Every year since Quicken Loans took over as sponsor of the QL National, I loved the irony of loans and the US government being so close to one another considering how much in debt we are as a nation. Golf time again.
About the Sponsor
Watching the Canadian Open the other day, and there was a commercial for Quicken Loans. Apparently they’re the official mortgage company for the PGA Tour! Wonder how much they had to pay to be able to say that. If I wanted to say I’m the official “preview writer” for the PGA Tour, how much would I have to dish out?
Back to the regularly scheduled section. They might as well call this the Dan Gilbert National, cause dude loves putting his name and the name of his company all over the sports world. He owns the Cleveland Cavilers, the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters, the Arena Football League’s Cleveland Gladiators and the NBA D League’s Canton Charge.
Despite owning all these sports franchises, according to Google, Dan Gilbert is most well known for his stupid letter after LeBron left Cleveland.
In it, he cries about how terrible it is that LeBron is leaving his hometown and how the Cavs will win a championship before LeBron does. Yeah right. A few first round picks later, LeBron comes back and the Cavs are relevant again, no thanks to Gilbert.
Gilbert and Quicken Loans are also leading an initiative to revitalize Detroit. Or something like that. Basically, they’re buying up a bunch of buildings and providing money to get people to move and start companies there with the hope that their investments make them a boatload of money. With his net worth creeping towards 5 billion, nobody’s saying he doesn’t know what he’s doing.
About the Tournament
If there’s one thing you need to know about the National, it’s Tiger. Just like Jack has the Memorial, Arnie has, well, the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Tiger decided to associate himself with and host this tournament.
Started in 2007 at the AT&T National, Quicken Loans decided to take on being the sponsor. Clearly the only piece of information we can gather from this is that Sprint and their unlimited data won.
This is one of the five tour events with “invitational” status, meaning that it gets special privileges or options that other normal tournaments do not. But basically, they can have fewer players (120 in the case of the National) and have more options on deciding who gets to play. In case you’re wondering, the others are the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the RBC Heritage, the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, and the Memorial Tournament.
Also big news, I edited wikipedia! I was reading my number one news source when I realized that it said the tournament is “held either during late June or during the Fourth of July weekend.” A quick check of the date, and obviously this little piece of information is incorrect. I decided to take matters into my own hands and add that the event has a different date in 2015! Check out my handiwork at the link to the tournament’s wikipedia page. You could also probably just read that instead of reading this section I just wrote.
About the Course
New course this year! Moving away from Congressional CC, the tournament goes to Robert Trent Jones Golf Club, also just outside DC area.
RTJ has built a billion of courses (give or take), but he must really like this one since he put his name on it. Actually, I suppose he likes to put his name on a lot of things. That Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail consists of 11 different golf sites with 468 holes, and they all technically have his name attached. But what the hell, might as well stick your name on more golf courses. That’s just good branding.
Though the course is new to the PGA Tour, it’s been relevant to the golfing world for around 20 years now after hosting the Presidents Cup 4 times since 1994, the latest in 2005.
Listed at 7,385 yards, par 71, the course features water along side many of the holes, but only really comes into play one of the par 3 11th hole.
I’m looking forward to the new course. As much fun as being able to see a US Open course being played on the PGA Tour, I like switching it up a bit.
Justin Rose bested Shawn Stefani in a one hole playoff with a par. This came after Rose drained a 15 foot putt for bogey on the 72nd hole to force that playoff. Funny how all people seem to talk about when mentioning the past is the last few holes. It’s like the 71 holes before had no effect on the outcome.
Scores for the entire week were pretty high, with -4 being the winning score, and only 10 guys under par. Guess that’s what we would expect from a US Open course, but don’t know if that’s as much fun to watch as a birdie fest is.
What to Watch For
Tiger? — Tiger gets a question mark this week instead of his normal exclamation point cause he’s playing, but ain’t nobody got a clue how he’s gonna do.
Dan Gilbert — If you couldn’t tell from that section above about him, he’s probably going to be hanging around the tournament schmoozing with Tdubs the whole week.
A relatively weak field — Kind of surprising for a tournament hosted by Tiger, but we only got 3 players in the top 15 in the world here. Defending champ Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, and Jimmy Walker. I guess that players don’t want to play three weeks in a row with a WGC right after this and then the PGA Championship. Maybe that and the impending FedEx Cup events near after the PGA and you’re looking at 5 out of 6 weeks playing golf. The guys must not want to make that 6 out of 7 weeks.
The new course — As always with a new location, it’s fun to try to figure out who’s going to play well considering not many players have played the course before. Only a few guys, like Tiger, Ernie, Vijay, and Angel are in the field and have played the course in competition, and that wasn’t stroke play. Fun to see what kind of scores they’ll have out there.