PGA Tour: AT&T National Tournament Preview

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PGA Tour: AT&T National Tournament Preview
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The seventh annual AT&T National tournament is primed to be played this weekend. The tournament will be held in Bethesda, MD at the Congressional Country Club for the fifth time in seven years. This year’s version of the AT&T National, however, will be different than in recent years.

 

The defending champion, winningest golfer and co-holder of the 72-hole record, Tiger Woods, won’t be in this year’s tournament. Tiger has won the tournament twice (‘09, ‘12), but will be missing this year’s AT&T National due to a left elbow strain. Woods claimed that he was feeling pain in his elbow at Merion during the U.S. Open. It’s too bad, too, because Tiger is surely dying to redeem himself from a poor showing at this year’s second major. “Tiger’s Tournament” won’t be seeing nearly as much Tiger this year.

 

Historically, there isn’t much to look at in this tournament. It’s one of the younger tournaments on the PGA Tour, only has one winner of multiple tournaments and has been held on two different courses since its creation. That doesn’t stop us from speculating about who could potentially win this tournament, however.

 

The winners of the last two majors seem to be popular, in the betters' minds. Winner of the Masters, Adam Scott, along with the U.S. Open champion, Justin Rose, both have 14/1 odds to win the AT&T National. Rose won the 2010 installment of the AT&T National, but don’t look into that too much. This year’s AT&T National is at Congressional Country Club, the 2010 was at Aronimink.

 

Jason Day has also had four top three finishes in the past 10 majors, but only has one win on the PGA Tour. He is currently sharing 16/1 odds with another upcoming star, Hunter Mahan. Mahan is a co-holder of the 18-hole record, too. In the fourth round of the ‘09 AT&T National (also held at the Congressional Country Club), Mahan shot a 62. He could be very high up the leaderboard, come championship Sunday.

 

The course that will be featured in this weekend’s tournament, Congressional Country Club, has consistently been voted in the top 100 best golf clubs in the country. It’s held five major championships, most recently the 2011 U.S. Open. It’s also held The Booz Allen Classic (formerly known as The Kemper Open), and two USGA amateur tournaments. At just over 7,500 yards, this is one of the longer courses on the PGA Tour too.

 

What’s on the line at the AT&T National?  Other than a $6.5 million purse ($1.17 million dollar winner share), there are also 500 FedExCup points up for grabs. Those points could go a long way in shaking up the FedExCup standings.

 

The Tournament is hosted by Tiger Woods and it benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation. The proceeds will go to two of the Tiger Woods Learning Center campuses around the Washington D.C. area, and it will help 25 of the top Tiger Woods scholars from the area, as well.

 

You can follow Phil Oscarson at @philoscarson or read more of his posts at GolfZing.com.

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