WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS - This nook of West Virginia hasn't received the downpours that have hit the Kanawha Valley and other areas, but rain has been a daily event in this scenic valley.
And that will play a considerable role in the Greenbrier Classic, which begins at 7 a.m. today.
That's when 154 pros and two amateurs will take on the Old White TPC course, which at 99 years is one of the oldest tracks they will play.
The first inclination is to predict a 20-under par winning score, what with the soft greens and sticky fairways. Potentially heavy rain was expected overnight, with chances of showers and thunderstorms throughout the weekend.
But the consensus among players seems to be this: The course will remain in fantastic shape, no matter what.
"The greens, fairways, rough, everything is in really good shape," said Phil Mickelson. "It's a little soft with the rain, but as the weather gets nice and sunny on the weekend, it should be perfect. It's in fabulous shape, it drains really well and I think we're all looking forward to a fun event."
Mickelson is back to headline what can best be described as an entertaining field, particularly with the addition of big-hitting Bubba Watson.
There are two world top-10 players, Mickelson and Louis Oosthuizen, five more within the top 30 and four more in the top 50. In the FedExCup standings, there are 13 of the top 30, with many others trying to crack that level.
There are top-shelf newcomers such as Bubba Watson and under-the-radar Swede Peter Hanson. There are perennial Classic contenders such as Webb Simpson, Jimmy Walker and Brendon de Jonge, as well as quick-rising stars such as Billy Horschel and Jordan Spieth.
All three defending champions are here: the ultra-streaky Scott Stallings, second-year man Ted Potter Jr. and veteran Stuart Appleby. There is the college player of the year in Michael Kim and the 13-time West Virginia Amateur champion, Pat Carter.
There is the old guard, 63-year-old Greenbrier pro emeritus Tom Watson.
And there are rookies all around, as young as just-turned-18 Si Woo Kim. They are trying to extend the Classic's rookie-winner streak to three years.
But the top storyline probably is Mickelson, who is a 12-1 favorite on TheSpread.com. Remember, he hasn't made the cut in two Classics, failing to break the par 70 in all four of his rounds. He suffered two double bogeys in 2012, on the fifth and 15th holes.
Do the state's golf fans get good Lefty or not-so-good Lefty?
"I was asking Jim [Justice] a lot of questions about how he plays this course," Mickelson said Wednesday after his pro-am round with the resort's owner. "He's played here over 500 times, and I just wanted to hear where he plays to given certain pin positions, where he plays off the tee - because I've been kind of guessing my way and I've been making some mistakes that have cost me one, two shots a hole at times, and I've got to put an end to it.
"It's a very straightforward test but strategically, you have to have an idea what you want to do."