Black Eyed Peas, McGraw…I Mean, Mickelson, Garcia Headline the Greenbrier Classic
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

Everybody loves Phil!

Had I known that Tim McGraw, Black Eyed Peas and Keith Urban were among the artists performing at the Greenbrier Classic, I probably would be in West Virginia right now! (Obviously, such perks factor into  consideration when deciding my travel schedule! — it’s already penciled in for 2012.) As for the golf, Phil Mickelson is making somewhat of an unlikely appearance at Greenbrier this week. He’s one of only two top-20 players in the field, with the other being Retief Goosen. Sergio Garcia, who has been returning to form lately, is another main attraction.

61-year-old Tom Watson is playing in his first regular PGA Tour event since the 2007 AT&T National Pebble Beach Pro-Am, instead of the US Senior Open this week, honoring a promise to an old friend.

But why did Phil decide to enter the Greenbrier (the first of three consecutive events for him)? To take advantage of the extracurricular activities and attractions available for his family. Naturally.

After arriving on Monday, Phil and his family have been enjoying things like bungee swinging, pools and laser tag.

“The environment here makes it easy to bring my family, especially when they’ve been able to travel with me this summer,” said Phil during his pre-tourney presser. “And the fact that this place is so fun for them, it’s an easy fit.”

What else is on the agenda? Falconry and whitewater rafting.

“I can’t get over all the fun things that they have to do,” said Phil. “My daughters are excited about the falconry. I don’t know where in the world you can do that. We’ll do some whitewater rafting, too.

“The golf is a bonus.”

Mickelson is hoping to build on the momentum he gained at the British Open, where he finished a career-best T2.

“I had a good tournament there at the British,” said Phil. “And I felt like I kind of turned a corner for me and I’m starting to put things together slowly, be a little bit more patient and enjoy my time on the course and be more creative hitting shots again.”

Let’s hope he’s put aside some time to work on his short-range putting, too!

(AP Photo/The Daily Mail, Craig Cunningham)