Tiger’s back. He will be the unequivocal focal point of this week’s event for multiple reasons, including the fact that he is the tournament’s host. He’s healthy (supposedly), he’s excited to play and he will be looking to get back into competitive form. I can’t say I expect him to be in contention, but then again he’s taught us to never look past him in any venture.
Moving on, Congressional is another step forward in the calendar year. This event was won by Bill Haas in 2013 and provides another stout field in 2014. New sponsor, same course.
Another noteworthy post, this week marks the 50th anniversary of Ken Venturi’s 1964 U.S. Open victory in the heat. The great Ken Venturi passed away last year.
Time for picks for the 2014 Quicken Loans:
For the 2013 USGolfTV AT&T Preview, I selected Jason Day to win this event. He had come into the event in strong form and finished with a T21. This year, he’s been nagged with that pesky thumb injury, but has recently started finding his form. A T4 at the US Open came as no surprise with his career success at the US Open. At last week’s Travelers, he closed with a 65 and finished inside the Top-20.
I like Day’s length off the tee and form coming into the event to give him a strong chance of winning this week. Start him in fantasy if you can, people.
Gary Woodland has one of the longest cuts made streaks on the Tour right now, playing 4 rounds in 15 consecutive starts. Before the last two starts, he had a 7 start streak where he finished no worse than T26. We’ve said it so often, but he’s one of the longest players on Tour and the length will serve him well at the colossal Congressional. Took a week off after Pinehurst to re-group and rejuvenate and I feel it will serve him well. Look for a top-20 finish from Woodland. (Perhaps the wrong “Wood[s]” you’re thinking?)
His track record at Congressional is strong, with 3 top-10s at a positive result at the 2011 US Open. His game is coming into form and the last two weeks with a T9 at Pinehurst and a T11 in Connecticut. His final round on Sunday was a 64, a round which matched the champion Kevin Streelman. He hasn’t won yet in 2014 and hasn’t won since his week at the Canadian last summer. I like him in the 2014 Quicken Loans National.