Greenbrier Classic media day in June about competing in the event for the first time.

• • •

A new event helped open the 2014 Greenbrier Classic Monday when the inaugural West Virginia Fellowship of Christian Athletes 5K was held at 9 a.m. Ninety-two runners turned out to stretch their legs throughout The Greenbrier property on a sunny and comfortable morning.

“That was good for the first time,” said Keith Tyler, the state director for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. “We were surprised that so many people drove down from the Charleston area. Next year, we hope to make it bigger and better and get everybody in FCA involved in it. We hope to get 300 runners next year.”

After six months of work, he was more than pleased with the event.

Wes Stowers, 19, was the top overall finisher, crossing the finish line in 16:54.7, just in front of 17-year-old Cody Gillespie, who was about three seconds off that pace. Lucas Gardner finished third.

The top female was 37-year-old Misty Bradley, who ran the distance in 22:39.0. She was a little more than a minute faster than Kayla Bishop, who finished second.

According to its website, the West Virginia FCA “exists to help students grow in and share their faith in Christ.”

“We’re a ministry that helps anybody who is influenced by athletics,” said Tyler. “It’s not just for coaches and athletes. We really feel like athletics play a major role in our society. So we try to come along and talk to these athletes and coaches about integrity, teamwork and excellence.

“We tell them that they can do things the right way and still be great athletes.

“We do it from a biblical perspective, and it’s been phenomenal what we’ve been able to do in the state of West Virginia with our ministry.”

• • •

Today is Youth Day at The Greenbrier Classic. Aside from PGA Tour player practice rounds, which will begin when the gates open at 8 a.m., there will be plenty of activities for children of all ages throughout the day.

A treasure hunt will take place throughout The Old White TPC course, where kids can pick up a map and look for clues to find the treasure.

On the first tee of the Meadows course from 1:30 to 3 p.m., there will be a first aid kit building activity, where MedExpress team members help children build a kit with all of the necessities.

From 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., there will be a junior clinic featuring trick shot specialist Billy Winters, along with a surprise PGA Tour professional.

At 3 p.m., the Polo First Tee Scramble will begin on the first tee of the Old White TPC. PGA Tour professionals Morgan Hoffman and Davis Love III will work with the two groups.

— E-mail: chuffman@register-herald.com; Twitter @CamHuffmanRH.

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