With everyone exhausted from US Open recaps and USGA hot takes, it’s time to look ahead to The Quicken Loans National at Congressional C.C. (aka The Democratic Republic of Congo Country Club per Tron Carter) in Bethesda. Held in late July last season, The
Quicken Sub-Prime National is back in the post-US Open position this year with most heavyweights (and let’s face it, most of last week’s TV audience) taking the week off. Big Cat is roaming the premises playing host for his foundation, and hopefully he stops by the booth for a jargon fueled discussion around Call of Duty tactics and gluteus activation. Alas, I have a feeling that slimy Dan Gilbert will be holding court with CBS as well.
First-time winner and First-Team ALL-#LPCP member Troy Merritt posted an 18 under with weekend rounds of 61 and 67 to best The Rick-tator and Little Swede at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club. It’s worth noting that Justin Rose won in a play-off over Shawn Stefani (no relation to Gwen but he welcomes the association) two years ago when it was last hosted at Congo (Rose isn’t in the field this week).
Congressional Country Club – The Blue Course
Congo Country Club dates back to the Pre-Great-Depression early 20th century, and it’s founding members include five former presidents (Taft, Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover). What was once a place of refuge for congressmen, lobbyists, and anyone involved in poli-tricks, is now only congressional by name. The course was built by two congressmen from Indiana, yet today’s politicians rarely take their mulligans from Congressional’s tee boxes. Per Don Van Natta in this classic Grantland piece (RIP, but seriously, that’s an excellent piece on The Congo by Washington Post reporter Jason Horowitz):
“Congressional is sort of the wannabe power center of golf courses in the D.C. area…it doesn’t attract as many rounds of congressmen and senators as some other courses do.”
Today, Congressional is known as one of the best courses on the PGA Tour circuit, although it is not above criticism. Redesigned by Rees Jones in 2006 to beef it up for the U.S. Open, The Blue Course is long, tough, and situated on a nice piece of property though still forced to wear that 2011 U.S. Open “disaster” as a scarlet letter. There were congressional hearings about how many birds were decimated by Rory and the gang that year, and I’m pretty sure PETA got involved. Rory shot 16 under. Am I the only one who misses unkept Jumeirah look?
Winners Share: $1,242,000
(all lines courtesy Ladbrokes.com, the Official Bookmaker of NoLayingUp.com)
Rickie Fowler (12/1) and Patrick Reed (16/1) are the brand names this week even after poor showings in PA. After a strong finish at Oakmont, Jim Furyk (16/1) is far from a sleeper on another US Open caliber course that rewards a grinder. Though he finished +8, ‘The ambassador of #TourSauce,’ Justin Thomas (25/1), poured in birdies last week and looks close to putting together another win. Former champ Bill Haas (33/1) has a strong track record at Congo and has had a solid season full of top 10’s and top 20’s (per usual) – expect him to contend and cash checks.
Roberto Castro (40/1): – T-11 at Memorial and 2nd at Quail Hollow, Castro is playing well on big-boy tracks with strong finishes on the weekends.
Jon Rahm (80/1): Low amateur at the US Open last week, the Spaniard is making his pro debut and has proven he can play on a lengthy track.
James Hahn (100/1): After a play-off win over Castro at Quail Hollow, 100/1 seems like solid value for Hahn, who has made the cut every week since Charlotte.
Spencer Levin (100/1): This one is for Big Randy and Tron. After Spence’s Melt-down last week, we all hope he bounces back with a strong showing and at least half as much passion. #SpenceFuqs
— SB Nation (@SBNation) June 18, 2016
The vibe around Congressional should mirror a Chesapeake OysterFest with the lobbyist breaking out the 2016 Masters polo’s and pretending the expansive Congo clubhouse is a Berckman’s Equivalent. The sheilas will be donning unnecessarily large brimmed hats while sipping Mimo’s and Bloodies on the expansive clubhouse balconies. Hopefully Slimy Dan doesn’t show up and ruin the Georgetown Alumni soiree…
- NoLayingUp.com got a re-design over the weekend. We tried to keep things simple and understated, and we will continue tweaking the layout and adding small features. We hope this new design will serve as a home base for more consistent content from all four founders and guest contributors as well. Huge thanks to @Matt_McClure and @MattCDowning for their help with the web development.
- The golf fanatics that tune in this week will be watching CBS closely to see how their “traditional” coverage stacks up against some of the innovative things Fox was doing. Tim Collamore had a solid piece on the joys of the Pro-Tracer yesterday, and I know Tron has been deep in the lab watching film and taking notes on what each network is doing well/not-so-well. For me, evaluating the intricacies of the telecast closely has added a new element of interest to watching golf.
- New readers and followers, if you don’t already know, you can check out the No Laying Up merchandise line in our pro shop for #TourSauce T-shirts, hoodies, coozies, and a lot more. Secondly, if you are not already subscribed to the No Laying Up podcast, please do so here. We’ve been pounding out the podcasts lately thanks to the recent feedback, and will continue into the future. For the regular listeners, if you could take two minutes and leave a review and a rating in iTunes, it would help us tremendously.
- If you do tune in this weekend, follow the action on twitter as well – @NoLayingUp, @TronCarterNLU, @BigRandyNLU, and @ngschu.