Sources: Dates For '15, '16 Quicken Loans National Will Likely Change
The PGA Tour has not announced its '14-15 schedule, but "a quirk in the calendar will move the Quicken Loans National off its traditional late-June or early-July date to July 30-Aug. 2," according to sources cited by Barry Svrluga of the WASHINGTON POST. The reason for the change is that the U.S. Open runs June 18-21, and the British Open is scheduled for July 16-19, "leaving room for just two tournaments in between." The Quicken Loans National will "thus be bumped to later on the schedule." That "looks like a one-time change" for now. But in '16, when the tournament "returns to Congressional, there will likely be another change, this one to May." The PGA Tour schedule in '16 is "in turmoil because of golf’s return to the Olympics" and the "most likely landing spot for the Quicken Loans National is the week leading up to Memorial Day." One other "piece of business remains: finding a site" for '17 and ’19, "the off years for Congressional." Tiger Woods Foundation officials will "evaluate their experience" at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club "next year, as will officials from that club." But even "if that goes well, TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm, which is located in Potomac next to Congressional in Bethesda, remains a strong contender" (WASHINGTON POST, 6/29). Quicken Loans National Tournament Dir Mike Antolini said, "They're still finalizing the 2015 schedule. Not exactly sure when they will announce the schedule at large, but we do expect the date to be later -- late July. We're very excited." He added, "The Tour hasn't even finalized the '15 schedule, so I don't have any information on the 2016 schedule right now" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 6/29).
HOST WITH THE MOST: Antolini on Saturday said that the "buzz" Tiger Woods "helped create by entering the field last week was still there," despite Woods not moving past Friday's round. But in Baltimore, Don Markus noted the galleries were "noticeably thinner and more spread out for Saturday's third round than they were the first two days, when most of those who came to the tournament seemed to be following the trio" of Woods, Jordan Spieth and Jason Day. Antolini said, "We're really kind of feeling the excitement of the week that is kind of continuing." Antolini before the tournament began said he expected "in excess of 130,000 fans" for the week. Markus noted after "drawing about 24,000 announced paid fans Thursday and about 30,000 Friday, it might be difficult to get to that number without Woods." Still, Antolini said, "There's a lot to be excited about, and happy about" (Baltimore SUN, 6/29).
MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS: In DC, John Feinstein noted the Quicken Loans National's "dependency on Woods the player was even more evident this year than last, when he didn't play because of an elbow injury." Before his June 20 announcement that he would play, ticket sales "were way down and sponsorships had dropped to the point that the program wasn't close to sold out." Even after Woods announced he would play, the "pro-am didn't sell out." There will be "no more extensions with Congressional after 2020; the club wants to host the U.S. Open in 2026," and USGA Exec Dir Mike Davis has "made it clear the USGA won't commit to the Open until it knows the PGA Tour event is gone." With Congressional out and Woods "a lot closer to the end of his career than the beginning, the tournament's long-term future is definitely a question mark." Woods is "fully aware he's going to have to work hard to ensure an extension from Quicken Loans and he's going to have to find a permanent home post-2020" (WASHINGTON POST, 6/29).