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.
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.
Six players tied for fourth place with a 12-under par 272 total including Americans Jason Bohn, Bill Haas and Justin Thomas, Justin Rose of England, New Zealander Danny Lee and Sweden’s Carl Pettersson.
Here are the final 2015 Quicken Loans National Results:
|T11||Charles Howell III||67||67||67||73||274|
This Year’s Field
The week after a major championship is never going to attract a premium field, but the lure of the Tiger Woods’ name has at least attracted a few of the top players in the world to the 2016 Quicken Loans National.
Overall 9 of the Top 40 players in the world will tee it up on Thursday, led by World #6 Rickie Fowler. Other top players in the field include 13th ranked Patrick Reed and U.S. Open runner-up Jim Furyk, currently ranked 19th.
They are joined by a group of players ranked between 27 and 39 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
That group includes Korea’s Byeong Hun An (27th in the world rankings), Americans Justin Thomas (33rd), Charley Hoffman (35th), Kevin Chappell (38th) and Bill Haas (39th) and Australian Marc Leishman, who currently sits 37th in the world.
With Tiger and two-time champion Justin Rose on the sidelines, only three of the seven champions in the tournament’s brief history will be teeing it up, looking for a second title.
In addition to defending champion Troy Merritt, the only other former winners in the field are 2013 champion Bill Haas and Korea’s K.J. Choi, who won the tournament’s inaugural event in 2007.
2011 winner Nick Watney and 2008 Quicken Loans National champion Anthony Kim join Woods and Rose as no-shows for the 2016 Quicken Loans National.
Hottest Players in the Field
According to the Razzball Fantasy Golf Rankings (RFGR), here at the hottest players in the field for the 2016 Quicken Loans National:
|6||KOR||Byeong Hun An||36||27|
2016 Quicken Loans National – Our Picks
Here are the players we feel have the best chance of winning the 2016 Quicken Loans National:
1. Kevin Chappell – Three seconds in 2015-16. First win is coming.
2. Justin Thomas – Looks ready to become a two-time PGA winner
3. Bill Haas – Great record at Tiger’s event. 2013 champion.
4. Jim Furyk – Looks to be completely recovered after strong U.S. Open.
5. Bryson DeChambeau – First win will come sooner than later.
2016 Quicken Loans National – Sleepers
Here are the players we think could post a strong result at the 2016 Quicken Loans National but may be a little less highly rated:
1. Byeong Hun An– Some week, U.S golf fans will find out how good he really is.
2. K.J. Choi – Past winner here has shown flashed this year
3. Roberto Castro– Second at Wells Fargo shows he’s ready to win.
4. Brendan Steele– String of Top 20’s indicates something better is close
5. Keegan Bradley – T8 at the Memorial could be a sign of good things to come.