That seemed to be the case, as the cumulative scoring average for the week was 70.593 compared to 68.536 a year ago. But on moving day and the final round, the course seemed to get tamer.
Old White played nearly two strokes lower on Saturday than Friday and Sunday's average was about the same as Saturday's.
Thirty-nine of the 75 golfers were under par for Saturday's third round, while 36-of-75 accomplished the feat Sunday. During Friday's second round, golfers averaged 71.117 strokes. That number dipped to 69.347 Saturday, but climbed ever so slightly higher Sunday to 69.973.
"The greens to me seemed like they got softer as the week went on, which is unusual,'' said Cameron Tringale, who finished in a six-way tie for third at 9 under after shooting a 3-under 67 Sunday. "The last couple of days, I think that's why the scores were a little lower.''
Stuart Appleby became just the fifth golfer in PGA Tour history to shoot a 59 in last year's inaugural event to win at 22 under. Greenbrier owner Jim Justice, after conferring with PGA Tour officials, decided to upgrade the par-70 Old White, which opened in 1914. Sixteen of Old White's 18 holes were renovated and about 243 yards added in length.
Brendon de Jonge, who finished tied for fourth this year and was third last year, agreed with Tringale's assessment.
"Yeah, they softened up a little bit I think,'' de Jonge said of the greens. "The golf course felt like it was a little bit softer [Sunday] than it had been and easier to get the ball closer to the hole.''
So what did Tringale think of the upgrades to Old White?
"The greens were firmer,'' he said. "The course is a little longer, but not enough really. You're hitting the same clubs for the most part.''
The second annual Greenbrier Classic continued to cast a spell on the Mountain State.
This year's PGA Tour event drew 214,700 spectators, outperforming last year's inaugural tournament by 35,500. A total of 178,500 attended the 2010 Classic.
Sunday's attendance for this year's edition was 47,100 while Saturday attracted 46,200 and Friday saw 40,100 pack The Greenbrier resort grounds for a three-day weekend total of 133,400. Last year's final three rounds drew 112,800.
The biggest jump in crowd numbers from day-to-day a year ago was Friday, when 10,100 more showed up.
Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at tatkin...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4811.