By Cam Huffman
Fans of Duck Dynasty won’t be the only ones closely following the action at The Greenbrier Classic’s Wednesday Pro-Am. Marshall, West Virginia and Virginia Tech enthusiasts will also have favorites to watch.
A team representing each of the three area schools will be part of the Wednesday Pro-Am.
“We had room for them, and we thought people would get a kick out of seeing them play,” said Greenbrier owner Jim Justice. “I think it will be a lot of fun.”
Marshall’s team will include head football coach Doc Holliday and newly-hired head basketball coach Dan D’Antoni, a Mullens native. Women’s basketball assistant John Sutherland will also play, along with football coaching legend and Beckley native Bob Pruett.
Virginia Tech’s team will be represented by new basketball coach Buzz Williams and longtime football coach Frank Beamer.
The Mountaineer team will include men’s basketball assistant coach Ron Everhart, football defensive coordinator Tony Gibson and basketball legend Rod “Hot Rod” Hundley. Head basketball coach Bob Huggins is still recovering from hip surgery and unable to play. Head football coach Dana Holgorsen will be on vacation with his family. Former football coach Don Nehlen was also invited to play but is taking care of his ill wife.
WVU and NBA legend Jerry West will be on hand for The Greenbrier Classic but will not play in the Pro-Am.
Justice will play in the afternoon Pro-Am with Masters champion Bubba Watson and Willie and Jase Robertson from A&E’s hit television show Duck Dynasty. Whether the coaches will play in the morning Pro-Am or afternoon Pro-Am is still to be determined.
Other participants in Wednesday’s Pro-Am will include NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin, comedian and actor George Lopez and Lady Antebellum singer-songwriter Charles Kelley.
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The coaches and former athletes won’t be the only ones wearing Marshall’s kelly green or Virginia Tech’s burnt orange and Chicago maroon next week on The Old White TPC. Both schools will have representatives in The Greenbrier Classic field.
Marshall will be represented by West Virginia Amateur champion Brian Anania, who will cash in his exemption to be part of the field. After completing his senior season on the Herd golf team, Anania posted a four-day total of 281 (1-over-par) to win the 95th Amateur earlier this month.
Virginia Tech will be represented by former golfers Johnson Wagner and Brendon de Jonge, both of whom have performed well in prior Greenbrier Classics.
Wagner held the lead entering the final round last July and ended up in a tie for second, two strokes behind winner Jonas Blixt. He’s played in all four previous Greenbrier Classics. He missed the cut in the inaugural event in 2010, finished tied for 11th in 2011, tied for 64th in 2012 and was the runner-up a year ago.
De Jonge has also played all four years. He finished third in 2010, tied for fourth in 2011, tied for 52nd in 2012 and completed last year’s tournament in a tie for 17th.
Another former Hokie, Drew Weaver, is hoping to make it into his third Greenbrier Classic with a good showing at Monday’s qualifier on the Cobb Course at The Resort at Glade Springs.
WVU’s new golf coach, Sean Covich, will be at The Greenbrier this week. He’s hopeful he’ll eventually build a program that will produce players to compete on the level of The Greenbrier Classic when the Mountaineers reinstitute their golf program in 2015 for the first time in 33 years.
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The action at The Greenbrier Classic began Monday at 8 a.m., when the gates opened for the first time to patrons. PGA Tour professionals will play practice rounds throughout the day, with a Pro-Am scheduled for 1:30 p.m. There was also be a Fellowship of Christian Athletes 5-K Run through The Old White TPC course beginning at 9 a.m. on the opening day.