The Quicken Loans National returns to the Washington D.C. area for the last time this week as it will move to Detroit starting in 2019. Tiger Woods is in the field this week and very involved with the tournament as his organizations TGR Live and the TGR Foundation help host, run and benefit from the event. The other big name this week is Rickie Fowler, who is looking for his first victory in over a year. Both of those golfers will help carry an event that will feature some intriguing young stars and other golfers looking to right the ship with just over a dozen events left in the 2017-18 season.
Let’s take a look at this week’s contest.
What: Quicken Loans National | When: June 28 to July 1
Where: TPC Potomac — Potomac, Maryland
Ranking the field (odds)
Field strength (C-): The only players keeping it from a D or worse are Fowler and Woods.
Three stories to watch
1. Tiger’s only between-Opens start: I think Big Cat has a legitimate chance to contend at Carnoustie in a month, even after his missed cut at the U.S. Open. Hopefully for him there’s a ton of weather at The Open and he’s able to hit iron after iron en route to getting himself in contention. The matter of his putting is an issue, though, and practicing with a mallet this week sort of belabors that point. The start this week is big both because of what it means for the future and because it’s probably his best chance to win for the rest of the season.
2. Beau show? I’m here for the Beau Hossler story. His T2 at the Travelers Championship last week is as close as he’s been to breaking through since a lost playoff at the Houston Open in April, and he used a 66 on Sunday to do it (Hossler ranks No. 159 in Round 4 scoring average). I know we’ve seen a budding star who had a great career at the University of Texas break through during the summer right before The Open, I just can’t put my finger on it. Maybe Hossler makes it two.
3. Ryder Cup implications: You know who could use a victory this week? Jimmy Walker, who is currently No. 16 in the Ryder Cup standings. Or Kyle Stanley, who is currently No. 18. Or how about J.B. Holmes, who is currently No. 23. The Ryder Cup rankings don’t take field strength into account — you simply get points for how much money you earn — so a number of Americans just outside the top eight currently could bolster their ranking number heading into the home stretch of the season.
- 2017: Kyle Stanley
- 2016: Billy Hurley III
- 2015: Troy Merritt
- 2014: Justin Rose
- 2013: Bill Haas
Quicken Loans National picks
Winner: Molinari has been feeling it for the last month and is coming off a top-25 finish at the U.S. Open. He should thrive in a tournament that doesn’t include some of the bigger names in the sport.
Top 10: Easy pick here since he won it last year and has been top 15 in three of his last five events (he missed The Players and U.S. Open cuts).
Sleeper: Shot a 64 and a 65 last week at TPC River Highlands and has finished in the top 10 in three of his last five starts on the PGA Tour. Good odds here, too.