Appleby rides 59 to Greenbrier title

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Appleby rides 59 to Greenbrier title
There were only two options for players going into Friday’s cut round of the Greenbrier Classic: go low or go home.
On the opening day, 81 players broke par at the short, 7020 yard Old White at Sulphur Springs in West Virginia while then-leaders Erik Compton and Matt Every shot seven-under 63s to share a lead at a course many expected would produce such low scores.
"There's nothing (the Tour) can do, unless they put the pins on the side of mountains," said Pat Perez, who shot 64 in the opening round. "They were hoping to get the course fast and firm, but it's not."
“It’s in very good condition,” said Arnold Palmer, who first played the course in 1955 and watched from the stands as his grandson, Sam Saunders shot a three over, 73 on day one. "But it's a short course, so they'll shoot good scores. Some of them will be in the low 60s."
Or in the case of Stuart Appleby, the high 50s.
Appleby’s 59 (only the fifth ever in PGA tour history) in the fourth round propelled him to a one-stroke victory over day three leader Jeff Overton, whose long-birdie attempt on the par-3 18th kept the crowd guessing before sliding just past the cup to force a tie.
“"I felt relaxed today," said Appleby. "I walked a bit slower than I normally do. I'm a pacey sort of person. Not in playing, the golf sense, but from an energy point of view.
Today, I felt much more – I slowed myself down and just, yeah, it was pretty comfortable."
Though an achievement in and of itself, Appleby’s 59 is not without scrutiny; the other four all came on at least par-71s. Old White is a par-70.
"Look, I'll debate it with you. I agree," Appleby said of those who might question his winning score. "I can see both sides of the fence. It is a number. I shot that number.
But who says par is supposed to be 72? There's a lot of great courses that aren't 72."
In 1977, Al Geiberger was the first to shoot golf’s magic number at the par-72 Memphis Classic. Chip Beck would do it again at the 1991 Las Vegas Invitational, also a par-72, and David Duval joined the club at the Bob Hope Classic in 1999.
The last 59 came less than a month ago at the John Deere Classic when Paul Goydos sank a seven-foot birdie putt on the 18th to knot the record score, though his too came with strings attached, being shot on a par-71.
Appleby isn’t letting the naysayers get to him, though he admits the win came with a little bit of luck.
"I'm not getting any younger," he told the media. "I want to be a yearly holder of a trophy for sure. It's not easy. Four years. I should be getting older, wilier and more experienced and that's maybe how I'll use some of that timeline ... to make sure I don't ever have a break like this again."
Appleby trailed Overton by seven strokes going into Sunday’s round but shot a six-under 28 on the front nine before taking the turn and draining an eagle on the par-5 12th. He looked like he might be slowing down in the stretch, settling for pars through the next three holes but recovered with three straight birdies to end the round and carry a one-stroke lead through to the $1.08M title
Overton’s news is not all bad though. Despite three-putting three times in the final round – 34 putts in total – he moved from 10th to fourth in the overall Ryder Cup standings, leaving him in a good position to claim one of the eight automatic spots available on this year’s team.
"I played great, hit a lot of great shots," said Overton of his third runner-up finish of the year. "(But) you can't win golf tournaments when you putt it that bad."
-Brendon De Jonge, who has been riding a hot streak of late finished third at a 17 under while D.A Points, Woody Austin, Paul Stankowski, Roger Tambellini and Jimmy Walker were tied for fourth with 15-under.
-Jim Furyk, tied for 9th with 14-under, moved up two spots, fifth to third, in the FedEx cup standings.
- Taking the weekend off, Tiger Woods lost his automatic spot on the Ryder Cup team, dropping from seventh to ninth in overall points.



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