Bubba kept up the strong performance in last week's RBC Canadian Open, finishing in solo 2nd place. He tore up the backside, but came up one short. All four Bulldog entrants made the cut. Now the Tour heads south to the D.C. area, and specifically the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club near Lake Manassas, VA.
This event is held at Congressional Country Club in even-numbered years, and elsewhere in odd-numbered years. I think it's because Congressional gets the occassional major (like the US Open) and folks don't want burnout. So that's why we're at Robert Trent Jones GC. It's a par 71 layout but hasn't been used much by the PGA, and even the pros will not have much familiarity with it. (yes, the same Robert Trent Jones who has a golf trail in Alabama).
Eldrick Tiger Woods serves as official host this week, though it has been through a slew of corporate sponsors over the years. Hats off to Tiger, as he rescued this tournament from being wiped off the annual schedule. It benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation which has done quite a bit for young golfers and young scholars. Also in attendance will be Rickie Fowler, Jimmy Walker, and defending champ Justin Rose to name a few.
There are only four more tournaments until the FedEx playoffs arrive:
- Quicken Loans National this week
- WGC Bridgestone Invitational next week (alternate event is the Barracuda Championship in Reno)
- PGA Championship at Whistling Straights (Wisconsin) August 13-16
- Wyndham Championship in Greensboro August 20-23
Then the real fun begins with the Barclays as the first FedEx Cup event. We'll have good representation, but there will be movement amongst the players until that time. The top 125 in points get into the Barclays and as you'll see below, we have some safely in and some that need to continue to make a move upwards. And some guys appear to be taking a break before the final three weeks, the final major, and the playoffs - #respectthegrind. Below is a list of who are entered in this week's Quicken Loans National, with their Official World Golf Ranking and FedEx Cup ranking in parentheses:
Harris English (76,43): Safely inside the playoffs, but I don't think he gets into the Bridgestone in a couple of weeks since it's an invitational and limited to 70 or so (I hope I'm wrong). But he's in the PGA later in August, and has a chance to solidify making it through the first 3 rounds of the Playoffs.
Hudson Swafford (264,101): He's likely not in the PGA or Bridgestone, and hasn't done much to improve his position. Even though he made the cut last week, other players are passing him in the rankings. He needs a top 20 or top 30 in order to be safe.
Others not entered, but with their current rankings:
Russell Henley (49,42)
Erik Compton (119,104). See Swafford above.
Kevin Kisner (35,13)
Bubba Watson (3,2)
Brendon Todd (45,46)
Chris Kirk (21,23) But has a broken wrist. He will be exempt through the first two playoff events, so hopefully he can heal in time. To be determined.
Brian Harman (76,64)
TV coverage this week is your East Coast special: Thu/Fri on Golf Channel from 3:30-6:30 and Sat/Sun from 1-2:30, and on CBS Sat/Sun from 3:00-6:00 pm ET. I admit it's hard to get up for this tourney, and with only 2 'Dawgs playing, it makes it even harder. But watch if you care to, and maybe Swafford or English can bring home another trophy. Go 'Dawgs!!!!