Quicken Loans National Primer: History, TV, Field

The 2017 Quicken Loans National will be played at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm in Potomac, Maryland.

The 10-year-old D.C. PGA Tour event rotates its courses (last year it played at Congressional), and this marks the first time it’s being played at TPC Potomac. Formerly known as TPC Avenel, the course was the host of the Kemper Open for two decades, 1986-2006.

 
The tournament is hosted by Tiger Woods and benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation. As an “invitational” is has a reduced field of only 120 players (as opposed to most full-field open tournaments with a field of 156 players).

Billy Hurley III, who won in dramatic fashion last season at Congressional, will be back to defend his lone PGA Tour win. The Naval Academy grad overcame a couple of early bogeys with a remarkable stretch on the back-nine to post a final-round 67 and win by three strokes.


History

Formerly known as the AT&T National (2007 to 2013), the Quicken Loans will tee it up for the 11th time this week – and for the first time at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm.

 
Hosted by the Tiger Woods Foundation, and scheduled between the U.S. and British Opens, the Quicken Loans usually offers a relatively strong field. Although that’s not been the case the past couple of seasons.

The inaugural 2007 tournament, held at Congressional, was a three-stroke victory for K. J. Choi, who at the time was one of the top players in the world. Steve Stricker finished runner-up.

Notable champions of the decade-old tournament have included Tiger Woods (twice), Justin Rose (twice), K.J. Choi, and Bill Haas.


Course/Tournament Info

Name: TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm
Where: Potomac, Md
Vitals: 7,139 yards, par 70
Architect: Tom Fazio/Pete Dye
Purse: $7,100,000
Winning Share: $1,278,000
FedEx Cup Points: 500


Defending Champion

The defending champion of the Quicken Loans National is Billy Hurley III, who put together an inspirational stretch of holes on Sunday at Congressional to win his only PGA Tour event. Hurley III posted a final-round 69 to win by three strokes over Vijay Singh.

 
Hurley III’s 17-under par winning score was an eye-popping number at a course (Congressional Country Club) that traditionally plays very tough. He was the co-leader after 36 holes and from there, never let up. He was the solo leader by two going into the final round, and despite the intense pressure, never broke. After a birdie on the first and a bogey on the second, Hurley parred 10 of his next 12 holes.

 
The leaderboard tightened up as the final pairing of Hurley III and Ernie Els were reaching the middle of the back nine. Then came the shot of the tournament: a 35-yard pitch-in for birdie at the par-4 15th. He followed up that amazing birdie with another birdie, rolling a tough putt in from 27 feet away. By the time he reached the 18th tee, Hurley’s triumph was a foregone conclusion.

In a season with exciting finishes, and epic performances by some of the world’s greatest golfers, Hurley III’s win was one of the most memorable.


2016 Final Top 5

Billy Hurley III 66-65-67-69—267 (-17)
Vijay Singh 68-66-71-65—270 (-14)
Jon Rahm 64-67-70-70—271 (-13)
Bill Haas 66-69-68-68—271 (-13)
Ernie Els 66-69-65-68—272 (-12)


Other Recent Champions

2015: Troy Merritt
2014: Justin Rose
2013: Bill Haas
2012: Tiger Woods
2011: Nick Watney
2010: Justin Rose


Official Video Preview


Tournament Records

Lowest Final Score: 266 by Troy Merritt in 2015 (-18)
Low Round: 61 by Merritt in 2015 (-9)


Television

Round 1: 3:30-6:30 PM (Golf Channel)
Round 2: 3:30-6:30 PM (Golf Channel)
Round 3: 1:00-2:30 PM (Golf Channel); 3:00-6:00 PM (CBS)
Round 4: 1:00-2:30 PM (Golf Channel); 3:00-6:00p (CBS)


Online

Website: TigerWoodsFoundation.com
Facebook: Facebook.com/QLNational
Twitter: @QLNational
Instagram: @QLNational


Headliners

Rickie Fowler

Rickie Fowler, a Quicken Loans player ambassador, will tee it up for the sixth time in D.C. (T44-2016, 2-2015, T21-2013, T13-2011, MC-2010). The former Oklahoma State star is the highest ranked player in the field, and the only one in the world top 10 (No. 9).

 
The 28-year-old fan favorite has racked up six top-6 finishes this season, highlighted by a win at The Honda Classic. The other top finishes: T2 at the Memorial, T3 at the Shell, T4 at Phoenix, T5 at the U.S. Open and T6 at the WGC-HSBC in China.

Fowler is currently No. 9 in the FedExCup race and seems like a lock to make East Lake, after just missing last season (No.31).

Justin Thomas

Last season at Congressional, Justin Thomas was considered a young gun with a recent win, and loads of potential. A year later, Thomas returns to the Quicken Loans National as a four-time PGA Tour winner, having won three times this season – defending his title at the CIMB, and winning both Hawaii events (SBS Tournament of Champions and Sony Open).

 
The 24-year-old Kentucky native is now a legitimate superstar, ranked third in the FedEx Cup and No. 12 in the world. The young Thomas has played the QLN twice before, both top 12 finishes (T4-2015, T12-2016). Despite a strong season, he enters D.C. coming off a few tough rounds (final round 75 at Erin Hills and MC at Travelers).


Other Player Notes

  • Bill Haas (2013 champion) has finished inside the top 4 in three of his last four starts at the QLN (1-2013, T30-2014, T4-2015, T3-2016).
  • Recent PLAYERS Championship winner Si Woo Kim missed the cut last year in his first start at QL National, following two rounds of 67 and 77.
  • Record setting champion Troy Merritt (2015) will tee it up for the sixth time at the Quicken Loans National (MC-2016, 1-2015, MC-2014, T30-
    2011, T68-2010).

  • Five-time PGA Tour winner Patrick Reed makes his fourth appearance in D.C. (T39-2016, T11-2014, T34-2013).
  • Following his professional debut at the Travelers, Oregon graduate Wyndham Clark will tee it up for event No. 2 at the Quicken Loans National. While Clark is more known for helping the Ducks advance to the NCAA Championship match this month, he actually spent his first four college seasons at Oklahoma State.
  • Ryan Ruffels, will make his 13th PGA TOUR start and fifth this season. Born in Florida, but raised in Australia, Ruffels has been competing on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica where he has runner-up finishes in his last two starts.

PGW Staff

This post was produced by a Pro Golf Weekly staff member.



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