WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Gov. Joe Manchin will present The Greenbrier owner Jim Justice with the Distinguished West Virginian Award on Thursday, before the start of the Greenbrier Classic golf tournament. The award is given in recognition of Justice's accomplishments at The Greenbrier and his unwavering commitment to the people of West Virginia, according to a news release from the governor's office.
PGA golfer Sergio Garcia and Pennsylvania businessman Dick Carrara pledged their support Wednesday for the initiative started earlier in July by Kenny Perry to support the 29 families who lost men in the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster.
Garcia announced today that he would donate $1,000 for every birdie he makes during the week of the inaugural tournament, and $5,000 for every eagle, to the fund supporting the families. Carrara, owner of Amthor Steel and Carrara Steel, will each match Perry's and Garcia's donations, as will Justice.
PGA wives and partners attending a farm tour Wednesday said their position on the green is not quite as glamorous as many people think. They travel a great deal and scramble to make last-minute arrangements. Most said they enjoyed the special efforts of The Greenbrier's staff to ensure a pleasurable visit.
Several took advantage of an outdoorsman's package of fly fishing, off-road driving and trap shooting Tuesday. Children named bowling, swimming and the movies as their favorite activities, while some women favored the spa's services. One wife said she received the best massage of her life.
The Greenbrier's formal dress code has thrown some of the golfers who didn't bring dinner jackets, which are required for some restaurants. Jarrod Lyle and his girlfriend, Briony Harper, have been on the road for 10 weeks and travel as lightly as possible. They don't typically bring dress clothes because they aren't required at other tour venues, Harper said.
Although The Greenbrier's dress policies are clearly stated in the resort's literature, Harper said the PGA website didn't mention the requirements until early this week.
The Met Life blimp rumbled over the course Wednesday. Its distinctive hum is apparently not considered a distraction for the players.
Signs spotted in White Sulphur Springs by enterprising locals: Extra PGA parking $20. At mid-week, there were plenty of spots available in designated lots, with efficient, air-conditioned shuttle transport to the course.
Dr. Gunnar Brolinson, standing by the first hole in case a player or caddie needed medical attention, said the week has been quiet for the medical team on call. So far, bee stings top the list of injuries tended.
Brolinson and his team from the Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine staff one main medical trailer and three first aid stations located on the course.
A helicopter is on stand-by all week in case a patient requires transport to a major hospital.
"These are the best golfers in the world. We want them to have the best medical care," Brolinson said.
Reach Julie Robinson at jul...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1230.