NAPA, CA (Oct. 17, 2016) – Seven days after visiting historic Greenbrier Resort and meeting with flood victims in West Virginia, Phil Mickelson was paddling into the 2016-17 PGA Tour season at the Safeway Open in California.
At The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va. Oct. 8-9, owner Jim Justice welcomed Phil as a design consultant on a renovation of the Greenbrier course, the site of the 1979 Ryder Cup, which was badly damaged in the September flooding in that area.
At the Safeway Open at Silverado Resort in Napa, CA Oct. 15-16, steady, at times torrential, rain forced suspension of play for the day late Saturday and for nearly two hours on Sunday. Phil’s custom-made alligator shoes held up nicely and after shooting three 69’s he closed with a bogey-free 67 to move up two spots and share 10th place. It was his 183rd top-10 finish in 549 career Tour starts, good for a remarkable .333 average.
“I still need to work on my driving,” Phil said, “but I hit a lot of good irons shots, made a lot of good putts, so I feel I have a lot to look forward to starting in January.”
His 2017 campaign is scheduled to start January 19 at the CareerBuilder Challenge in Palm Desert, CA, but first there is work to be done on Phil and caddie Jim “Bones” Mackay. Both were scheduled to undergo surgery on the same day this week, Phil for a sports hernia, Bones Mackay for a double knee replacement.
Phil was as excited about his new relationship with The Greenbrier as he was about his game. Phil toured a flood-ravaged neighborhood in White Sulphur Springs and met with residents, some of whom lost everything. He also made a generous donation to the resort’s Neighbors Loving Neighbors fund dedicated to helping residents rebuild and repair.
He said he was humbled by the loss of property in Greenbrier County.
“I am also most proud of my relationship with Jim Justice and how he continues to come to the aid of all of those affected by this catastrophe,” said Phil. “I also want to help those in need in rebuilding a great community. I hope to see golfers and golf fans join me in coming out and paying a visit to The Greenbrier. There’s no better way to help the community than by coming for a visit.”
The next day Phil spent hours touring the Greenbrier course, where he’ll be designing nine new holes and updating another nine on the Seth Raynor course that opened in 1924.
“I am a big fan of Seth Raynor,” said Phil. “His rectangular bunkers and subtly sloping greens are classic design features. I’m really looking forward to bringing those looks to a wonderful new piece of land that’s been set aside for the new nine.”