What an amazing finish at last week’s Travelers Championship. Ken Duke was able to defeat Chris Stroud in the second hole of a sudden death playoff for his first PGA Tour victory at the age of 44. Expect another great four days of golf this week, as we get ready for the 2013 AT&T National. The tournament is held at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland. While this will be the seventh installment of the event, it marks just the fifth time they will tee it up at Congressional. In 2010 and 2011 the tournament was held at Aronimink Golf Club while Congressional was undergoing changes for the 2011 US Open.
Many wondered how Congressional would play after watching Rory McIlroy fire an incredible 16-under 268 on his way to the a victory at the US Open. I think it’s safe to say it played like a major championship. The field scoring average of 73.046 was the toughest of any non-major on the 2012 schedule. From tee to green the 7,569 yard par 71 challenged the field with everything it had. Players struggled to find both the fairways and greens in regulation, scrambled at less than 49%, and missed several putts inside 10-feet.
When it was all said and done, Tiger Woods won this event for the second time, finishing two-shots ahead of Bo Van Pelt with a final score of 8-under (276). Woods was expected to defend his title, but has been forced to sit out due to a elbow injury. Justin Rose has also decided to skip the tournament, citing exhaustion. The field will also be without McIlroy and Phil Mickelson, but there’s still plenty of talent expected to tee it up when the first round gets underway on Thursday.
For those of you looking for some betting advice on who to take this weekend, here’s a quick look at the two golfers I will be betting to finish on top the leaderboard on Sunday.
Adam Scott (+1200)
It shouldn’t be much of a surprise to see Scott fall back a little after his win at the Masters, but he’s still finished inside the Top 20 in two of his three starts since Augusta. With a full week off before this event, I believe this will be the tournament where the Australian makes a run for the top spot. Scott finished just three shots back of Woods in a sole 3rd place finish here last year. It was his second Top 5 finish at this event in three starts.
Brandt Snedeker (+2000)
Snedeker has just two Top 10 finishes since his incredible start to the season, where he finished in the top 3 in four of his first five starts, including a win at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. After shooting +8 over in the first two rounds of the US Open, Snedeker was able to rally and finish in T-17th. I look for him to carry over that momentum and put together a strong showing this week at Congressional. Snedeker has three Top 20 finishes in four starts at this event. He’s certainly the kind of ball striker you look for at Congressional. He’s 16th in driving accuracy, 17th in greens in regulation and 13th in putting (per hole).