|Inaugrual AT&T National Features Distinguished Field at Congressional Country Club|
Inaugrual AT&T National Features Distinguished Field at Congressional Country Club
BETHESDA, MD - Only seven times in the 2007 PGA TOUR's previous 27 events have Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Adam Scott - the top four players in the world, respectively - and No. 6 Vijay Singh shared the same golf course in the same week. The inaugural AT&T National will serve as a rare call to arms for the world-class quintet to compete against each other at revered Congressional Country Club as well as the entire 120-player field, which was announced today.
"This tournament is very special to me, and I am grateful the event is receiving tremendous support from the local community, my fellow PGA TOUR players and all the members and staff of Congressional Country Club," said Woods, host of the AT&T National. "It is extremely special to be hosting an event here over July 4th week, and I'm looking forward to a great tournament that raises funds and awareness for the millions of kids my Foundation serves."
The prestige of the $6 million AT&T National, played July 3-8, is evident in the many top-caliber golfers and household names on Tour who are entered. As of this week, the field includes 15 players who have won on the 2007 PGA TOUR and nine of the top dozen golfers on the PGA TOUR money list and the FedExCup points series.
The AT&T National will be the 12th PGA TOUR event held at historic Congressional, which previously was the home to the 1964 and 1997 U.S. Open, the 1976 PGA Championship and the Kemper Open from 1980-86. The PGA TOUR returns to the greater Washington D.C. area for the first time since 2005, when Congressional hosted the Booz Allen Classic.
Woods, Mickelson and Singh are three of four players to win multiple events on this year's PGA TOUR. Singh, from Fiji, is an example of the international flavor ripe in the AT&T National field, which spans 11 different countries.
Prominent international players included in the AT&T National field include 2003 Masters champion and Canadian Mike Weir, Swede Jesper Parnevik, Australians Geoff Ogilvy and Stuart Appleby, South Korean K.J. Choi, Englishman Justin Rose, Japan's Shigeki Maruyama, Colombia's Camilo Villegas and Argentina's Jose Coceres.
The American contingent expands beyond Woods, Mickelson and Furyk to feature PGA TOUR and Champions Tour ace Fred Funk, Charles Howell III, Davis Love III, 2008 U.S. Ryder Cup captain and 12-time PGA TOUR winning television analyst Paul Azinger, 2003 PGA Championship winner Shaun Micheel, J.J. Henry, Chad Campbell, Lucas Glover, Bubba Watson and J.B. Holmes among others.
Funk, a Takoma Park, Md. native who was the golf coach at the University of Maryland from 1982-88, is one of a few entrants with regional ties. Olin Browne was born in Washington, D.C. Steve Marino won the 1999 Virginia State Amateur the before graduating from the University of Virginia in 2002.
Additionally, the AT&T National handed out sponsor exemptions to Woods' former teammate at Stanford, Notah Begay III, John Cook, Brad Faxon, Spain's Pablo Martin, Chris Riley, Kevin Stadler and amateur Jamie Lovemark, 19, who resides in the same city as Mickelson (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.) and recently completed his freshman year at the University of Southern California by winning the NCAA Individual Championship. The AT&T National will be Lovemark's third PGA TOUR entry and second this year. One qualifying spot remains in order to complete the AT&T National field.
The elements of playing on a U.S. Open-caliber course whose par has been reduced to 70, coping with the hot and humid summer skies above and the first-class competitors abound are sure to determine a true, deserving champion of the first AT&T National.
The world's No. 1 player consecutively since July 2005 and the reigning PGA TOUR Player of the Year, Woods has already won a PGA TOUR-best three events in 2007 (Buick Invitational, World Golf Championships-CA Championship and the Wachovia Championship).
Woods' 57 career PGA TOUR victories are fifth on the all-time win list and his 12 major championships are second to Jack Nicklaus' 18. Woods leads this year's PGA TOUR money list with $4,885,427 and he leads the FedExCup points series with 19,524 points.
Mickelson's 31 career PGA TOUR victories, including the 2004 and 2006 Masters and 2005 PGA Championship, are tied for second (with Singh) among active PGA TOUR players. A member of the last six U.S. Ryder Cup and Presidents' Cup teams, Mickelson has compiled $4,120,588 in earnings and 15,818 FedExCup points in 2007. Mickelson is second in the money list and FedExCup point races, and Singh is third on both accounts.
In 2007, Mickelson won the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and THE PLAYERS Championship. Singh won the PGA TOUR's season-opening Mercerdes-Benz Championship and Arnold Palmer Invitational. Scott won the Shell Houston Open and finished runner-up to Singh to open the 2007 PGA TOUR schedule. Furyk has two runner-up finishes, including his tie with Woods for second at the U.S. Open, and a third this year.
The AT&T National features features a winner's check of $1.08 million and will be televised by Golf Channel during the four rounds, with CBS televising the bulk of the final two rounds on the weekend. Congressional will open to the public on Tuesday, July 3 with practice rounds, followed by the Earl Woods Memorial Pro-Am on Wednesday, July 4 and four rounds of tournament play from July 5-8.
All tickets can be ordered by calling 1-800-594-TIXX or visiting the tournament website at www.attnational.org. Daily gallery passes are grounds-only passes and cost $20 Tuesday-Friday and $25 for the tournament's closing rounds on Saturday and Sunday. Weekly gallery badges ($65) are good-all-week grounds passes and are the best bet for those who want to be regulars at the inaugural AT&T National. Daily Youth Tickets (for kids 13-17) can be purchased for $10 at the gate. General admission parking is free.
The AT&T National will benefit the Tiger Woods Foundation and pay tribute to the men and women in the U.S. 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.
About the Tiger Woods Foundation
Since its inception in 1996 by Tiger Woods and his father Earl, the Tiger Woods Foundation has reached an estimated 10 million young people through character development, career exploration and grant making programs. Programs developed and supported by the Tiger Woods Foundation all share a similar mission of empowering young people to dream big and to set specific goals to achieve their dreams. The Tiger Woods Learning Center is a youth-education facility and curriculum created by the Tiger Woods Foundation.
Launched in February, 2006, the Tiger Woods Learning Center is an innovative 14-acre, after school campus designed to inspire career exploration. Serving members in grades 5 through 12, classes include forensic science, robotics, engineering, aerospace, video production and home design. Start Something, based on Earl Woods' best-selling book, is a free program for youth 8-17 that addresses three priorities: character education, volunteer service and career exploration. Through participation in Start Something, youth define a specific personal goal and develop an action plan to achieve it while giving back to their community and exploring careers that fit within their areas of interest. More information on the Tiger Woods Foundation and its programs can be found at tigerwoodsfoundation.org.
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2007 AT&T NATIONAL FINAL FIELD