Even contest shaping at AT&T National
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2011 AT&T National | Preview | 29 Jun 2011
The AT&T National returns this week to the Aronomink Golf Club in Newtown Square near Philadelphia in Pennsylvania.
Tournament host, Tiger Woods, will not be teeing it up this week but his presence at the event commanded the attention of the media during his press conference on Tuesday, most of them desperate to know when he would be back. That question remained unanswered with Woods determined to ensure that when he does return he will be 100% ready to go. There will be no bandaid decisions.
The Arnomink Golf club is a Donald Ross designed layout originally built in the 1920’s and like so much of his work it has stood the test of time although it did go under Robert Trent Jones’s Sr’s knife in the mid 1980’s. The event is being played here for the second of two years but next year will revert to the Congressional Country Club.
Justin Rose was the champion last year after final round that saw him let a five shot 63 hole lead almost slip. He rallied late however to beat Ryan Moore by one.
Rose’s problem this year is that he comes off a series of ordinary tournaments results having missed his last three cuts but prior to that there were several very good tournaments.
Nick Watney is the leading world ranked player and has played well enough in 2011 for him to be a good chance to improve on his 7th place finish in the event last year.
K.J. Choi was playing very well prior to his surprising missed cut at the US Open on a golf course where he had won previously. Choi did not play this event last year but he stands a chance to bounce back from the disappointment of Congressional.
Bo Van Pelt appears to be creeping his way back to the form we saw from him in 2010 and early 2011 and he did finish 11th in this event last year. He is a very good longer shot chance this week I believe.
Ryan Moore has played well in recent weeks and as a player capable of nearly winning last year he will have his fans and so too will Webb Simpson who is putting together several good tournaments of late and is playing much better then when 41st last year.
Amongst the Australians it would not surprise if Marc Leishman did well. He was one of only three Australians to make the cut at Congressional and although he struggled on the final day he appeared happy enough with his game. He finished 7th in this event last year.
Adam Scott, Matt Jones, Geoff Ogilvy, Greg Chalmers, Robert Allenby, Nick O’Hern, Stuart Appleby, Rod Pampling, Michael Sim, Steven Bowditch and Steve Elkington are other Australians in the field.
Scott has retained the services of Steve Williams while Woods continues to recover from the knee and Achilles tendon injuries.
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