Phil Mickelson among top names that are returning to play the Greenbrier Classic

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World Golf Hall of Famer Phil Mickelson and 2014 Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson are returning to The Greenbrier.

Phil Mickelson will play the Greenbrier Classic for the third year in a row after Tuesday's committment.  FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Phil Mickelson will play the Greenbrier Classic for the third year in a row after Tuesday's committment.

Owner Jim Justice announced Tuesday that John Daly also will return on an exemption.

The Greenbrier Classic, a FedEx Cup event, is set for July 1-7 in White Sulphur Springs. Also returning is Ted Potter Jr., who will be defending his title.

Media outlets report it will be Mickelson’s third consecutive appearance at the tournament. He’s currently ranked No. 10 in the Official World Golf Rankings and No. 7 in FedEx Cup points.

Potter won last year via a three-hole playoff. He currently ranks No. 140 in the Official World Golf Rankings and No. 82 in FedEx Cup points.

THE ART JUNKIE: Fred Couples was amazed by his most recent visit to the White House as Presidents Cup captain. And while he said President Obama was in a jovial mood, what impressed Couples the most was the art on the walls.

That’s when he let on that he’s somewhat of an “art junkie.”

“What do I collect? I have California art,” Couples said. “I have some, you know, inexpensive expensive. There’s some you can buy for 6 grand, some from 150 grand. I like buying one a year. It used to be cars, and now it’s a piece of art. I’m almost done.”

He might be running out of space. Couples is trying to sell his home in the Palm Springs, Calif., area, and when that happens, his other house in Los Angeles is smaller.

U.S. OPEN: Kyle Stanley could have locked up a spot in the U.S. Open if he had tied for second in the Memorial. Instead, he bogeyed the 17th hole as Kevin Chappell birdied the last two holes, and the third-place finish only moved Stanley up to No. 59.

He narrowly missed out in the 36-hole qualifier Monday. He’s not playing in Memphis. So all he can do is wait.

The biggest threat to bumping out Stanley is Bernd Wiesberger, who is playing in the Austrian Open and needs to finish about 12th to move past the American. Augustan Charles Howell and Jimmy Walker also could move into the top 60 with top finishes in Memphis.

NICKLAUS HONOR: Jack Nicklaus has been selected for the Ambassador of Golf Award, which is given each year to a person who has promoted golf around the world.

He will be honored on the first tee at Firestone Country Club on July 31, the afternoon before the opening round of the Bridgestone Invitational.

Nicklaus won the 1975 PGA Championship at Firestone, along with the World Series of Golf.

He is the second Nicklaus to receive the award from the Northern Ohio Golf Charities. His wife, Barbara, previously was honored.

“This is certainly a special and meaningful recognition. I feel blessed to be included among such a distinguished list of past recipients, including my wife, because I am certainly Barbara Nicklaus’ biggest fan,” Nicklaus said. “As Barbara and I look back on our careers and our lives together, we realize and appreciate that golf has contributed to us having a lifetime of fulfillment, enrichment and happiness. But we also felt a responsibility to give back, whenever and wherever we could.”


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