The PGA Tour heads for Maryland this week where Billy Hurley III will defend the Quicken Loans National title over TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm.

Billy Hurley III defends the Quicken Loans National but he’ll face strong competition. Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas will tee it up this week at TPC Potomac for the Quicken Loans National. Other big name players in the field include: Players Champion Si Woo Kim, USPGA champion Jimmy Walker, and recent PGA Tour winners Billy Horschel and Kevin Chappell.

This tournament began life in 2007 as the AT&T National. That first event was won by K.J. Choi and since then, Anthony Kim, Tiger Woods, Justin Rose, Nick Watney and Bill Haas have all been champions. Last year Billy Hurley III secured an emotional hometown win by three shots from veteran Vijay Singh. Jon Rahm was third on his professional debut.

Tiger is supposed to be tournament host but it’s likely that he won’t be there this week as he has announced he is seeking help to deal with his reliance on prescription painkillers.

There’s a new venue in use for this year’s tournament but it’s a course that’s no stranger to PGA Tour action. TPC Potomac was host to the old Kemper Open up until the tournament ceased in 2006. Since then the track has been totally overhauled with every hole being modified to a certain extent. In 2009, the course played host to the Senior Players Championship. It looks set to be a tough test.

The weather looks mixed with warm air and an increasing chance of rain and thunderstorms as the weekend approaches.

Venue: TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm, Potomac, Maryland
Date: June 29 – July 2
Course stats: par 70, 7,139 yards
Purse: $7,100,000 Winner: $1,242,000
Defending Champion: Billy Hurley III (-17)

TV Coverage:
Thursday 29 – Sky Sports 4 from 8.30pm
Friday 30 – Sky Sports 4 from 8.30pm
Saturday 1 – Sky Sports 4 from 6pm
Sunday 2 – Sky Sports 4 from 6pm

Player Watch:

Marc Leishman – The Australian has been solid of late with a number of top-20 finishes. He’s good on a testing track and this one should suit him.

Danny Lee – Another golfer from the Southern hemisphere showing good form. The New Zealander was tied third at TPC River Highlands and he enjoyed a couple of fine finishes in the PGA Tour’s “Texas swing.” He’ll be looking to impress in order to secure a Presidents Cup berth.

Billy Horschel – The 2014 FedEx Cup champion appears to have rediscovered his best stuff this season. He won the Byron Nelson and was top-five in the St. Jude Classic. Another player who relishes a challenge so this course should be good for him.

Key hole: 16th. At just over 400 yards, this one looks straightforward on the card but it’s a tricky hole that requires a measured approach. If the players drive too far they’ll face a downhill lie to a raised green so most will look to hit their tee shot around 250 yards. This will leave a short iron in to a testing green. If they miss this surface, getting up-and-down will test their skills.