Greenbrier Classic tries to draw Euros


For the first half of the season, Sergio Garcia is doubling as a golfer and recruiter.

Garcia is under contract with The Greenbrier as an ambassador for the West Virginia resort. The Spaniard makes a handful of personal appearances and is charged with attracting fellow Europeans to The Greenbrier Classic, set for July 5-8 in its third year.

'We have had trouble attracting European players when we were up against the Irish Open,' golf general manager Burt Baine said Friday.

This year's Irish Open is scheduled for the previous week, Jun 28-July 1, at heralded Royal Portrush, where a strong field is expected. World No. 1 Rory McIlroy will skip a return to Congressional for the AT&T National to compete in his home country.

Tiger Woods gave strong consideration to playing at The Greenbrier’s Old White TPC course last year, but his doctors recommended against coming back from injury too soon.

If Garcia cannot lure players to The Greenbrier, perhaps some perks of the venue might.

Toby Keith, Bon Jovi, Lionel Ritchie and Rod Stewart will be performing concerts during tournament week, with the players getting VIP seating.

The resort hopes to operate an opulent shuttle from the nation's capital for players staying there.

Greenbrier owner Jim Justice has purchased and renovated 17 antique rail cars, designed in the Dorothy Draper style of the resort. In cars of 24, players will be pampered from D.C. for four hours to the doorstep of The Greenbrier. Justice hopes to get approval from the Department of Homeland Security to add the cars to an existing Amtrak route in time for the tournament.