Tiger Woods is bringing his golf tournament, the AT&T National, back to Congressional Country Club this summer. The tournament, which raises funds for the Tiger Woods Foundation and honors the military, will run from June 24 through 30, with the traditional Pro-Am on Wednesday and the first round on Thursday, June 27. Last year Woods won. The tournament was also memorable for sweltering temperatures that reached into the 90s. The players visibly poured sweat. Due to the powerful derecho that brought down trees, the tournament also featured a peculiar Saturday where the third round was played but no fans were allowed on the course.On Thursday a few Congressional club members said that shortly after this year’s tournament, the board of Congressional will meet to decide whether to continue the relationship with Woods and the AT&T National after its last contractual year, which is 2014.* One club member said the debate is expected to be fierce. It’s not because the tournament doesn’t do well and draw tens of thousands of paying fans—it does—but there’s some concern about disruption for members and club team practices and wear and tear on the course.
The AT&T is fairly gentle, as these things go, but in 2011, when the US Open was played at Congressional, wet weather, with no time for the grounds to dry out, caused significant damage to the Blue Course, considered one of the best in the US. The wet conditions made the course fast, and a relative newcomer to PGA spotlight, Rory McIlroy, tore through one hole after another and won with a tournament record score of 16-under par.
What would happen if Congressional decides to break with the AT&T National? According to insiders who play at Congressional and closely follow the PGA, there are two Virginia courses that would like to host the event: the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Manassas and the Trump National Golf Club at Lowes Island near Sterling. Donald Trump played in the Pro-Am at Congressional last year.
*This post has been updated from a previous version.