WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. - Sunday's weather delay may have put a damper on the fourth edition of the Greenbrier Classic, but the tournament survived nicely on many fronts.
For one thing, the Greenbrier Valley really lucked out on the weather. Not only did the Charleston area take several soakings during the week, but the Roanoke, Va., area had a spate of flash flooding.
Despite iffy weather forecasts, the Classic was blessed with three days of mostly splendid conditions, with partly sunny skies and temperatures topping out in the low 80s.
Tournament officials' formula for growing the event has taken root, and that week-to-week golf press has noticed.
Golf Channel's Jason Sobel took an informal survey and found the tournament is growing in popularity with the players. With The Greenbrier's dizzying assortment of activities, the concerts and a relaxing friendly atmosphere for families, Sobel likened it to "sleepaway camp."
Sobel sees the tournament attracting a stronger field and climbing in the Tour's pecking order.
"It may seem like fun and games, but this is how next-level tournaments are built," he writes. "An old-style course and a decent date on the schedule certainly don't hurt, but when players speak of this event in the weeks to come, those who skipped it will be teeming with jealousy.
"Word of mouth is the greatest recruiter there is."
If that prophecy holds true, the memory of losing two hours in the CBS window will be forgotten quickly.
The other winners in this unusual tournament:
It's not like Tour officials didn't have advance warning, as the National Weather Service threw up a flash-flood watch for Sunday a day in advance.