From Oakmont to Congressional. The classic U.S. Open course trend continues this week on Tour at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland.
As we come out of the U.S. Open and back onto the regular Tour schedule, we find ourselves at three time U.S. Open golf course, Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland. Having also played host to a PGA Championship, this will mark the sixth time Congressional has been home to The Quicken Loans National, representing The Tiger Woods Foundation. Being a U.S. Open golf course in the past, we can assume some areas that will be of importance this week in order to have success. Total Driving. This is a combination of length and accuracy off of the tee, and just as we saw Dustin Johnson work that aspect of his game beautifully at Oakmont, hitting the ball long and keeping it in the fairway will again be a key statistic this week at Congressional.
Different from Oakmont however, Congressional fairways are primarily tree lined, so accuracy off of the tee may outweigh distance slightly. If you look at past winners in this course; Justin Rose, Bill Haas, Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia, Greg Norman.. these are players that hit it both long and straight. Secondly, Greens In Regulation. This is arguably the most common and most important stat at any golf course in any tournament and while it is especially important at a U.S. Open, it too will be crucial this week at The Quicken Loans National. Like Oakmont, Congressional's greens are fast and undulated, so while hitting them will be paramount, Scrambling too will be key when greens are missed.
For the second week in a row, we have a golf course that will be a great test for a player's all around game. Off of the tee, from tee to green, around and on the greens. If you look at how players have done at Congressional in the past, for both The National and U.S. Opens, and also other events where an overall examination of one's game comes into play rather than just a few certain characteristics, you will give yourself a good indicator as to who should have success this week. As for those other tournaments to consider in your handicap, look back to The Memorial, The Players Championship, Colonial, and The Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club. All classic courses, like Congressional, that test the total package of one's golf game.
Rickie Fowler (+1200) Fowler has been as mess as of late and it is hard to figure as his stats continue rank as some of the best on Tour. The 6th ranked player in the world has missed three straight cuts, at The Players, The Memorial, and at The U.S. Open last week. He also missed the cut at The Masters back in April.
Patrick Reed (+1500) Reed missed the cut at The U.S. Open last week by two shots but is tied for the lead this year on Tour with nine Top-10 finishes. He possesses an excellent short game and finished 11th here at Congressional in 2014.
Jim Furyk (+2000) It has been six months now that Furyk has had to recover from injury and it showed up in a big way last week at Oakmont when he closed with a 4-under par round to finish 2nd for the championship. This is another golf course that is perfect for his game and he translates well on all of the indicator courses as well.
Charley Hoffman (+2500)Hoffman has really begun to emerge as one of the premier contenders on Tour both big tournaments and small. He is ranked 35th in the world and just finished 37th last week at The U.S. Open. Hoffman finished 3rd here at Congressional in 2014.
Brendan Steele (+2500) Steele is a big hitter who finished 5th here in 2014 and ranks 18th on Tour in Total Driving. He just finished 15th at Oakmont and two weeks prior to that, placed 20th at The Memorial.
Gary Woodland (+3000) Distance off of the tee won't be a problem for Woodland who ranks 4th on Tour but his accuracy can be a concern. However, he finished 4th at The Memorial, 28th at The Players, and 26th in Los Angeles earlier this season.
The Long Shots
Bill Haas (+4000) A former winner both here and in L.A. at The Northern Trust, Haas pencils out nicely to play well here again this week. Also, as a perennial contender at The Memorial, his accuracy off of the tee and touch around the greens, as well as the golf odds offer to make him a pretty attractive long shot.
Bryson DeChambeau (+4000) Coming off of a tie for 15th at The U.S. Open, DeChambeau's game looks to be in form for this track this week. He finished 4th at The RBC Heritage but then when on to miss four cuts in a row before taking 38th at The Memorial. He must come up big this week in order to gain PGA Tour status going forward.
Daniel Summerhays (+5000) Summerhays is a terrific putter and it showed last week as he contended at Oakmont over the weekend before settling for an 8th place finish. With the similarities in the greens this week, Summerhays ought to be able to score again with the flagstick.
Marc Leishman (+2500at Bovada) We spoke about how both Oakmont and Congressional are golf courses that will test every aspect of one's golf game. and Leishman is a guy who is extremely solid in the stats across the board. He drives it long, he drives it straight. He is an excellent putter and a terrific scrambler. I believe he has all of the tools to put it together this week and cash our golf betting pick. He always seems to be in the mix at big time golf courses; Augusta, St. Andrews, Oakmont.. and this would be yet another time he does so.