WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — Austin Dillon is no stranger to The Greenbrier and the Old White TPC, having played in last year's pro-am alongside Vijay Singh.
But this time around, the 28-year-old carried a new title along with him — Daytona 500 champion.
He played with younger brother and fellow NASCAR driver Ty Dillon, 26, as well as PGA Tour pro Russell Henley on Wednesday with the group finishing at 13-under.
Winning the biggest race in stock car racing is certainly a game changer and in Austin Dillon's case, a life change.
"Been very busy, media is obviously one part of it," Austin Dillon said. "When it all sinks in it feels really good obviously. Now, we're kind of in the meat of our season — we only have nine races until the playoffs — and I'm focused
A MILITARY TRIBUTE AT THE GREENBRIER
(formerly the Greenbrier Classic)
WHAT: 72-hole PGA Tour tournament
WHEN: July 2-8
VENUE: Old White TPC
WHERE: The Greenbrier resort, White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.
TICKETS: 888-598-7380 or www.greenbri-erclassic.com
Schedule of events
(Subject to change)
7 a.m., Gates open.
All Day, Tournament round one.
Golf Channel, 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.
PGA Tour Radio on SiriusXM, noon to 6:30 p.m.
Golf Channel, 1 to 2:45 p.m.,
WOWK-13, 3 to 6 p.m.
PGA Tour Radio on Sirius XM, 1 to 6 p.m.
on the playoffs more than anything and trying to get our cars ready for that. We have a great opportunity and we can't waste it this year when you're locked in like that."
Austin Dillon and his No. 3 Richard Childress Racing team is locked in via that win at Daytona, but it has been a struggle since, as it has for the majority of drivers running Chevrolet Camaros. His 500 victory is the only win Chevy has through 17 races this year and he's registered just one other top 10, finishing 10th at Auto Club.
This week the series returns to Daytona for the Coke Zero Sugar 400 on Saturday evening, a restrictor-plate track that lends itself to wrecks, chaos and surprise winners. Both Austin and Ty Dillon, who is still searching for his first win in the Monster Energy Series, said they were looking forward to Saturday night.
"Anytime you've won at a place, you feel pretty confident going in there, but Daytona is one of those places you never know what's going to happen," Austin Dillon said. "We'll get after it like we always do and hopefully put ourselves in a position to win. We need more bonus points for the playoffs and this is a great place to do that."
Wednesday provided a nice, relaxing day for two drivers who don't often slow down. Their father caddied for Ty, who raved about the course and the event afterward.
"It's just amazing, I'm such a big golf fan," Ty Dillon said. "To be out here on July 4th, we had guys jumping out of the sky with a big American flag and the big airplanes flying over, but most of all playing on this beautiful golf course here at The Greenbrier. I had a blast and playing with Russell Henley, he's an awesome guy and a good person. I don't think we went as low as we wanted to, but we made a pretty good run at it.
"Had a lot of fun with my brother playing with him and we had my dad caddying, so we had a bunch of laughs if anything."
Austin Dillon brought a new set of clubs with him to the course and was pleased with he way he struck them, estimating he rolled up "11 or 12" pars over the course of the day.
"I got some new Pings [irons] and they were playing well today," he said. "We scored pretty good, I'm proud of our score, it's better than we did last year.
"It was just an all-around good time. The heat was out but we managed to get through 18 all good."
Though Wednesday proved that you can take a driver out of a car and put him on a golf course, it also proved that on a golf course, a driver still competes like a driver. There was certainly plenty of banter between the two, enough to draw some laughs out of the gallery following the group around the course.
"Every single shot we had something going," Ty Dillon said. "We were playing if you got it in the fairway and longest drive — him and I can't do anything without competing. But we keep it fun and we kind of pushed ourselves and ended up playing pretty good today."
"We get after it," Austin Dillon added. "We had a little gambling going on. I bested him today and I should, I'm the lower handicap. But it was fun."