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David Walsh: Faldo bringing event to Greenbrier

Jul. 03, 2013 @ 12:08 AM

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Another major golf event is coming to The Greenbrier Resort.

Young players from around the world will come to one of America's top resorts in October to play in the Faldo Series Grand Final. They will compete on Old White TPC, which is year four as host for the PGA TOUR's Greenbrier Classic.

The world-renowned series hosts more than 7,000 golfers, ages 12-21, at 40 events in 31 countries in Europe, Asia, South America and now the United States.

"It's been very special to me," Faldo said. "It's really my way of giving back or pay it forward to the game and creating some opportunities for kids across Europe. My biggest goal is obviously to come to America, to stretch it almost across the globe."

In addition to the Greenbrier Classic, the resort has been home to the Ryder Cup, Solheim Cup, PGA Senior Tour and Big Break Greenbrier last year.

Faldo has seen two current stars, Rory McIlroy and Yani Tseng, go through the series and rise to No. 1 in the world. They also return at times to clinics to help Faldo.

The Faldo Series now includes Guan Tianlang from China. At 14, he became the youngest player to make a cut in major championship history when he finished 58th at The Masters. The winners from Europe and Asia will convene at The Greenbrier for a week. The tournament will be three days.

American players will be eligible for the Grand Final in 2014.

Faldo said the long-term goal is to make this a global event. He has a European team, Asian team and eventually an American team. He said that could lead to a Faldo World Cup. "That would be really cool if I can get all these different age groups," he said. "I feel it would be pretty cool oneday to say I was on the Faldo World Cup team playing for America."

The Faldo Series has a hook with the Tournament Players Clubs in America. There are about 30. He said if any other clubs want to reach juniors, contact him. Information is available at nickfaldo.com.

Also in September, Faldo, who now is an analyst for CBS and will be calling the action this week, will begin accepting students at a full-time residential academy for education and development in America. The Faldo Series Academy will be located in Casa Grande, Ariz.

The Greenbrier also announced the creation of the Faldo Golf Center, featuring instruction based on Faldo's award-winning "A Swing for Life" teaching theories. The Faldo Golf Center will offer Faldo equipment (irons, wedges and putters) and Faldo by Edel fitting systems in addition to the game's established brands.

YOUTH DAY: The Greenbrier Classic had its annual Youth Day on Tuesday. There was a clinic at 1:30 p.m. Trick shot artist Billy Winters and PGA TOUR member Scott Langley handled the clinic. The First-Tee Scramble followed. Pro Billy Horschel was in Group 1 with Camden Moore of Spencer and Meagan Board of Salem, Va. Jonathan Byrd was the pro for Group 2 and partners were Ike Judy of Lindside and Bailey Frederick of Fairmont. Teams played Nos. 1, 11 and 18. Moore rolled in birdie putts on the final two holes to win the scramble for his team.

"What it's about is picking a team and coaching them up," Horschel said. "Good recruiting. I went to the University of Florida and you learn how to recruit and how to coach."

Horschel is No. 5 in FedExCup points (1,422) and No. 6 on the money list (3,012,168).

WHAT A RALLY: Daniel Obremski made quite the move in the three days between the Classic pre-qualifer on Thursday and qualifier Monday on the Cobb Course at The Resort at Glade Springs. He shot 74 on Thursday and tied for 44th (just getting in). On Monday, the Coastal Carolina graduate fired a course-record 9-under-par 62 to win the qualifier and get a spot in his first pro event.

FAMILIAR NAME: Jake Workman of Huntington is the course superintendent for Old White TPC.

WEATHER: The forecast for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday is mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. The call for Saturday and Sunday is partly cloudy. Rain chances diminish.

David Walsh is a sports reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. Call him at 304-526-2759 or email him at dwalsh@herald-dispatch.com.

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