Bill Haas will tee it up in the Quicken Loans Championship on Thursday morning at the historic Congressional Country Club just outside of our nations capital to defend his 2013 win, but the big news is the return of Tiger Woods to the field. Haas picked up his fifth win on the PGA Tour, shooting a 5-under par 66 on Sunday afternoon and beating Roberto Castro by three strokes.
It’s been three months since we saw Tiger shoot a 78 at Doral while defending his 2013 title at the WGC-Cadillac Championship before going in for surgery on his ailing back. After a huge 2013 season, Woods struggled through only four starts in the 2014 season and has only managed a T25 finish for his best outing of the year.
With most of the European stars out of the country preparing for the Open Championship next month, that leaves only Tiger Woods, Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, and the 2010 winner at Congressional, Justin Rose as the only players ranked in the field ranked in the top 10 in Official World Golf Rankings(OWGR).
The line-up does include 12 winners from the PGA Tour in the 2014 season including two-time champion, Patrick Reed. Reed won the Humana Challenge, and the Cadillac Championship.
The top Amateur in the world, Patrick Rogers will make his pro debut this week, and is playing on a sponsors exemption.
Tiger Woods will be making his come-back at Congressional this week, but his future appearances are still unknown. He is coming back in support of the Tiger Woods Foundation that supports two Tiger Woods Learning Center campuses in Washington, D.C., along with 25 Tiger Woods Scholars who come from the D.C. area.
Tiger had been hitting full shots in his rehab, so we will see how he plays this week, and it will probably show us what his next move will be. I had thought all along that he would play in the Open Championship if healthy enough.
He would be the defending champion in Hoylake at the Royal Liverpool course where he won his third Claret Jug in 2006. Of course, Phil Mickelson is the defending 2013 Open Champion.
The Congressional Country Club was commissioned in 1924 and two courses were designed by Devereux Emmet. The Blue Course has been upgraded by Robert Trent Jones in 1957, and by Rees Jones twice. Once in 1989, and again in 2006.
The Blue Course is a 7569 yard, par 71 layout, and is the site of the 1964 US Open won by legendary broadcaster, Ken Venturi. Two US Presidents were founding members at Congressional, Warren Harding, and Calvin Coolidge were founding members.
Other than the 1964 US Open, Congressional hosted the 1976 PGA Championship won by Dave Stockton, the 1995 Senior US Open won by Tom Weiskopf, and two more US Opens in 1997, and 2012 won by Ernie Els, and Rory McIlroy respectfully.
• TELEVISION: Thursday-Friday, 3-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday, 1-2:30 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (CBS). Sunday, 1-2:30 p.m. (GC), 3-6:30 p.m. (CBS).
• RADIO: Thursday-Saturday, noon-6 p.m.; Sunday, 1-7 p.m. (PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.com).