- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Quicken Loans National, which has been played two weeks before the U.S. Open since 2009, will be played two weeks after the British Open next year when it shifts to the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Virginia.

Such a change — the event will be held July 30 through Aug. 2 — is the result of a scheduling quirk created in 2011 when the British Open was announced for the third weekend of July. That weekend is exactly a month after the U.S. Open will be held; this year, and in the previous two, the two majors were held five weeks apart.

“The schedule, as you probably know, is made by the PGA Tour,” said tournament director Mike Antolini. “They’re still finalizing the 2015 schedule. Not exactly sure when they will announce the schedule at large, but we do expect the date to be later — late July. We’re very excited.”

A PGA Tour spokesman declined comment when asked about the placement of the event on next year’s schedule. The organization typically releases its upcoming year’s schedule in the fall, but has already announced the dates for the seven events taking place in October and November that will make up the early part of the 2015 season.

And while the majors will be held five weeks apart again in 2016, the Quicken Loans National is unlikely to return to its typical late-June spot on the calendar. Then, the event, which will return to Congressional Country Club, is tentatively slotted to be held Memorial Day weekend, wrapping up on May 29.

“The Tour hasn’t even finalized the ‘15 schedule, so I don’t have any information on the 2016 schedule right now,” Antolini said.

Tournament organizers announced in March that the event would be held next year at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club, which has hosted the Presidents Cup four times, last in 2005. Congressional, which hosted the event from 2007 through 2009 and again since 2012, will host it in 2016, 2018 and 2020.

Antolini said a venue still has not been chosen for the event in 2017 and in 2019, though it will “absolutely” remain in the metropolitan Washington area.

“I mean, this event really is a greater D.C. region event, a Mid-Atlantic event,” Antolini said. “We’re excited about the potential: The new crop of fans that may not have been exposed to the event here, or may not have come to this event this year for whatever reason. But we think that it’s going to be a great week.”

Hurley completes top-10 finish

Billy Hurley, a Leesburg, Virginia, native and Naval Academy graduate, shot an even-par 71 on Sunday to finish tied for eighth with a 1-under 283.

“I played nicely,” Hurley said. “I’d certainly want a couple of shots, a couple of putts back on the back nine, but I felt like I played nicely and hung in there on the back. I certainly had a chance to do a lot better, but it is what it is, and we’ll take 1-under around this place pretty much every time.”

Hurley played in the U.S. Open and Travelers Championship, and will head west on Monday night to play in the Greenbrier Classic this week in West Virginia before playing in the John Deere Classic next week. It’ll cap a stretch of five weeks in a row in PGA Tour events — and it could be six if he qualifies in either event to play in the British Open.

“It would be awesome,” Hurley said. “It would be a great experience. I’ve never played a British. I played in my first major at the U.S. Open a couple weeks ago, so to get the second one pretty quick after it is pretty cool.”

Four secure British Open slots

By finishing in the top 12 at the Quicken Loans National, Shawn Stefani, Charley Hoffman, Ben Martin and Brendan Steele have earned spots in the British Open, which begins July 17 at Royal Liverpool in Hoylake. It will be the first appearance in the tournament for all but Hoffman, who will play for the fourth time.

“I tried not to think about it,” Martin said, knowing he could qualify for the event. “I’ve never played a British Open, a British [Amateur] or anything, so I’m pretty excited to head over there. It will be a new experience — and a learning experience, for sure.”

Chip shots

Peter Hanson made the only hole-in-one of the event when he aced the par-3 2nd on Saturday. It was the first hole-in-one on the PGA Tour for Hanson, a native of Sweden who has played 70 events over 10 years and splits his time on the European Tour. He used a 4-iron on the hole, which played to 223 yards on Saturday, and the ball bounced four times before striking the flag and dropping in. … Rory Sabbatini completed his final round in one hour and 55 minutes on Sunday, shooting a birdie-free 7-over-par 78 to finish the week at 16-over. Sabbatini, first off the tee at 8:30 a.m., played alone because 75 players made the cut.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide