Wednesday, July 2, 2008

WaPo: Congressional Recommends National 2012-2017

Len Shapiro with the news from the Monday conference call with Woods from Orlando.

During a 25-minute conference call with reporters, Woods said he was not certain when he will be able to play competitive golf again and revealed he has had a sore left knee his entire professional career. He also said he was "very excited" that Congressional's board of directors has recommended that the club's membership approve a proposed new contract that would keep the tournament at the Bethesda course at least through 2017.

But if Congressional's membership approves, the AT&T National will be back in the Washington area from 2012 to 2017. The board has recommended a three-year contract starting in 2012, with a three-year option on the deal that would keep the event at the club through 2017. Congressional is expected to earn about $1.5 million a year over the length of the contract, which still must be approved by a majority of the full membership.

A membership meeting to discuss the proposal is scheduled for July 29, and the mail ballot vote is expected to be completed by Aug. 19. More than 90 percent of the members voted last year to approve the initial contract for the first two years of the tournament (2007-08), and more than 80 percent voted again for a one-year extension for the 2009 event.

Certainly good news for the area's golf scene. But, how about the site for the event in 2010 and 2011?

Greg McLaughlin, the tournament chairman and executive director of the Tiger Woods Foundation, said he has been scouting potential venues for those two year, but no decision is imminent. Several sources indicated yesterday that Aronimink Golf Club outside Philadelphia is among the leading candidates to stage the tournament, though the foundation also may look at other cities without a PGA Tour event, including Baltimore, Minneapolis and St. Louis.

Perhaps Baltimore Country Club? The contract to hold the Senior Players Championship there expires in 2010, so this could align the stars since WaPo has previously reported that the course formerly known as TPC Avenel might take over as host of that event.

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