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Dialed In – PGA Tour Preps For AT&T at Aronimink

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No matter if the world’s #1 played is not 100% on task as far his game is concerned, the mere presence of Tiger Woods changes the look and feel of any PGA Tour event. Of course, he is the defending champion this week, and at a new venue as well – giving everybody a lot to talk about.

Suburban Philadelphia and the Aronimink Country Club is playing host to the AT&T National for the next couple years in place of Washington-area’s Congressional Country Club where preparations are well underway for the 2011 United States Open.

The AT&T National title was just one of 6 titles Tiger captured in 2009 but this year the 14-time major winner has just two top ten’s in five PGA Tour starts – both in major championships at The Masters and the U.S. Open.

While he is busy defending this week against a bevy of talented tour players, all the golfers will face the challenge of playing a layout many have not had the pleasure to play previously.

In their chase for the winner’s $1.16 Million share of the $6.2 million purse they will have to navigate a course that players are learning to love very quickly. The initial response form them this week has been nothing but positive. 

Originally a Donald Ross design brought to life in 1928, Aronimink was reshaped in 1998 by Pete Dye and Bobby Weed. Prior to that time it had been host to such prestigious events as the 1962 PGA Championship, 1977 US Amateur, and 1997 US Junior Amateur. 

In 2003 it hosted the Senior PGA Championship. That same year Ron Prichard, a noted golf architect from the Philadelphia area and the foremost authority on Donald Ross’ design philosophy, completed a 3-year restoration project at Aronimink that recaptured classic Ross features that had been diminished or lost over time. Panoramic views were restored to their original shapes and sizes, and his unique bunkering style was recaptured. Length was added to neutralize the effect technology has had on golf and bringRoss’ unique design features back into play. The result was the par 70, 6,955-yard test the players will face this week.

Some players will not have to acquaint themselves too much with Aronimink, Sean O’Hair is actually a member at the club and that will play into his hands this week. The 3-time PGA Tour winner has just one top-ten finish this season but within his 12 cuts made he has been in the top 25 eight times. There would be no better place to return to the winner’s circle than in his adopted hometown event.

Another player with a Pennsylvania tie is Jim Furyk. Furyk, already a two-time winner in 2010 is the 2nd highest ranked player in the field after the defending champion, Woods. Watch for Furyk to thrill the Keystone Crowd with the big tour making its first return to the state since the 2006 84 Lumber Classic.

Also lurking this week will be Dustin Johnson, playing his first PGA Tour round since his dramatic collapse on the final day at the U.S. Open. In the same redemption ode will be Justin Rose, playing the AT&T and trying to recover from the 3-shot final round lead he squandered last week at the Travelers Championship.

Familiar faces, including the world #1, with a brand new course should make for a tournament worth watching.

This report provided to GolfWRX.com by Flagstick Golf Magazine (www.flagstick.com)

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Tour Photo Galleries

10 interesting photos from Tuesday at the Zurich Classic

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GolfWRX is live from the 2018 Zurich Classic at TPC Louisiana, where, among other things, a giant three-legged crocodile roams.

Now in it’s second year, the tournament’s unique two-man team format has attracted a wealth of top talent, including 10 of the top 14 golfers in the OWGR. We’re on the scene snapping bag pictures and have five galleries from TPC Louisiana’s range Tuesday. We also have a look inside Ryan Ruffels bag, a peek at Jimmy Walker’s putter, a look in Brooks Koepka’s bag, and more!

Let’s dig in.

Well, this certainly is interesting, Xinjun Zhang. Not sure about the context, but not something you traditionally see on a PGA Tour driving range…

Hard not to love Ryan Ruffels’ 009M

Look’s like Michael Greller is enjoying some well-earned relaxation

Ryan Palmer boldly going where few Tour pros dare to: serif font

Roman numeral loft stamping? Savage grind? We like your style, Bud Cauley

Is this a new Wilson Staff PMP wedge prototype or a one-off thing for Ricky Barnes?

Finally, Whitney comes to a wedge

Ham & egg!

Jimmy Walker’s silver Spider

Our Tour Photographer risking the wrath of Bubba (we assume he had permission)

 

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Detroit could be getting a PGA Tour event

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As a business based in the Detroit metro area, GolfWRX is happy to hear this: the Motor City could be getting a PGA Tour event.

With the PGA Tour’s 2019-2020 schedule expected in the weeks ahead, the Detroit News reports the Tour could announce (Detroit-based) Quicken Loans will sponsor an event at Detroit Golf Club. The company ceased sponsorship of the former Quicken Loans National in Washington, D.C. last year.

The Detroit News quotes a source with knowledge of the Tour’s scheduling discussions as saying an official announcement is near.

While the Tour, Quicken Loans, and Detroit Golf Club are mum on the matter, Quicken Loans’ statement to the paper last year made clear the company’s intention to bring a tournament to the city.

“As we look to the future, we remain interested in exploring ways to highlight the energy and revitalization taking place in Detroit…A prime golf event, featuring the world’s best players, is certainly something we would be interested in pursuing as a way to showcase our great American city.”

If the Detroit tournament takes the calendar spot of the The National, it would be contested in late June/early July. Additionally, with the PGA Championship’s move to may next year, there’s some speculation the Detroit event could be contested in August.

As mentioned, we know the PGA Championship is moving to May in 2019. Additionally, The Players will move to March, TPC Southwind will take over  WGC hosting duties from Firestone Country Club, and the FedEx Cup Playoffs will wrap before start of football season.

We’ll have to wait (eagerly) for official word on the Detroit event.

 

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Tuesday’s Photos from the 2018 Zurich Classic

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GolfWRX is live from the 2018 Zurich Classic at TPC Louisiana (par 72; 7,425 yards), designed by Pete Dye with consultants Steve Elkington and Kelly Gibson.

The Zurich Classic is a unique event on the PGA Tour because it’s not an individual stroke-play event. Instead, the format consists of two-man teams playing best-ball on Thursday and Saturday, and alternate-shot on Friday and Sunday.

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Last year, Cameron Smith and Jonas Blixt won the event after four playoff holes against Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown. The Smith/Blixt duo will be back to defend their title, and the Kisner/Brown pairing will be back avenging their loss.

Other notable pairings in the field include Daniel Berger/Gary Woodland, Wesley Bryan/Jon Rahm, Patrick Reed/Patrick Cantlay, John Daly/Rory Sabbatini, Jason Day/Ryan Ruffels, David Duval/Jim Furyk, Tony Finau/Daniel Summerhays, Sergio Garcia/Rafa Cabrera Bello, J.B. Holmes/Brand Snedeker, Matt Kuchar/Bubba Watson, Louis Oosthuizen/Charl Schwartzel, Sean O’Hair/Jimmy Walker, Pat Perez/Jason Dufner, Justin Rose/Henrik Stenson, Jordan Spieth/Ryan Palmer, Justin Thomas/Bud Cauley and more!

Check out our photos from the event below!

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Discussion: See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the photos in our forums

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