As players begin to gear up for the season's third major, Congressional Country Club plays host to the AT&T National. Just two years removed from hosting the U.S. Open, the venerable layout will host a field of players hoping to pick up valuable FedEx Cup points as the calendar turns to July.
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Defending champion Tiger Woods will serve as event host this week, but will not be able to play due to an elbow injury. Here are 10 players to watch this week in Washington:
1. Jason Day: Making his first start since a runner-up at Merion, the Aussie returns to Congressional, where he was also second at the 2011 U.S. Open. Day now has five top-10s to his credit this year and appears poised for another successful week.
2. Hunter Mahan: Following a strong showing at the U.S. Open, Mahan started well in Hartford with a Thursday 62 but failed to back it up across the weekend. No one outside of Woods can match his record in this event when staged at Congressional; in four appearances, he has finished no worse than T-12, including a runner-up finish in 2009.
3. Adam Scott: The reigning Masters champion is the highest-ranked player in this week's field and has shown little if any let up while playing a limited schedule since his major triumph. The Aussie now returns to an event where he was third a year ago and will have the comfort factor of an all-Australian pairing with Day and Marc Leishman for the first two rounds.
4. Billy Horschel: Arguably the hottest player on Tour since April, Horschel has six top-10 finishes in his last eight starts, including a T-4 finish at Merion. After beginning the year outside the top 300 in the OWGR, the former Gator standout is now inside the top 40 and shows no signs of slowing down.
5. Graham DeLaet: Like Horschel, DeLaet has been hot this season, with his career-best third place finish in Hartford his fifth top-26 result in as many starts. The Canadian ranks second on Tour in total driving and made the cut last year in his lone Congressional appearance.
6. Brandt Snedeker: Coming off a T-17 finish at the U.S. Open, the reigning FedEx Cup champion is still looking to regain his early-season form. Snedeker ranks fourth on Tour in both birdie average and the all-around ranking and tied for fifth in this event in 2009.
7. Jim Furyk: Furyk will hope to rebound from a disappointing missed cut at Merion, and Congressional is a venue the veteran is likely glad to see. The former FedEx Cup champion tied for third in this event both in 2007 and 2008, adding a tie for seventh a year later. Of his 16 career rounds at Congressional in this event, 11 have been in the 60s.
8. Bo Van Pelt: A runner-up last year, Van Pelt has made eight consecutive cuts this season, with four resulting in top-25 finishes. The veteran has made the cut in each of his five career appearances at Congressional, including a tie for 12th in 2008 and a tie for 14th at the 2011 U.S. Open.
9. Rickie Fowler: Fowler salvaged an otherwise disappointing week in Connecticut with a Sunday 64 that gave him a T-13 finish on the heels of a top-10 result at Merion. Though he missed the cut at the 2011 U.S. Open in his lone Congressional appearance, the 24-year-old ranks in the top 30 on Tour in both scoring average (28th) and the all-around (25th).
10. David Lingmerth: Though the Swede surprised many with his runner-up at TPC Sawgrass, he's played well since then, with top-20 finishes at both Colonial and Merion. After missing five consecutive cuts earlier this year, Lingmerth appears to have found his game and has shown a propensity for playing well on difficult courses this season.