June 04, 2018

Pros to face challenging test at TPC Potomac

When golf’s current World No. 1 ranked player Justin Thomas arrived at TPC Potomac for the 2017 Quicken Loans National, he was blunt in his thoughts about the golf course.

“You could 100 percent host a U.S. Open here, starting tomorrow,” he said. “You really could.”

Billy Hurley III, the 2016 Quicken Loans National champion, echoed the same sentiments.

“There are no low scores here,” Hurley said of the course in 2017.

As the 2018 Quicken Loans National approaches — the second year of playing the event at the renovated TPC Potomac — both players weren’t wrong in their pre-tournament assessments. TPC Potomac finished as the hardest non-major course on tour in the 2017 season and the fourth hardest test on TOUR behind only the PGA Championship, The Masters, and Open Championship. The 2017 Quicken Loans National played more difficult than both The Players Championship and the U.S Open.

Behind its penal rough, tight fairways, and lightning-fast greens, TPC Potomac flexed its muscles as a force to be reckoned with on the PGA TOUR. The 11thhole, a par 4, played as the hardest hole on the entire PGA TOUR,scoring closer to a par 5 than a par 4. Similarly, 12 of the 18 holes at TPC Potomac played over par.

Because of these difficult scores, the course earned a new respect due to themajor-esque challenge where scoring was earned, not given. TPC Potomac thus garnered rave reviews by the PGA TOUR pros who played it, with World No. 6 Rickie Fowler leading the praise after a 3rdplace finish and a 9-birdie final round.

“I think it’s a great track,” said Fowler in his post-tournament assessment. “It was a real test of golf.”

Victorious after a one-hole playoff, 2017 Quicken Loans National champion Kyle Stanley also heaped praise on the course. He labeled TPC Potomac as “a great layout” and one that “tests every aspect of your game.” He will be returning to defend his title this year.

With the return of the Quicken Loans National to TPC Potomac fast approaching, much of the fanfare will surround Tiger Woods as he looks to capture his third tournament title. Woods, who has made 9/10 cuts on the 2018 season with five 12thplace or better finishes, will face a major-like challenge at his debut at the course. But with Woods being 14-time major champion, it’s likely he’s up for the challenge.