Preview – PGA Tour – Quicken Loans National –Congressional Country Club Blue Course – Bethesda, Maryland –
The comeback of Tiger Woods headlines a great field at Congressional Country Club this week for the PGA Tour’s Quicken Loans National.
Woods, a former champion at Congressional, returns from back surgery earlier this spring in late March. He is trying to regain some competitive golf leading up to the season’s next major – the Open Championship in July.
A Devereux Emmett design dating back to 1924, Congressional attracts players back to Bethesda, Maryland for a regular tour stop. The Blue Course layout – which was touched up by Donald Ross and Robert Trent Jones – hosted the U.S. Open a few years ago when Rory McIlroy was a runaway champion. This version is longer stretching to more than 7,500 yards.
Several international players are competing at Congressional including 6th-ranked Jason Day, Justin Rose (a champion at this event in 2010) and last week’s runner-up K.J. Choi.
- Bill Haas, a former FedEx Cup champion, won the title carding a final-round 66 to end up 12-under overall. Haas finished three shots ahead of Roberto Castro. D.H. Lee and Jason Kokrak were 8-under and T-3, while Stewart Cink was solo fourth place at 7-under. Jordan Spieth rounded out the Top 5 as Brandt Snedeker and Graham DeLaet logged Top 10s.
FANTASY: Spieth is due for a victory and at least a good finish this week. He has six Top 20s in his last seven starts and co-led here after 36 holes last season. He also ranks 8th in Scrambling on tour. Although he’s a tow-time champion at this event and has a great record on this course, Woods is a risky proposition. He’s still recovering and hit some uncharacteristic shots in his pro-am day. Take Brendon Todd in this spot. He is a hot player right now with four straight Top 20s and a victory at the Bryon Nelson. He is 5th in Scrambling and 7th in Strokes Gained Putting. Day is a great pick here along with Aaron Baddeley, coming off a run last week at the Travelers.
BETTORS: Day (14-to-1 odds at Skybet.com) is the co-betting favorite alongside Spieth, Rose and woods. Recovered from an injury after his Match Play victory, Day appears ready to win. He was T-4 at the U.S. Open and T-8 here in 2012. He was also runner-up at the U.S. Open when it was played here at Congressional. Snedeker (22-1) comes in after back-to-back Top 15s and is riding a hot putter again. He has three Top 10s at tournaments played at Congressional. For a longer shot, consider Brendan Steele at 70-1. He led last week after 18 holes and was still in the mix Sunday.
The Golf Channel has coverage all week with CBS Sports handling leader board television coverage Saturday and Sunday.
Other Golf News:
- Woods tees off with Day and Spieth Thursday in round one at 8:12 a.m. local time.
- Woods was a 6-to-4 betting favorite to win the PGA Tour Money List to start the year, according to Ladbrokes.com. He is currently well out of the race at the moment after skipping most March, April and May and having yet to log a Top 10 in 2014. Jimmy Walker leads the money list.
- The European Tour’s BMW International Open tees off Thursday in Germany. Henrik Stenson, No. 2 in the world rankings, is one of the headliners and former champion at the event in 2006. He is the betting favorite at 7-1. Martin Kaymer – The Players and U.S. Open champion – is listed at 8-1.
- The Champions Tour hosts the Constellation Seniors Players Championship in Pittsburgh at Fox Chapel Golf Club. Kenny Perry is the defending champion of the major championship. At 6 ½-1 odds, Bernhard Langer leads the betting favorites and continues to lead the Charles Schwab Cup standings.
- Thomas Bjorn continues to lead the Race To Dubai standings. He was a 20-1 pick at Ladbrokes.com to start the season to win the Race To Dubai.