Cutting in the Capital


AT&T NationalBETHESDA, Md. ' AT&T National may be the worst cut to miss all year. If youre two and out at Congressional you miss Saturdays fireworks display at the National Mall, the best crab cakes outside of Baltimore and a chance to play perhaps the Tours best layout outside the majors.
As in life, some weekends are better than others.
Made Cut
  • Anthony Kim: Slowed by a litany of injuries, a fluctuating waist line and fatigue that stemmed from a non-existent off-season, the AT&T National defending champion picked a good time to round back into top form.
    Its no coincidence, however, that Kims game is coming around. He spent three full days at Trump International in New Jersey before the U.S. Open working with swing coach Adam Schreiber. Its the type of mini-camp that was missing before because of the onset of so many ailments.
    It really started coming together there, Schreiber said. It was his (left) thumb that had been hurting the most. Every swing he would feel it, but hes starting to be able to swing now.
    Just after a Tiger Woods vs. Phil Mickelson Sunday bout, a Kim vs. Woods final-round marquee may be the games best one-two punch.
  • Erik Compton: His entire life, Compton has resisted the urge to ask, why me? So when the universe recently dealt him another bad hand he took good karma to the extreme.
    Compton, the two-time heart transplant recipient, broke his right hand June 7 while loading his boat onto a trailer. He was scheduled to play this week at Congressional on a sponsor's exemption but was forced to withdraw.
    Instead of stewing at home in south Florida over his bad luck, Compton made the trip to Washington to visit with wounded soldiers and spend a few minutes with tournament host Woods.
    He called and asked if he could come up and do anything, said Greg McLaughlin, president of the Tiger Woods Foundation and AT&Ts tournament director. He said hed just go crazy sitting around the house. Hes a really special guy.

    Made Cut ' Did not finish (MDF)
  • Drug Testing: Its been a year since PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem offered a ceremonial first sample here at Congressional and the sport remains as untarnished by the steroids scourge as it was 12 months ago.
    That doesnt mean, however, all is perfect in the world of PEDs (performance-enhancing drugs). Some players have complained that the process is intrusive and poorly timed, and critics contend the Tours policy is not transparent enough.
    And, of course, there are the obvious disconnects.
    On Thursday at AT&T National Tim Herron, who should never be confused for a steroids user, was pulled for testing. Or, as one player joked as Herron headed toward the clubhouse: Drug testing? They checking for nicotine?
    The ability to provide a sample on demand has also been a bit of an issue. When asked how to fix the problem another player offered simply: Get rid of all the Port-a-Johns on (No.) 17.'
  • Grooves: That Finchem put the U groove debate to bed this week at Congressional seems perfectly apropos.
    Finchem ' a former policy wonk for the Jimmy Carter administration who knows his way around the Inner Loop of the Beltway ' used all of his political savvy to at least publicly quell player unrest and nix a possible one-year wait to implement the new rule.
    What remains to be seen is how the new rule impacts play on Tour ' most players didnt think there will be a drastic adjustment but few have actually tested wedges with the new grooves ' and how players will react to having their opinions brushed aside by the Tour.
    If Tim wanted a union, hes got one now, said one player who noted that a healthy cross section of the Tour was in favor of delaying the rule one year.

    Missed Cut
  • AT&T National Field: It is curious when a great golf course ' a layout, it must be noted, that will host the U.S. Open in two years ' a $6 million purse and cushy date wedged between two major championships draws a less-than-stellar field. When that tournament is hosted by the games alpha male it is staggering.
    AT&T National drew just four of the top 12 players in the world ranking this year, a collective snub that is only partially explained by the traditional pre-British Open exodus of many Europeans back to the continent.
    Every player, caddie, Tour official, network executive and golf writer should cut Woods in for a portion of their yearly salary, because the game is where it is now because of him. Teeing it up at Congressional on the Fourth of July holiday seems a small price to pay.
  • Economy/LPGA: Kapalua pulled out of its commitment to the LPGA event with four years remaining on a five-year contract this week which means that Michelle Wie, arguably the tours top draw, does not have a stop in her home state of Hawaii.
    No Wie in Hawaii is akin to 'Late Night' without David Letterman. Some things dont make economic sense. And some things are simply senseless.
  • Jim Brown: Were still flummoxed by the NFL Hall of Famers blind-sided remarks regarding Tiger Woods on HBOs 'Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel,' particularly as we watch a sea of military faces enjoy a well-deserved respite this week at Congressional.
    As esteemed golf writer Dan Jenkins once penned, There are point-missers and then there are the rest of us.
    Perhaps Brown is missing something.

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