Scenes from the storm damage and clean-up effort at the Greenbrier
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

RIP Sycamore tree on 16 green

As you know (unless you’ve been living under a rock the last four or five days), a massive tornado-like storm called a “derecho” originated in Ohio and plowed through West Virginia (along with Virginia and Maryland) last Friday night, causing severe damage to The Greenbrier Resort. Strangely, the Old White, the course where the tournament is contested, was the part of the property that sustained the worst of it, with more than 50 trees falling down — including a large Sycamore on the 16th green — and sky boxes and camera towers destroyed.

Thanks to Greenbrier owner and savior Jim Justice rallying a clean-up crew that consisted of a few hundred employees, friends and his softball team, etc., the debris has been cleared and the course is in tournament-ready condition for the first round on Thursday. In fact, there’s hardly a trace of the destruction and if you didn’t know any better, you probably wouldn’t believe the scenes from this weekend.

Well, unless you saw the pictures…thanks to the guys from XM radio, here are some shots…

16th green from the stands


Tree near the 18th tee

Click on the thumbnail to enlarge…

Check out the 360-panoramic photo from this afternoon here.

On Wednesday players said the golf course was in great condition and you wouldn’t know a storm had ravaged it just five days ago. The fairways were a bit soft still, especially with the storm that rolled in on Tuesday evening, but it should firm up quickly, especially since it’s blistering hot out there. The new greens that were put in last year have matured and improved tremendously, so they’re rolling better and purer. Still, the course is pretty straightforward and I’m guessing something around 18-under will be the winning score.

Oh, by the way, Happy Fourth of July! Have a safe and wonderful holiday.

(Photos via tournament photographer)