Classic proved to be just that
At the end, however, the feet had to be on the floor. The rear had to be at the edge of the Lazy Boy.
The reason: Stuart Appleby and Jeff Overton provided a classic finish to the Classic. It was a historic finish, thanks to Appleby. It was a finish that incredibly capped a very big deal for those in the Mountain State.
FDR had his New Deal. We had our big one.
The Greenbrier Classic lived up to its name.
Appleby etched his name in the record book with a 59 that joins Al Geiberger, David Duval, Chip Beck and Paul Goydos. Wearing a purple shirt and a Callaway hat, he confidently addressed a 10-foot, 10-inch putt, steered it left to right and fell into golf lore.
Talk about being in a zone.
"I was,'' Appleby said. "Absolutely ... I felt relaxed today. I slowed myself down. I was pretty comfortable.''
Those previously watching comfortably at home, however, had to be on those seat edges - until that final putt dropped.
"I thought, 'Yes!''' Appleby said of the moment. "I knew what it was all about. I knew I had to make it. I knew I had to make it for the tournament and I knew I had to make it to have a 59.
"I was sitting there thinking, 'How many opportunities do you have to do this?' But I still felt very relaxed. The cards had been laying out perfectly for me all day. Why wasn't I going to do one more?
"I just got a good look at it - and bang. It looked like it knew where its home was, right in the middle. It was great to do that to win the tournament and cap off a low number. It was very unique and a flood of emotions came across me.''
Overton barely missed sending the crowd into a second frenzy, missing by a half-inch a putt from 52-2.
"My hat's off to a guy shooting a 59,'' Overton said afterward. "That's pretty great.''
Like the tournament. It was a dream ending to a dream come true for the Mountain State
"Amazing,'' said tournament director Tim McNeely. "I'm a kid from Logan County ... I never dreamed I'd be involved with something like this. Something like this here, at The Greenbrier.''
He spoke before the ending, more about the event hitting West Virginia, which, by itself, was a dream come true for state sports fans.
And, really, who better to voice the emotions of a week that showed the state's best? McNeely, a former West Virginia University basketball player and current tournament director, has a nickname of "Catfish,'' a true Mountain State nickname. Yet while McNeely is down-home Logan County, he's also polished, like a dish served this week at The Greenbrier: cornmeal and jalapeno crusted catfish.
He, the dish and the tournament were the best of West Virginia's core - spit shined for the nation.
OK, so, not everything went according to plan. Neither Tiger Woods nor Phil Mickelson showed. Many of the world's best, in fact, took a pass. There were just three paragraphs on Saturday's action in The New York Times on Sunday. There wasn't even a mention of the event on many of the weekend's ESPN radio sports reports.
The leaderboard at times was less like a Who's Who and more like a Who? Who? Also, the Old White was dissected like a frog in a science class.
Ah, but look at us now. The ending. The 59. The memories.
There were the prior wonderful runs at the magic 59 number on Saturday by D.A. Points and J.B. Holmes. CBS centered its Saturday coverage on Points, but Holmes tied Sam Snead's course record of 60. There hadn't been a 60 so overshadowed since, well, a few weeks back when Steve Stricker's 60 was so treated after Goydos posted a 59 in the John Deere Classic.
There was the gutwrenching way Points bogeyed No. 17 with 59 - or perhaps 58 - in his sights. There was the disgust shown by Overton on the same hole Sunday, when his ball, he claims, hit a spike mark and took a "hard left.''
We'll remember those moments. And we'll not forget others, like when Erik Compton, the double heart transplant recipient, grabbed our hearts by grabbing the first-round lead.
There were humorous moments, like when James Nitties plunked one in the creek on No. 18, finished the short par-3 with a bogey and then hurled his ball back into the creek. Boo Weekley spoke of hunting, fishing and rednecks during the week. In a related note, John Daly drew a large following and grabbed attention with pants as loud as Snooki on "Jersey Shore.''
There was the Sunday scene when the fans followed Points' ball, which rolled down a cart path on No. 12.
There was the Hole-In-One Watch. Resort owner Jim Justice was ready to give away $1 million, plus money to the gallery, for an ace. Then Michael Letzig thrilled the 18th gallery by rolling one over the hole - and within 2 feet, 2 inches.
There were the people. Oh, there were people. The crowds swelled to impressive numbers. And, considering our small state, one couldn't help but run into a friend, a neighbor or an acquaintance.
Too, there were the recognizable faces. In Justice's box behind the 18th green on Sunday was former WVU basketball star Da'Sean Butler - a couple rows in front of state legend Jerry West, who, on Friday, hung out with golf legend Arnold Palmer.
Justice himself was visible and treated as a hero. He rode with the Budweiser Clydesdales. He appeared with Nantz on the tube. He signed autographs.
WVU and Virginia Tech logos were as common as birdies.
It was an ace of an event. There was Berry Hills pro Barry Evans walking with his son and caddy, Will. There were the volunteers, enjoying the heck out of the event. Some held up signs that said, "It's golf time down South. Quiet please.'' It was a takeoff on the sign in the resort saying it's sleepy time down South.
The giant, though, that is The Greenbrier is now very much awake - thanks to a monster of a tournament.
"I honestly don't see how it could have gone much better,'' Justice said. "It's just what I'd hope it'd be.''
Indeed, it was a dream come true for all involved.