The Quicken Loans National (formerly AT&T National) as we know it will fizzle out this week in Washington DC. Having already moved on from Congressional to TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm, the event will move even farther next year when it begins its run in Detroit. Predictably, this year's field is a bit underwhelming, and will in fact, tie the AT&T Byron Nelson for the lowest amount of Official World Golf Ranking points given out at any PGA Tour event (not including opposite-field events) so far this season. But the tournament could still provide some pre-July 4th fireworks -- particularly if its host, Tiger Woods, can pick up the first win of his latest comeback. Anyway, here's who makes my fab foursome in our nation's capital this week.
Rickie Fowler: To Quicken Loans' credit, you can't say the company's name without thinking of this pitchman. Fowler is having a typical Fowler season with plenty of high finishes, but not enough wins -- unless you count his recent engagement. But he managed a T-20 at the U.S. Open despite a third-round 84, and he is the clear best player in a weak field.
Francesco Molinari: It's odd to see the Italian playing here instead of on the European Tour, which makes a stop at this year's Ryder Cup venue for the French Open (where he's had success). But it won't be odd to see him on the leader board at TPC Potomac with its small greens and considering his recent win at the BMW PGA and runner-up at the Italian Open.
Beau Hossler: Although the 23-year-old rookie ranks second on the PGA Tour in first-round scoring average, that number gets worse with each day, lowlighted by a 159th ranking in final-round scoring average. However, he seems to be getting over that hurdle of late, including at last week's Travelers Championship where he shot a Sunday 66 to earn his second runner-up of the season. A maiden victory isn't far off.
Tiger Woods: Woods' major drought now stretches over a decade after a missed cut at the U.S. Open, but he ranks in the top 5 on the PGA Tour in strokes gained/approach-to-green, strokes gained/around-the-green, and strokes gained/tee-to-green. Of course, then there's what happens on the green. And seeing Tiger toying with a mallet putter this week was a bit alarming, but his putting can't get much worse than what it's been of late. Plus, this thing's ability to scoop up a golf ball.
Good luck to everyone this week. And to hear more tour talk and a discussion about how to improve your buddies golf trips, please have a listen to this week's Golf Digest Podcast: