The Quicken Loans National has been a part of the PGA Tour for 10 years now. Hosted by Tiger Woods for the benefit of his foundation, the event has visited three venues previously and this year it travels to a fourth as TPC Potomac is welcomed back as a PGA Tour venue.
Those involved with TPC Potomac were disappointed when top level golf stopped being held at the Maryland venue but nobody was surprised. Problems with drainage and the way that world class players used to bully the layout meant that its position had become untenable. So, a major renovation project was undertaken with all 18 holes undergoing significant changes and it’s slowly been reintroduced to the world’s best golfers.
Both the Champions Tour and the Web.com Tour have visited TPC Potomac in recent years and the one lesson that can be drawn from those tournaments is that this is no pushover any more. Now playing as a par 70, TPC Potomac can stretch to just over 7,100 yards from the back tees. That makes it a real test of distance from the tee but the real challenge is posed by the Bentgrass greens. They are very tough to read and level the field out from a putting perspective. That puts a premium on hitting top quality approach shots close to the flag while those who hit their irons high with a lot of stop should have an advantage.
Can Reed Finally Close an Event Out?
It’s been a tough few months for Patrick Reed. Nobody in golf is in any doubt that the American has the talent and the belief to win the very biggest tournaments but his game has been letting him down recently. Whether it’s by throwing in a couple of shocking holes to ruin a round or by just failing to get going in the key stages, Reed’s not kicked on as he would have hoped or expected this year.
Reed threatened to win both the U.S. Open and last week’s Travelers Championship but just couldn’t take that final step. Those near misses should stand him in good stead, as should his dependable high, drawing ball flight. At odds of 16/1 with Betfred, Reed looks the best placed of the shorter priced favourites in Maryland.
Stanley’s Ball Striking Can Provide Win Number Two
When looking for players with top quality ball striking and approach play, Kyle Stanley really catches the eye at odds of 45/1 with Bet365. The 29-year-old American ranks fourth on the PGA Tour for strokes gained approaching the green and with an average driving distance of 295 yards he’s got all the power needed for TPC Potomac.
Stanley has not won on the PGA Tour since 2012 but recent results have been encouraging. He finished in the top 10 at the Memorial, the Players Championship and the Shell Houston Open in recent months, with each performance bringing a welcome confidence boost. If Stanley makes the most of that confidence and takes an aggressive approach to tackling TPC Potomac, he could well get very close to win number two at odds of 45/1 with Bet365.