- The Washington Times - Monday, July 2, 2007

Stuart Appleby

One of the first close friends Tiger made on tour, the 36-year-old Australian is an excellent ball-striker with eight PGA Tour victories to his credit. The second win of his career came at the 1998 Kemper Open at TPC at Avenel.

Angel Cabrera

The longest regular on the European Tour, the Argentine instantly vaulted to elite status by holding off Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk at last month’s U.S. Open to earn South America its first major since 1967 (Roberto de Vicenzo at British Open). Cabrera averaged a mammoth 310.9 yards off the tee at Oakmont.

K.J. Choi

The first Korean to win on the PGA Tour, Choi was a weightlifting champion and the son of a rice farmer on the island of Wando before taking up golf at the age of 16. Choi celebrated his fifth PGA Tour victory earlier this season at Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial Tournament.

Darren Clarke

Tiger and the Ulsterman met through their dual association with Butch Harmon, Woods‘ former swing coach. And Clarke’s mischievous nature and fearless edge endeared him to Woods, whom he beat in the final of the 2000 World Match Play Championship.

The streaky Clarke has struggled mightily in 2007, posting only one top-20 finish in more than a dozen starts on both sides of the Atlantic.

Fred Funk

The former Maryland golf coach is an ageless local favorite who collected his eighth PGA Tour victory earlier this season at the inaugural Mayakoba Classic in Cancun. One of the most accurate hitters in the game’s history, Funk finished seven seasons leading the PGA Tour in driving accuracy.

It’s always been the 51-year-old’s dream to win at home, a dream he came closest to realizing when he led entering Sunday play before finishing T3 at the 1998 Kemper Open.

Jim Furyk

Long heralded as one of the grittiest players in the game, Furyk narrowly missed adding a second U.S. Open title (2003) to his collection last month at Oakmont. Furyk, with his indefatigable style, meshes well with this week’s host: He is Tiger’s preferred teammate in match-play events (Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup).

The more Congressional plays like a U.S. Open track this week, the better Furyk’s chances of victory.

Story Continues →