With the return of Tiger, Phil, and a week dedicated to the support of the troops, this week’s PGA Tour event is shaping up to be a week to remember.
This week’s stop is at the PGA Tour’s newest event, the AT&T National, which happens to be hosted by the world’s number one golfer and recent father, Tiger Woods. The main focus of this week’s tournament, aside from the anticipated great golf tournament, will be to entertain, and honor the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. There will be many festivities and events surrounding the main event, events designed to honor, and show the continued support of the Armed Forces. Amid speculation of replacing the tour favorite, The International, the AT&T National will not just replace one of the former favorite stops, but will replace it with class, honor, and dignity.
One of the big events this week, for Tiger Woods anyhow, will be on the 4th of July. The Earl Woods Memorial Pro-AM is slated to be played on this day. Earl Woods, who was a highly decorated Green Beret, Vietnam Veteran, and also a member of the Special Forces, is the honoree of this very special pro-am. Additional honors this week will include inaugural tee shots by Tiger Woods, and former president George W. Bush. This event holds a special meaning to Tiger as it gives him a chance to honor his father, and it also allows the PGA Tour as a whole, to show their support for the men and women of the armed forces. "It’s very important to me that this tournament honor the men and women who serve in our Armed Forces," Tiger Woods said. "They put their lives on the line so that we are able to enjoy our freedom, and we’d love for them to come out and enjoy a few days of relaxation." Not only is Tiger the best player in the universe, it also appears that his non-golf priorities are in check as well.
During the week there will be a plethora of events geared toward honoring and celebrating the United States Armed Forces. Most of these events are focused around golf, such as the pro-ams, clinics, various ceremonies and parties, caddying (done by selected military personnel), hospitality tents for wounded soldiers, concession discounts for the military (with valid military id), 30,000 complimentary tickets (given to active U.S. Military), and a few fortunate military personnel who were selected to give the first and tenth tee introductions. The PGA Tour has gone out of its way to make sure that this week is nothing short of special for the men and women of this country’s Armed Forces, who are able to attend.
After all of the pre-tournament revelry in support of the troops, the AT&T National will kick off on Thursday. The $6 million dollar purse and $1.08 million dollar winner’s check will be a superb payday for whoever happens to conquer the famous Congressional Country Club’s Blue Course. Located in Bethesda, MD Congressional Country Club is one of the finest golf courses in all of the United States. Consistently ranked in the top 100 courses in the country, Congressional has been host to five major championships, including two U.S. Opens, The PGA Championship, and the U.S. Senior Open. Congressional is also looking forward to hosting its third U.S. Open in 2001. Also, the former host course of the Kemper Open, from 1980-1986, Congressional was an annual stop for the PGA Tour. This Rees Jones design will measure in at 7,250 yards from the back tees, with a par of 70. Although Congressional will not be the longest golf course on the PGA Tour this year, it will provide a good test for the players. Even Tiger Woods appears to be a fan of the golf course, "It’s one of the great venues that we have in the United States. We’re very excited. We couldn’t have asked for a better start to our tournament." Pretty high praises coming from the world’s number one.
Be on the look out for some serious firepower at this new event. Tiger Woods, in his first week back since becoming a father, has committed to play in the event. Surprisingly, Phil Mickelson, recently getting the clearance to play after a serious wrist injury, appears to be at 100 percent. Mickelson spoke about his wrist injury last week, "Two specialists looked at it and agreed there were injuries in multiple joints but they’re much better now because of the rest. The cortisone shot helped with one of the joints and there’s no real structural damage. The doctors both feel I’m ready to go back and play at 100 percent effort." That is great news for the tour and for Phil Mickelson.
Jim Furyk and Adam Scott, the worlds number three and four players in the world respectively, have also stated their intent to play. Vijay Singh has also committed to play, but is having an MRI on his elbow, so his status is uncertain. This week’s field will include 15 players who have won on the tour this year, and 9 of the top 12 players on this years Fedex Cup point chase, and official money list. Also be on the lookout for many other top international and American players such as: Mike Weir, K.J. Choi, Justin Rose, Camilo Villegas, Fred Funk, Charles Howell III, Shaun Micheel, J.J. Henry, Chad Campbell, Lucas Glover, Bubba Watson and J.B. Holmes, who are all expected to tee it up this week in Bethesda. It is going to be a great week in Maryland. This week’s winner will have to beat a world class field, navigate around a super golf course, and pay a little tribute to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. It is shaping up to be a superb week of golf, don’t miss it!
Notable past champions at the Congressional Country Club include: Ernie Els, Craig Stadler, Ken Venturi, Tom Weiskopf, Dave Stockton, Fred Couples, Greg Norman, and Sergio Garcia.
Thursday 7/5: 3-6 PM ET GOLF
Friday 7/6: 3-6 PM ET GOLF
Saturday 7/7: 1-2:30 PM ET GOLF
Saturday 7/7: 3-6 PM ET CBS
Sunday 7/8: 1-2:30 PM ET GOLF
Sunday 7/8: 3-6:30 PM ET CBS