For the first time since the country celebrated its bicentennial year of 1976, the PGA Tour makes its annual stop at the TPC at Southwind (par 71, 7,030 yards) in May.
The event, for 27 consecutive seasons, had been contested in June and beyond, meaning players could start a round wearing one color shirt and end it wearing an entirely different shade ' without making a change.
The change in date should shave a few degrees off the thermometer, but players will still be sweating it out ' some more so than others.
This is the final week for players to qualify for the U.S. Open via earnings and the world rankings.
The top 10 on the PGA Tour money list, top 2 on the European Tour money list, and the top 50 on the Official World Golf Ranking as of May 31 will be exempted into the seasons second major championship.
John Daly is the most notable Open outsider in attendance this week. He dropped from 12th to 15th on the money list after skipping the Bank of America Colonial. He is now $177,192 behind No. 10 Sergio Garcia.
Mark Hensby, at No. 30, is the only other player, not otherwise exempt, in the top 30 on the money list who is trying to qualify for the Open this week.
Daly is also close to qualifying through the world ranking. He is currently ranked 54th. He tied for fifth at this event in 2001; that is his only top 10 in 12 career starts.
Loren Roberts (58th in the world), Geoff Ogilvy (68) and 2001 FedEx champion Bob Estes (69) are also on hand trying to play their ways into the Open.
David Toms wont have to worry about qualifying for the U.S. Open for quite some time; as the 2001 PGA champion hes exempt until 2006.
Toms is also the reigning FedEx champion. Unlike his first win of the 2003 season at the Wachovia Championship, he didnt limp into the winners circle in Memphis; rather he shot 7-under 64 on Sunday to race past the field.
The victory was his ninth on tour and his most recent to date. He had only one top-10 finish over his final nine starts in 2003 and then underwent surgery in December to remove bone spurs in his left wrist.
After missing the first seven events of this season, Toms tied for ninth in the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship and tied for fifth at Doral. But he has missed five of his last seven cuts, including at the Players Championship, Masters and the Wachovia, where he was also the defending champion.
Defending ones title is never easy, in particular at this event. Dave Hill won back-to-back in 1969 and 70. Lee Trevino then accomplished the same thing the following two years. No one, however, has since done it.
Hill is a four-time FedEx champion, also winning in 1967 and '73. Trevino added a third title to his credit in 1980. Trevino also finished runner-up in his three-peat bid in 1973 and in 78.
Nick Price is the most recent player to win this tournament on multiple occasions, doing so in 1993 and 98.
Price is not in the field this week. He also skipped last weeks Bank of America Colonial ' where he likewise is a two-time champion ' to compete in the Deutsche Bank-SAP Open in Germany.
Price shot 65-62 over the weekend last year to finish runner-up to Toms.