GW Monday: Will the U.S. Open return to Congressional?
From the June 20 edition of Golf World Monday:
BETHESDA, Md. -- After every U.S. Open speculation turns to a possible return date to the host site. In the case of Congressional the answer is clear: not any time soon.
"We will get back," said USGA executive director Mike Davis, citing proximity to the nation's capital and the lure of the Mid-Atlantic region. However, Davis also said Congressional's status as a PGA Tour stop hosting the AT&T National is a huge drawback that impacted early-week attendance and, unlike at California venues hosting the tour, presents the same golf course conditions at the national championship as the July stop experiences.
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Congressional is locked into the AT&T National for three years and sources tell Golf World the membership is looking to get out of that deal because the event is too much of a disruption in their prime golf season. Freeing themselves of the AT&T would also make the club more attractive for a return U.S. Open. But even if Congressional can wrangle its way out of the AT&T contract, it still must overcome the new perception that the Rees Jones-renovated course does not present a stern enough challenge.
With almost guaranteed soft conditions in muggy Maryland, the firm-and-fast obsessed modern-day USGA does not get to present the course the way they will at nearly all of the U.S. Open venues lined up through 2019.
-- Geoff Shackelford
(Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images)