Really, aren't they going to give Medinah a run soon for most renovations by a course miraculously beloved by the Golf Digest panel?
This time--like every other time in recent memory--the condition of the putting surfaces is the culprit. But hey, it gets them out of the 2009 U.S. Amateur, where they figured to lose money anyway.
Leonard Shapiro reports in the Washington Post:
The 2009 U.S. Amateur golf championship will not be played at Congressional Country Club as scheduled and will be moved to another site, most likely Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, according to sources at the Bethesda club and the United States Golf Association.
Concerns among PGA Tour players and club and USGA officials about the state of Congressional's putting surfaces during the inaugural AT&T National tournament in July prompted the decision.
The club plans to redo the greens on its championship Blue course and will begin the work in the summer of 2009, almost two full years before it is scheduled to host the U.S. Open in June 2011.
The USGA also wants to tweak some bunkers, fairways and tee boxes on the course before the 2011 Open, and the implementation of those fixes also will begin almost immediately after the 2009 AT&T National, Washington's PGA Tour stop hosted by Tiger Woods.
No need to tweak. Just rip the entire thing up and start over. No one will miss it.
Earlier this summer, Woods and several other PGA Tour players complained about the speed of the greens during tournament week. One source indicated that club members were not happy to read the criticism from the No. 1 player in the world and that some Congressional members and USGA officials were concerned about the greens even before the event.
The decision to move the Amateur also is expected to result in Woods's tournament remaining at Congressional in 2009. Last spring, club members overwhelmingly voted to approve a contract to host the event in 2007 and 2008. Woods has said he would like to play the tournament at the storied course off River Road every year, and the decision to reschedule the Amateur now clears the way for 2009, pending approval of the membership.
A club source also said last night that the PGA Tour had approached Congressional about playing Woods's event at the club in May 2009 instead of July, the better to give the course time to recover before the U.S. Amateur. But the club apparently had no interest in hosting two tournaments in the same year.