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SBD/June 20, 2011/Events and Attractions
Will Congressional Remain In Rotation To Host U.S. Open Tournament?
Published June 20, 2011
RETURN TRIP IN THE CARDS? The topic of whether Congressional should host another U.S. Open was debated by GOLF.com's weekly roundtable, and SI's Alan Shipnuck said, "Let's hope not. This course is criminally boring." SI's Rick Lipsey said, "If the answer is yes, it's only because it's near DC, and that is a cool place to play a U.S. Open. The course is definitely not Open worthy, though." SI Golf Group Managing Editor Jim Herre said it would return "if for no other reason than DC is a terrific golf market." SI.com's Gary Van Sickle said, "The Washington market is big and lucrative and desirable. The fans here brought a definitive buzz." SI's John Garrity noted he had "always described Congressional as unmemorable, but this Open changed my mind." Garrity: "The new par-3 10th hole, and making the old 17th the new finishing hole, gives it a character it didn't possess before." Van Sickle added, "The new 10th hole, with the theater around that green and the 18th, is one of the most exciting spots in major championship golf. There's electricity in the air there, a real buzz. Plus it looks great on TV" (GOLF.com, 6/20).
DOES IT NEED TO GET RID OF AT&T NATIONAL? Congressional hosts the annual PGA Tour AT&T National every July, but GOLF WORLD's Geoff Shackelford cites sources as saying that the course's members are "looking to get out of that deal because the event is too much of a disruption in their prime golf season." Freeing the course of the AT&T would "make the club more attractive for a return U.S. Open," though it "still must overcome the new perception that the Rees Jones-renovated course does not present a stern enough challenge." Davis indicated that Congressional hosting the AT&T "is a huge drawback that impacted early-week attendance." Shackelford notes unlike California venues hosting regular Tour events, Congressional "presents the same golf course conditions at the national championship as the July stop experiences." Congressional is "locked into the AT&T National for three years" (GOLF WORLD MONDAY, 6/20). This year's AT&T National will be played at Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown Square, Pa. (THE DAILY).