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Love, Choi, Baddeley added at Greenbrier Classic deadline

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Keegan Bradley is out, but a few other big names came in at the entry deadline for next week's Greenbrier Classic.

Davis Love III signed up as one of the 33 four-time participants in the Classic, which returns to the Old White TPC course at The Greenbrier resort. The 2012 Ryder Cup captain and PGA Tour life member, he owns 20 career victories and 175 top-10 finishes in 671 events.

Other additions are K.J. Choi, the Korean who is ranked 95th in the world; Aaron Baddeley, an Australian who is in his 11th season on the PGA Tour; Jesper Parnevik, the 48-year-old Swede who is playing on a major medical extension; and 50-year-old veteran Neal Lancaster.

Losing Bradley, the world's 16th-ranked player, was a bit of a blow. Still, the tournament features 11 of the top 50 in those rankings, 28 of the top 100 and 65 of the top 200. It also contains 70 PGA Tour event winners with a combined 340 victories including 26 majors, two FedExCup titles and five Players Championships.

Other deletions from the late commitment list were world No. 60 Freddie Jacobsen, Justin Hicks, Jerry Kelly, Steve Marino and Chris Stroud. Stroud was the man who chipped in for a birdie to force a playoff a week ago in the Travelers Championship in Connecticut, a playoff ultimately won by Greenbrier entrant Ken Duke.

Russell Knox committed and was dropped, but seems to be a fair bet to make the field as first alternate. The PGA Tour only submitted 149 names with 10 alternates - with four Monday qualifiers, that is three short of the 156-man field.

The field is subject to change, but only with the four Monday qualifiers, withdrawals and insertion of alternates.

Greenbrier pro emeritus Tom Watson, who has the closest parking spot to the clubhouse, is again the oldest player at age 63. At the other end is Korean Si Woo Kim, who turned 18 on Friday and can officially join the Tour.

Kim fought his way through all four rounds of the Tour's "Q School" process, tying for 20th in the final round. Aged 17 years, 5 months and 6 days, he had to wait nearly seven months for his card, entering two events on sponsor's exemptions.

While Bradley pulled out, other committed stars did not, including Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson and Vijay Singh. Watson is already at the resort, tweeting his amazement daily. On Friday, he included a picture of his falconry experience. 

Louis Oosthuizen, the Classic's first PGA/European Tour draw in the current Fourth of July slot, will come to White Sulphur Springs. Other world top 50 players are Mickelson, Watson, Webb Simpson, Peter Hanson, Nick Watney, 2011 Classic runner-up Bill Haas, Billy Horschel, Scott Piercy, Carl Pettersson and D.A. Points. Simpson, Pettersson and Points are fourth-time Classic entrants.

All three Classic champions, Stuart Appleby, Scott Stallings and Ted Potter Jr., will be in the field. Jordan Spieth, who was tied for the lead Friday at the AT&T National in Bethesda, Md., will play his 15th event as the probable rookie of the year.

The Classic, the 28th of 36 events leading to the FedExCup playoffs, will have a major impact on the points race. Fifteen of the top 30 in the standings are coming, and 25 of the top 52 and any number of those fighting to stay in or enter the critical top 125.

The top 20 also is a magic number, as far as the British Open is concerned. The top five players among that top 20 at the end of the Greenbrier, not yet exempt, will win a trip to Scotland in two weeks. Most players on both sides of that line would have played in a parking lot this week.

The Classic's proximity to the AT&T National continues to pay off, with 99 entered in the the Washington area coming. Players are offered a luxury bus ride for the 246-mile drive between venues.

West Virginia Amateur champion Pat Carter is still entered, and is expected to overcome his recent eye injury. The flamboyant John Daly will be back, along with Big Break Greenbrier winner Mark Silvers and college player of the year Michael Kim.

Practice rounds and pro-am activities begin Monday, with tournament play running from Thursday through Sunday. The purse has increased to $6.3 million, with $1.134 million going to the winner.

Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, dougsmock@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.

 


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