|AT&T National - July 02, 2007
Congressional Country Club (Blue Course)
Par: 35-35—70Yards: 7,255
FedExCup Points: 25,000 Winner: 4,500
Purse: $6,000,000Winner: $1,080,000
2006 Champion: New Event
AT&T National Notes
The AT&T National will benefit the Tiger Woods Foundation and pay tribute to the men and women in the United States’ Armed Forces. In addition to serving as the host organization, the Tiger Woods Foundation also plans to expand its programs to the East Coast by bringing the Tiger Woods Learning Center to Washington, D.C. in the future.
Tiger Woods, playing in his first event since the birth of his daughter, Sam Alexis, on June 18, has 57 career PGA TOUR victories, including three in 2007. He leads the FedExCup standings, with 19,524 points, 3,706 ahead of Phil Mickelson, who is also in this week’s field.
Tiger Woods’ previous start at Congressional Country Club came in 1997, where he tied for 19th at the U.S. Open. Woods is looking to add Maryland to the 13 states where he has earned a PGA TOUR victory.
Fred Funk, the former University of Maryland golf coach, played in his first career PGA TOUR event at Congressional Country Club in 1982. He tied for 51st and earned $947. About his first TOUR experience, Funk said: “At the time, that was like one-twentieth of my yearly salary. In those days, you got into the next week’s event if you made the cut, and I played in Memphis the following week with Payne Stewart, before he wore knickers.” Twenty-five years later, Funk has played in a total of 588 PGA TOUR events and has amassed $20,560,842. Last week he passed Nick Price for 11th on the all-time money list. Earlier this season, Funk served as the Honorary Chairman of the Nationwide Tour’s Melwood Prince George’s County Open in nearby Mitchellville, MD.
Looking for an AT&T National favorite not named Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk or Vijay Singh? Four current top-50 players in the field finished among the top-10 in the last PGA TOUR event at Congressional Country Club, the 2005 Booz Allen Classic. They are Adam Scott, who tied for second with Davis Love III, and Stuart Appleby and Rod Pampling, who both tied for seventh.
Wounded soldiers from Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD., will be acknowledged by tournament officials this week. Frank Lickliter II and Phil Mickelson, who spend considerable time and effort raising funds to support injured soldiers and their families, are in the field this week.
E-Notes from the PGA TOUR
With just six weeks left to make either squad, international players are probably competing for just the final few spots on Captain Gary Player’s team for the September event at Royal Montreal GC in Canada.
Players on the International side qualify by virtue of their standing on the Official World Golf Ranking. Number one Adam Scott, through number eight Trevor Immelman, should be secure in nabbing a place on the squad. After that, however, the final two automatic spots and the two Captain’s selections are up for grabs.
K.J. Choi (3.82 average on OWGR) and Nick O’Hern (3.51) currently hold down the ninth and tenth places, respectively. Right behind them, though, are Aaron Baddeley (3.19), Stuart Appleby (2.95), Robert Allenby (2.87), Stephen Ames (2.78) and Rod Pampling (2.74) and all are still in contention. This is especially true with two major championships and a World Golf Championships event remaining on the schedule where significant point increases are possible. Just behind that group and moving up quickly is Shingo Katayama who jumped from No. 21 to No. 18 with his victory last week at the Japan Golf Tour Championship.
Jack Nicklaus’ U.S. team is selected via a money list that runs over the course of the two years between each Presidents Cup. Since the money is doubled in the final year, this list is more volatile. While Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk, Phil Mickelson, Zach Johnson, Charles Howell III and David Toms are virtual certainties to make the team, the rest of the spots are still very much in play.
The difference between No. 7 Scott Verplank and No. 19 Bart Bryant is just shy of two million points. With four of the remaining events paying more than a million to the winner (two million with the points doubled), dramatic changes are still possible.
Take this week for example. The winner of the AT&T National will earn 2,160,000 points. That would take Bryant from No. 19 to as high as seventh in just one week. And, it would take a player as low as No. 32 (Brett Quigley) perhaps as high as the Top 10.
Look for a lot of changes to the U.S. team’s list as the PGA TOUR’s regular season winds to a close.
The first-ever PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup!
- August 23rd - September 16th