WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. - As The Greenbrier owner, Jim Justice happens to be quite the host.
In addition to providing lunch and golf for media members at the resort's clubhouse on Tuesday, he took the time to spin a couple of humorous yarns, and all that seemed to be missing was a campfire.
While the Greenbrier Classic has attracted some of the biggest names in golf, the Old White TPC course has been fairly unkind to some of the world's best players, namely Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.
Neither player made the cut last year and Mickelson has missed it two years in a row, prompting some to assert that the tournament has lost some luster over the weekends.
As it turns out, Justice has approached this issue with Mickelson himself and in a direct way.
He spoke of an event in Florida in November in which he played golf with Jack Nicklaus and former President Bill Clinton. Mickelson was a guest at dinner that evening, and when Justice spoke he pulled no punches.
"I said in this world there's three ways you can make a friend," Justice said. "You can tell a secret, make a confession, or ask a favor.
"[Mickelson] was all decked out and looking real good and I said, 'Now Phil, let me tell you this. There's a lot of people that would regard you as friends in West Virginia. Let me make a confession to you and say that it really meant a tremendous amount to me for you to commit and come to our tournament.'
"Then I said, 'Let me tell you a secret, Phil. There are several West Virginians that can get pretty dad-gum rowdy.' Then I said, 'Phil, let me ask you a favor, for God sakes, make the cut.'
"He's bewildered by the golf course. He says, 'I can play that golf course, I can really play it.' "
As it turns out, Mickelson will have another opportunity to prove it this year as Justice announced on Tuesday that the world's No. 10 player would be returning for the third straight year.
While Mickelson's commitment was a large topic of conversation on Tuesday, it was far from all that Justice touched upon as his conversation ranged all the way from the golf course to his lap-band surgery to Will Ferrell.
Indeed, it seems that in a funny moment that almost made national television, Justice did his best Ferrell impersonation while grandstanding CBS TV's Jim Nantz.