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From Black to Old Blue

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Congressional

With the U.S. Open finally finished, it’s time to turn our attention to Tiger Woods’ own AT&T National, which gets underway with play on Thursday, July 2, at the Blue Course at Congressional Country Club.

The field is not yet official, and players have until 5 p.m. this Friday to officially commit. There are a few names of note already in the mix: Past winners Anthony Kim and K.J. Choi, World No. 3 Paul Casey, Jim Furyk and 2008 U.S. Amateur champion Danny Lee. Also in the mix: Ernie Els, U.S. Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples, Mike Weir and Sean O’Hair. Oh, and Boo Weekley.

And the biggest name of all will of course be there: Tiger Woods.

But a quick sampling by Barker Davis up at Bethpage Black on Monday turned up an equally — if not more interesting — list of players who won’t be in the field: Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Geoff Ogilvy, Adam Scott, Padraig Harrington, Rory McIlroy and the newly crowned U.S. Open champion, Lucas Glover. Barker also reported that David Duval won’t likely participate, since he has committed to playing the John Deere Classic and British Open and was “worn out” after the Open.

There certainly has been some angst around these parts in each of the two previous years about the field at Tiger’s tournament; it was assumed once Woods arrived with his own event, at Congressional of all places, that the roll call would be star-studded each July. That hasn’t happened; and last summer, because of his knee injury, we didn’t even get the tournament’s namesake.

Two notes of interest, at least to me:

- For all of the complaints about the Tigerless field at the previous tournament held in the D.C. area (the Booz Allen Classic / FBR Capital Open / Kemper Open), it produced a few decent champions during its last four years: Rory Sabbatini, Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia, and then, well, Ben Curtis in the 2006 finale.

- Speaking of 2006: that event (The Booz, for the record) actually finished on a Tuesday, which seems like a timely reference after this past weekend at the Open. Apparently the previous Tuesday round of PGA Tour golf took place in 1968. So it’s a rarity.

Keep “Live From Old Blue” on your reading list for the next few weeks, we’ll be back with more news, notes and insights.

- John Taylor

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