2013 AT&T National at Congressional Preview, Picks + Predictions Plus the Driver-Off-The-Deck BOLD Play of the Week

So, how did Congressional seek revenge on the game’s best following the birdie plethora massacre that was the 2011 U.S. Open?  Oh, just by playing to a 73.05 average or +2.05 strokes to par for last year’s AT&T National tournament, which was the highest in relation to par for any non-major in 2012.  In fact, the course was so angry that it spewed trees and other objects all over itself before the third round.  Ok, that was actually just a freak storm that was so bad that spectators weren’t even allowed on the grounds for Saturday’s 3rd round.  Anyway, last year’s AT&T National at Congressional played more like the U.S. Open than the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional did.  Get it?  Got it?  Good.

Despite both this year’s U.S. Open champ, Justin Rose, withdrawing from the tourney (fatigue) and tourney host and defending champ Tiger also pulling out (left elbow issue due to HGH wearing off), we still have a solid field for this year’s edition.  Adam Scott, Jason Day, Hunter Mahan, Nick Watney, Bill Haas, Rickie Fowler and others will be teeing it up this week on one of the Tour’s truly great venues.

So, let’s hop into some picks:

LOCKZILLAS: (Last week: Mahan t-24th, Dufner MC)

Jason Day
Jason Day
– What did Jason do to follow up his solo 3rd at the Masters?  Oh, just a t-2nd at Merion, his second top two at the U.S. Open in the past three years with his other second place coming at…you guessed it, Congressional in 2011.  Major talent on a major venue, JD is a lockzilla pick this week.

Hunter Mahan
Hunter Mahan
– Just hitting it too damn well right now to not find the victory circle at some point.  Fired a first round 62 at the Travelers last week, which followed his t-4th at the U.S. Open at Merion the week before.  How has he fared at Congressional?  Oh, t-8th, t-12th, solo 2nd and t-8th his past four appearances, even held the 36 hole lead here last year.  Total lockzilla-house this week.

SEMI-FLIERS: (Last week: Rollins t-79th, Van Pelt t-43rd)

Graham DeLaet
Graham DeLaet
– LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Graham’s game and promise you that he will be breaking through into the winner’s circle sooner than later.  1st on Tour in GIR, 9th in Driving Distance, 16th in Birdies = due to have those plaid pants hoisting a trophy sooner than later.  Solo 3rd last week at the Travelers, 11 total top 25s on the year.  In fact what the hay, I’ll call for Graham to win the thing this week. (40/1 = yes please).

Martin Laird
Martin Laird
– I’m not sure why, but I don’t ever get excited when it comes to anything Martin Laird.  Nonetheless, he’s got some impressive talent to the tune of  t-21st at Merion, t-5th at the PLAYERS and won the Valero Texas Open, all tough tracks.  Finished t-11th here last year.  Like his backdoor top 5 chances this week.

HOSEL-ROCKET BUSTS: (Last week: Rose t-13th, Keegan t-18th)

Nick Watney
Nick Watney
– The 2011 AT&T National champ (held at Aronomink, not Congressional) has been a mess of late, not only missing cuts, but missing them like two fairways over by-a-mile.  His swing coach Butch Harmon tweeted “must be having personal problems” when he shot 82 in the first round of the Memorial and even though it was probably an out of line thing for Butch to speculate on, you have to wonder what is going on underneath that flat-billed Nike hat of his.  Stay away from Watney this week.

Nicolas Colsaerts
Nicolas Colsaerts
– Missed the cut in the 2011 U.S. Open, his only appearance at Congressional thus far.  The Belgian Bomber is mighty fun to watch, but doesn’t hit enough fairways and will struggle with the deep rough this week.

DRIVER-OFF-THE-DECK BOLD PLAY OF THE WEEK: (Last week: G Day MC)

Scott Stallings
Scott Stallings
– Finished t-4th (Colonial), t-4th (Memorial) and t-2nd (FedEx St Jude Classic) before the brutally tough U.S. Open at Merion (t-53rd).  Still comes in with some seriously red hot momentum and this is typically the time of year when he plays his best golf.  Stallings is your BOLD play of the week!

#isitThursdayyet

Joel Harrington
@joel4deepgolf

Comments

  1. Justin Larson says:

    No love for Ricky again….

    • Rickie is still way too prone to big numbers, superb final round last week at Travelers hopefully will give him some momentum, but tough tracks with long rough and firm greens like Congressional usually give him trouble

  2. John H. says:

    I’m going with Day this week.

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