USA Team vice-captain Tiger Woods leaves the opening ceremony of the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota. File photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
Tiger Woods has missed numerous tournaments over the past few seasons because of his ongoing back problems, and he wasn't going to play this week in the Quicken Loans National, which benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation.
However, Woods isn't even expected to be at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm in Potomac, Md., to perform his normal duties as tournament host.
"We haven't been told anything official, but my hunch is that he won't be here," a tournament source said. "He has other things going on in his life right now. I expect he will announce something on his website, because that's the way he usually does things."
Woods was arrested on a DUI charge in the early hours of May 29 in Jupiter, Fla., when police reportedly found him asleep behind the wheel of his parked car at the side of the road several miles from his home.
After Breathalyzer tests revealed no trace of alcohol in his system, Woods said that he had a reaction to prescription drugs he was taking. He later announced on Twitter that he is undergoing treatment to manage his prescription drugs use.
Woods' DUI arrangement is scheduled for Aug. 9.
"He's been in just immense pain for so very long that taking prescribed medication was a must just to be able to get up and move," said Mark Steinberg, Woods' agent with Excel Sports Management. "I don't think it's fair to say there is an addiction."
Because of his treatment, Woods probably will be a no-show for the 11th edition of what started out as the AT&T National in 2007 at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md., northwest of Washington.
The tournament has been played seven times at Congressional and now will be held there every other year. It makes its debut at TPC Potomac on Thursday.
"My foundation is deeply committed to the D.C. area with our three learning centers and Earl Woods Scholarship Program students," Woods said in announcing the fourth host course in tournament history.
"We are excited to take the Quicken Loans National to another top course in the area that will challenge our strong field."
The course formerly was known as TPC Avenel and hosted the PGA Tour's Kemper Open (later the Booz Allen Classic) from 1987-2006, with Tom Kite, Adam Scott of Australia, Steve Stricker, Justin Leonard, Lee Janzen, Gil Morgan, Ben Curtis, Stuart Appleby of Australia, Rory Sabbatini of South Africa and Mark Brooks among the champions.
Mark O'Meara captured the 2010 Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship, a major on the PGA Tour Champions, at TPC Potomac after the layout underwent a major renovation.
The National also was played at Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown Square, Pa., in 2010 and 2011, and at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Va., two years ago.
Woods captured the tournament in 2009 and 2012 at Congressional but was especially proud last year to present the trophy to Billy Hurley III, a 2004 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy who spent five years on active duty before being able to pursue his golf career full-time.
The National always has a strong military presence because Woods' late father, Earl, was a Green Beret in the U.S. Army who served two tours of duty in Vietnam.
"Couldn't script a better one for me to win my first PGA Tour win," Hurley said after beating Vijay Singh by three strokes at Congressional, not far from the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., where he lives.
"Grew up on one side of D.C., live on the other side of D.C. and then (to win) the premier military event. ... I'm just thrilled to have gotten it done today."
Hurley, who led after 54 holes, made a bogey on the 12th hole in the final round. His lead was down to one stroke before he chipped in for a birdie from 35 yards on the 15th hole.
One hole later, he sank a 27-foot birdie putt before two finishing pars capped a 2-under-par 69, his highest score of the week.
"The way he handled himself down the stretch for his first win was awfully impressive," said Woods, who greeted Hurley with a hug behind the 18th green. "He's a guy who served his country and for him to win a tournament that celebrates the military more than any other is really apropos."
Hurley will defend his title this week against the likes of Rickie Fowler, Patrick Reed, Justin Thomas, 2013 National winner Bill Haas, Billy Horschel, 2011 winner Nick Watney, Keegan Bradley, J.B. Holmes, Martin Laird of Scotland, Marc Leishman of Australia, Jimmy Walker and 2015 champion Troy Merritt.
However, the player who wins this time probably won't be accepting the trophy from Woods.