The PGA Tour is in Pennsylvania this week for the AT&T National at Aronimink Golf Club. Justin Rose defends the title but is up against a field that contains 11 Major champions.
Originally designed by renowned course architect Donald Ross back in 1928, the layout at Aronimink was remodelled by Ron Pritchard in 2000. At over 7,000 yards, it’s a long par 70 with just two par 5s and numerous long par 4s to contend with. Aronimink was the venue for the PGA Championship of 1962 won by Gary Player.
The course was also host to last year’s AT&T but, from 2012, the tournament will return to the venue for this year’s US Open – Congressional Country Club.
Aronimink is not a track that will be overpowered by the PGA Tour’s finest, in fact it’s one of the toughest courses on the circuit (fourth hardest in 2010.) It’s a layout where avoiding mistakes will be as important as making birdies.
In last year’s tournament England’s Justin Rose narrowly held on down the stretch to finish one shot clear of Ryan Moore. Rose had been five clear with just nine holes to play but bogeys at the 10th and 11th made things a good deal tighter. Moore fired in a birdie at the 17th then made a par at the last to shoot 65. At that stage Rose’s lead was cut to one. But the Englishman held steady and parred his way in to take the victory.
Rose returns to defend his title and Ryan Moore is back at Aronimink to see if he can go one better this season. There are 11 former Major winners on the start sheet for the event including Ernie Els, Vijay Singh, Geoff Ogilvy and Justin Leonard. Other than Rose, the only other Brit teeing it up this week is Brian Davis.
Venue: Aronimink Golf Club, Pennsylvania
Date: Jun 30 – Jul 3
Course stats: par 70, 7,237 yards
Purse: $6,200,000 Winner: $1,116,000
Defending Champion: Justin Rose (-10)
Thursday 30 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Friday 1 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Saturday 2 – Live on Sky Sports 2 from 6pm
Sunday 3 – Live on Sky Sports 2 from 6pm
Nick Watney – He’s the best placed player on the PGA Tour money list starting this week. He was tied 13th last week and seventh in this tournament last year.
K.J Choi – The Korean has five top-10 finishes on the 2011 PGA Tour including a victory at The Players Championship. He’s a former winner of this event back in 2007.
Adam Scott – The Australian is one of the best players from tee to green on the PGA Tour. Aronimink places a great emphasis on straight hitting and that should suit Scotty.
Key hole: 17th. A 215 yard par 3 that plays downhill. There’s a steep bank short and left of the green and anything that just misses the surface could roll down into the lake. There could be big scoring swings on this hole.
Skills required: Long irons. The shortest par 4 on the course is 393 yards and three of the four par 3s measure over 200 yards. As such, the players will often find themselves firing long irons into the putting surfaces.
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