Furyk looking to build at Congressional


With most of the big boys sitting out Quicken Loans National at the Congressional Country Club after last week's U.S. Open, there will be plenty eyeing a rare PGA Tour win in Bethesda, Maryland.

Jim Furyk will be hungry to build on his brilliant performance on the tough Oakmont greens last week, where he did enough to secure tied second.

But he will face competition from defending champion Troy Merritt, who set the tournament record by finishing 18-under par Robert Trent Jones Golf Club last year.

This season's edition will be the 10th running of a tournament that has seen champions such as Tiger Woods (2) and Justin Rose (2) lift the crown multiple times.



Nobody else in the field at Congressional came close to matching Furyk's showing at the U.S. Open.

Furyk is up to 19 in the world rankings and will hope his momentum can help carry him to an 18th PGA Tour success..

That result at Oakmont was an isolated success for Furyk in what has been a quiet season for him thus far.

The 2003 U.S. Open champion has only made five starts in 2016 after overcoming a wrist injury, missing the cut twice and finishing equal 35th and equal 52nd outside of his display last week. Furyk has three top-10 finishes at Congressional.


A possible thunderstorm on Thursday is the only concern for organisers ahead of the first round.

The par-71 course spans 7,569 yards and features some tricky bunkers along the way. The approach on the fifth hole can be particularly dangerous, with bunkers either side of the green.


Rickie Fowler has seven top-10 finishes from his 14 starts this season, but the world number six has only been able to record one victory in 2016.

That win came on the European Tour in Abu Dhabi but, with the likes of world number one Jason Day, U.S. Open winner Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth not taking part this week, Fowler might see this as his best chance claim a fourth PGA Tour triumph after finishing second behind Merritt last year.


Merritt has just one top 10 to his name since his maiden PGA Tour win last year, which came at the Arnold Palmer Invitational as he claimed tied third.

His third-round 61 set up his 18-under finish in August 2015, with Fowler left to settle for runner-up despite recording the second hole-in-one of his career.

The 30-year-old may be struggling for form but is excited about his impending title defence, saying: "First and foremost, I would say it's a little bit weird.

"But I'm excited to play. Congressional really didn't fit my eye back in 2014. I was hitting a fade off the tee. It's very hard to play Congressional with a fade. Now I'm hitting it a lot straighter and even turning it over a little bit.

"If I can do that out here and chip and putt like I know I can, I think I might be able to give it a run on Sunday."