Last updated: July 18. 2013 2:35PM - 353 Views
Autumn D. F. Hopkins
The Charleston Gazette

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WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS (AP) — They won’t compete in the actual tournament, but two junior golfers from West Virginia will play alongside some of the top golfers in the world in two events leading up to The Greenbrier Classic.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin says 15-year-old Alex Hamrick and 18-year-old Caleb Lee have been invited to participate in Monday’s practice round and Wednesday’s pro-am event in White Sulphur Springs. Tomblin made the announcement Saturday.

Hamrick plays on the golf team at Poca High School. Lee recently graduated from North Marion High School.

Both participate in West Virginia Golf Association junior golf events.

The PGA Tour’s Greenbrier Classic runs next Thursday through Sunday on the Old White TPC Course.

Carter looks forward to Greenbrier

HUNTINGTON (AP) — Eye problems and all, 13-time West Virginia Amateur champion Pat Carter is looking forward to playing in a PGA Tour event.

With plenty of fans expecting to back him, Carter will tee off at The Greenbrier Classic next Thursday in White Sulphur Springs.

“They’ll be pulling for me,” Carter said. “That gives me added incentive.”

Carter earned an exemption by winning the state Amateur last year at The Greenbrier. But he suffered an orbital fracture in his left eye during an assault in April that caused muscle damage and blurred vision.

He tells The Herald-Dispatch that the golf ball can appear hazy at times.

“Sometimes it’s fine. Sometimes you have to bear with me,” Carter said. “There’s no reason to whine about it. I have to learn to live with it.”

Carter is known for his strong short game and solid putting. To play well at the Old White TPC course, he said he needs to improve his driving, which has been inconsistent.

“I’ll try to get some practice in,” Carter said. “I hope I can keep this feel going.”

For PGA players, Old White plays at 7,287 yards — several hundred yards longer than what Carter is accustomed to at the Amateur.

Carter said he’ll be “happy with pars” on three long par fours that could give him trouble — the 488-yard second hole, the 492-yard 13th, and the 444-yard 16th that golfers must carry their drives over water.

Carter also will return to the resort in early August to try to move within one win of Bill Campbell’s record 15 state Amateur titles.

Haas wins AT&T

BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — Bill Haas keeps winning the right tournaments to position himself on the periphery of the elite in golf.

His three-shot victory Sunday in the AT&T National was his fourth straight season with at least one PGA Tour title, joining a short list with Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose. Some of that is good timing, though to suggest it’s merely a coincidence would be to ignore an abundance of natural talent.

The trick is getting to the next level, and Haas knows the way.

“Work a little harder,” he said. “This year I think I put in a little bit more work than I have in the previous years — easy to say now that it’s paying off. But all the best players, they’re working hard. And the best players … there is a level, and I’d love to be a part of that. But the way you guys and the golf world ranks us, it’s by the majors. And I have not had that much success in the majors.”

Indeed, Haas has never had a top 10 in a major.

For now, he keeps winning on major golf courses. Faced with a rugged test at Congressional, which has hosted four major championships, Haas pulled away from a crowd of contenders with three straight birdies, two good pars and one good hop out of the rough by the 14th green that turned potential bogey into birdie.

He wound up with a 5-under 66 and a three-shot win over Robert Castro, who made Haas work hard in the sweltering heat Sunday.

Haas thought about a player such as Jason Day, who has only one win in his sixth year on the PGA Tour, but is looked upon now as a contender at the majors because that’s what the Australian has done. Day has finished two shots behind in the Masters twice, and he was runner-up by two shots at the U.S. Open at Merion this year.

“I would like to be part of that,” Haas said. “But honestly, I would just like to work hard, see the results, and if the next level comes, then I welcome it.”

PGA Tour Schedule

Jan. 4-7 — Hyundai Tournament of Champions (Dustin Johnson)

Jan. 10-13 — Sony Open (Russell Henley)

Jan. 17-20 — Humana Challenge (Brian Day)

Jan. 24-27 — Farmers Insurance Open (Tiger Woods)

Jan. 31-Feb. 3 — Waste Management Phoenix Open (Phil Mickelson)

Feb. 7-10 — AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am (Brandt Snedeker)

Feb. 14-17 — Northern Trust Open (John Merrick)

Feb. 20-24 — WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship (Matt Kuchar)

Feb. 28-March 3 — Honda Classic (Michael Thompson)

March 7-10 — WGC-Cadillac Championship (Tiger Woods)

March 7-10 — Puerto Rico Open (Scott Brown)

March 14-17 — Tampa Bay Championship (Kevin Streelman)

March 21-24 — Arnold Palmer Invitational (Tiger Woods)

March 28-31 — Shell Houston Open (D.A. Points)

April 4-7 — Valero Texas Open (Martin Laird)

April 11-14 — The Masters (Adam Scott)

April 18-21 — RBC Heritage (Graeme McDowell)

April 25-28 — Zurich Classic (Billy Horschel)

May 2-5 — Wells Fargo Championship (Derek Ernst)

May 9-12 — The Players Championship (Tiger Woods)

May 16-19 — HP Byron Nelson Championship (Sang-Moon Bae)

May 23-26 — Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial (Boo Weekley)

May 30-June 2— Memorial Tournament (Matt Kuchar)

June 6-9 — FedEx St. Jude Classic (Harris English)

June 13-16 — U.S. Open (Justin Rose)

June 20-23 — Travelers Championship (Ken Duke)

June 27-30 — AT&T National (Bill Haas)

July 4-7 — The Greenbrier Classic, The Greenbrier (The Old White TPC), White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.

July 11-14 — John Deere Classic, TPC Deere Run, Silvis, Ill.

July 18-21 — The Open Championship, Muirfield, Gullane, Scotland

July 18-21 — True South Classic, Annandale GC, Madison, Miss.

July 25-28 — RBC Canadian Open, Glen Abbey GC, Oakville, Ontario

Aug. 1-4 — WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Firestone CC (South Course), Akron, Ohio

Aug. 1-4 — Reno-Tahoe Open, Montreaux Golf & CC, Reno, Nev.

Aug. 8-13 — PGA Championship, Oak Hill CC, Rochester, N.Y.

Aug. 15-18 — Wyndham Championship, Sedgefield CC, Greensboro, N.C.

Aug. 22-25 — The Barclays, Liberty National, Jersey City, N.J.

Aug. 30-Sept. 2 — Deutsche Bank Championship, TPC Boston, Norton, Mass.

Sept. 12-15 — BMW Championship, Conway Farms GC, Lake Forest, Ill.

Sept. 19-22 — Tour Championship, East Lake GC, Atlanta

Oct. 3-6 — Presidents Cup, Muirfield Village GC, Dublin, Ohio

Oct. 10-13 — Frys.com Open, CordeValle GC, San Martin, Calif.

Oct. 17-20 — Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, TPC Summerlin, Las Vegas

Oct. 24-27 — CIMB Classic, The MINES Resort & GC, Selangor, Malaysia

Oct. 31-Nov. 3 — WGC-HSBC Champions, Sheshan International GC, Shanghai

Nov. 7-10 — The McGladrey Classic, Sea Island Resort (Seaside), St. Simons Island, Ga.

Nov. 14-17 — OHL Classic at Mayakoba, El Camaleon GC, Playa del Carmen, Mexico

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