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June 21 2013

6:56 PM

First Look: AT&T National

Congressional Country Club has long been a gathering place for the nation's movers and shakers. (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)

FIELD LIST: AT&T National

By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM Contributor

COURSE: Congressional Country Club (Blue), 7,569 yards, par 71. Founded in 1924, the club quickly established itself as a gathering place for leaders of industry and government. Founding members included two former U.S. presidents, current officeholder Warren Harding and successor Calvin Coolidge. Congressional was the site where Ken Venturi staggered through stifling heat to win the 1964 U.S. Open, the first of three Opens held there along with the 1976 PGA Championship. The club also hosted six Kemper Opens, getting back on the PGA TOUR’s regular schedule when the AT&T National joined the docket in 2008.

FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 500 points.

CHARITY: The Tiger Woods Foundation, with proceeds targeting two Tiger Woods Learning Center campuses in metro Washington along with the 25 Tiger Woods Scholars who come from the D.C. area.

FIELD WATCH: New U.S. Open champion Justin Rose and Masters winner Adam Scott head a list that features nine of the top 30 players in this week’s world rankings. No.8 Brandt Snedeker gives the event three among the top 10. … No. 1 Woods, a two-time champion, is limited to host duties this week by inflammation in his left elbow. It marks the third time since the event’s start in 2007 that injuries have forced him to the sideline. … Rose, the 2010 winner at Philadelphia’s Aronimink GC, and Nicolas Colsaerts are the only entrants who hold dual membership on the PGA TOUR and European Tour. The Irish Open begins Europe’s three-week runup to the British Open.

72-HOLE RECORD: 267, Tiger Woods (2009), Nick Watney (2011 at Aronimink GC).

18-HOLE RECORD: 62, Anthony Kim (first round, 2009), Hunter Mahan (fourth round, 2009), Nick Watney (third round, 2011 at Aronimink GC).

LAST YEAR: Woods brought the noise back to Congressional by outdueling Bo Van Pelt down the stretch, claiming his third win of the year and 74th of his career to pass Jack Nicklaus for No.2 on the all-time list. The host closed with a 2-under-par 69, pulling away when Van Pelt bogeyed his final three holes after seemingly having Woods on the ropes. After Woods hit a spectator with his drive and put his approach over the green at No.16, Van Pelt came up short with a 6-iron that settled into the collar of the greenside rough. Van Pelt then flew the green at No.17, his ensuing bogey giving Woods the lead for good. One day earlier, the third round was played without spectators after a violent windstorm downed trees throughout Congressional.

STORYLINES: With Woods on the sideline, the spotlight falls to Rose, Scott and such other emerging stars as Jason Day and Hunter Mahan. Rose will be making his second start in as many weeks since his U.S. Open triumph at Merion. … Jason Day, whose tie for second behind Rose was his fourth top-3 finish in the past 10 majors, makes his first start since Merion. His lone PGA TOUR win remains the 2010 HP Byron Nelson Championship. … Van Pelt’s runner-up showing last year is one of 24 top-10 finishes since the start of the 2010 season. That’s the most of anyone during that time frame without winning.

SHORT CHIPS: Back at Congressional after a two-year hiatus, last year’s winning score of 8-under-par 276 was the highest in event history. Aronimink stepped in as host in 2010-11 while Congressional prepared for the U.S. Open. … Until last year’s “Silent Saturday,” the only other recollection of a round played with no fans was at the 2000 Boone Valley Classic on the Champions Tour. Storms also were the culprit – that time snarling traffic so no one could get to the course. … The tournament again features the “We Salute Our Heroes” tribute wall, where fans can leave personal messages of thanks for those who serve in the nation’s military.

TELEVISION: Thursday-Friday, 3-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 1-2:30 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (CBS).

RADIO: Thursday-Sunday, noon-6 p.m. ET (SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio).

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