The PGA Tour shifts gears and heads down I-95 towards our Nation’s capital for the Quicken Loans National. While the tourney’s long-time host — Tiger Woods — isn’t expected to play (duh) or even be on property while he deals with personal issues, there is still plenty of star power teeing it up this week at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm. 

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2016 RSM ClassicSea Island, Georgia – The PGA Tour returns to Davis Love III‘s home turf this week for the playing of the 2016 RSM Classic.

As with other events in the early going of the 2016-2017 wrap around season, none of the worlds elite players are in the field this week. Some are resting after a busy 2016. Others are in Dubai for the European Tour’s season-ending event.

Still there are FedEx Cup points available and a chance for a year or career defining victory.

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It took a while for him to get back, but it should come as no surprise that Rory McIlroy is on top of the Razzball.com Fantasy Golf Rankings, October 4, 2016 edition.

If you had polled golf experts prior to the start of the 2016-2016 PGA Tour season, many would have chosen the young Northern Irishman to me on top of the rankings at the end of the year. The fact that it took him a little longer than expected is the only shock.

McIlroy continued his late season surge at the Tour Championship, winning for the second time in the PGA Tour playoffs to capture the 2016 FedEx Cup championship, and the $10 million dollar bonus. While that may not take away the disappointment of a frustrating major season completely, I’m sure it helps.

The four-time major champion moves up five places to capture top spot, the second time he’s hit number one in our rankings. He previously ruled the rankings for two weeks in November, 2015.

He holds a surprisingly slim lead over a resurgent Paul Casey, who recorded his third consecutive top five playoff finish in Atlanta. The Englishman moves from 3rd to 2nd in his fourth consecutive week in the Top 10. Casey still hasn’t won on tour since the 2009 Houston Open, but a PGA Tour victory seems close.

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2016 Tour ChampionshipAtlanta, Georgia – Another PGA Tour Season comes to a close this week at East Lake GC with the playing of the 2016 Tour Championship.

The Top 30 players in the FedEx Cup point standings have survived the first three playoff events to get a chance at one of the Tour’s biggest titles and the $10 million bonus awarded to the FedEx Cup champion.

So who are the favorites this week? Here is our ranking of the 2016 Tour Championship field in order of expected finish from 30th to 1st.

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Lower Springfield, New Jersey – As the 2016 PGA Championship begins, it’s amazing how much the golf landscape has changed in the past year.

Twelve months ago, when hype about golf’s so called big three was at it’s height, a 2016 without a major victory by Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy or Jason Day would have seemed impossible. But as the world’s best players arrive arrive at the Baltusrol Golf Club for the 2016 PGA Championship, that possibility seems more like a probability.

2016 PGA Championship Logo

All three have failed to get the job done for a variety of reasons. Spieth, never the tour’s best ball striker has struggled to hit fairways and greens, making his best weapon, his putter, all but irrelevant.  McIlroy has the opposite problem, leading the tour in strokes gained off the tee, but struggling mightily on the short grass. Day has been the best and most consistent of the three, but hasn’t been able to get the job done when it counts the most. Now struck by family and personal illness this week, his chances of defending his title seem remote.

To add insult to injury. the “Big Three” has been infiltrated by American Dustin Johnson, who not only has cracked the Top three in the Official World Golf Rankings, but can take over the number one spot this week with a victory at Baltusrol.

Here’s the 411 as you get ready for the 2016 PGA Championship.

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American Dustin Johnson extended his lead in the Razzball.com Fantasy Golf Rankings, July 5, 2016 edition.

The question now, is, can anyone catch him.

The reigning U.S. Open champion holds the number one spot for a third consecutive week after his win at the World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone G.C.  He has a 1,950 point lead over number two ranked Scott Piercy, who’s finished second to DJ in both the U.S. Open and the Bridgestone. Piercy moves up three spots this week, his third consecutive week in the top five.

Johnson’s point total of 5,090 points is the highest total since our rankings started last November. He’s also moved up to a career high #2 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Former Number one Jason Day of Australia moves back into the Top three, up from #6 a week ago, after a T3 at Firestone. The number one ranked player in the world won’t be happy after a back nine collapse on Sunday cost him another WGC title.

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Bethesda, Maryland – The PGA Tour returns to the nation’s capital this week for the 2016 Quicken Loans National. It’s the 10th playing of the event and the seventh time it’s been played at the classic Congressional Country Club layout.

Unfortunately, the star attraction will not be in the field.

Tournament host and two-time champion Tiger Woods continues to recover from back surgery and will devote his time to off the course activities, much to the chagrin of his legion of fans.

Here’s what you need to know to prepare for the 2016 Quicken Loans National.

Last Year

American Troy Merritt followed up a sensational 10-under par 61 on Saturday at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club, with a final round 67, to record his first PGA Tour title.

The 29-year old finished three shots ahead of Rickie Fowler and four up on Sweden’s David Lingmerth. Merritt’s 61 on Saturday and 266, 72-hole total were both course and tournament records.

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