Congressional Country Club’s Blue Course in Bethesda, Maryland
7,569 yards – Par 71 – Bentgrass Greens
Tournament Stimpmeter: 13 feet … Fast green speeds
Green Sizes: 5,600 sq. feet .. Smaller Green Sizes
Strength of Field Rating: ~290 OWGR …Average Field Strength
Driving Distance (Field Average): ~289 yards … Driver-Heavy Course
Fairways Hit (Field Average): ~57% … Average Fairways Hit
Greens in Regulation (Field Average): ~62% … Average GIR Difficulty
2016: Congressional Country Club
2015: Robert Trent Jones Golf Club
2014: Congressional Country Club
2013: Congressional Country Club
2012: Congressional Country Club
2011: Aronimink Golf Club
2010: Aronimink Golf Club
2015: Troy Merritt -18 over Rickie Fowler -15
2014: Justin Rose -4 over Shawn Stefani in a playoff
2013: Bill Haas -12 over Roberto Castro -9
2012: Tiger Woods -8 over Bo Van Pelt -6
2011: Nick Watney -13 over K.J. Choi -11
2010: Justin Rose -10 over Ryan Moore -9
2015: Kevin Chappell, Troy Merritt -14
2014: Patrick Reed -6
2013: Bill Haas, Roberto Castro, James Driscoll, Andres Romero -7
2012: Brendon de Jonge -7
2011: Nick Watney, Rickie Fowler -9
2010: Justin Rose -10
2015: Ryo Ishikawa -11
2014: Marc Leishman, Patrick Reed, Ricky Barnes, Oliver Goss -6
2013: Roberto Castro, Jordan Spieth -7
2012: Hunter Mahan -7
2011: K.J. Choi -7
2010: Justin Rose -7
Course Horses (Since 2011)
Jason Day… 29.060 strokes gained in 14 rounds
Robert Garrigus… 27.260 strokes gained in 16 rounds
Bill Haas… 24.316 strokes gained in 12 rounds
Stewart Cink… 22.898 strokes gained in 14 rounds
Brandt Snedeker… 22.316 strokes gained in 12 rounds
Charley Hoffman… 21.260 strokes gained in 16 rounds
Roberto Castro… 20.699 strokes gained in 12 rounds
*Includes 2011 U.S. Open held at Congressional CC
Important Interview Quotes
Q. You spoke about enjoying a course that’s very challenging, and setup like it was this week and we heard that from Martin Kaymer at the U.S. Open, too. Can you talk about why you prefer that versus a place that you can shoot minus 15 over four rounds?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I guess for me, a lot of areas of your game don’t get tested when it’s — if there’s no rough, for example, your driving doesn’t get tested. And if the greens are soft, sometimes you get away with your iron play a lot more; you don’t have to be so precise with the numbers. And a course like this you have to miss in the right spots. When the greens get firm and fast, you can’t just go at the flag when it’s five from the edge and hit it in the rough and get it up-and-down, which so many weeks on TOUR you can. This week, if you go on the wrong side, the edges of the greens are tilted, the rough is thick, the greens are so fast that the ball lands, it’s going to release 12 feet past the pin. So you’ve got to be a lot more — you’ve got to pick and choose your spots to be aggressive, and really respect different pin placements. I think that’s where you’ve got to understand the golf course and learn to play it. So many other tournaments are just target practice from that perspective. -2014
Q. You seem to find your way to the top of the leaderboard on tough golf courses. Any particular reason for that?
GEORGE McNEILL: Maybe I concentrate a little more. I have no idea. I don’t know. I like this golf course and maybe that’s part of it. Some of the courses where guys are making a lot of birdies and even par is not really a good score, that becomes more of a putting contest and I’m not real comfortable. I just feel better when par is a good score. -2014
Q. Two years ago you finished tied for fourth. You like this golf course?
BILLY HURLEY III: I do. I like hard golf courses. I tend to really play well on difficult courses, and here, certainly premium to be in the fairway and I did that pretty well today. -2014
Q. You went to the Naval Academy and served in the military. How does it make you feel to come to this event that really supports and honors those in the military?
BILLY HURLEY III: Well, this is the premiere event on TOUR as far as honoring military for sure. Growing up about 40 minutes here, living about 50 minutes east of here, it’s kind of like a home game for me, lots of support from friends and family. Couple that with the military and everything, it’s really fun tournament for me and one I hope to be a part of for many years to come. A couple people came out today, my friends and family, but from what I can tell, based on the number of tickets I gave away, there should be some people out there tomorrow. I must have asked for 70 tickets this week. -2014
Q. You said yesterday that you love this golf course and it fits your eye. What about Congressional fits your eye?
BILL HAAS: I like the somewhat narrow fairways. I think it forces you to drive it better and in the thick rough, so if you do drive it well, you can really take advantage of this course because the greens are still somewhat receptive even though we have dry conditions. If you hit good tee shots and hit the fairways, I think you can be aggressive on some of these greens. -2014
Q. You play well in tough courses in the U.S. Open, and this is a major course. Do you like the challenge of a tough course?
RICKY BARNES: I do. I figure if you can grind out some pars like I did today, when I did hit it in the rough, I’m not really losing any shots. It’s definitely not a becoming a putting contest. Premium is on the fairways. I’m not afraid to pull rescues and 3-woods off the tees to make sure I’m in the fairway and give myself a longer iron in. -2014
Q. You’re playing by the formula, hitting over 70 percent of your fairways and 75 percent of your greens.
HUDSON SWAFFORD: That’s key out here. Fairways are definitely key. When I’ve hit it in the rough, I’ve had good angles. I could advance it mainly to the green except for one lie, 14 yesterday. I’ve been fortunate there, missed it in the right spots and just not trying to beat myself, just being patient, not trying to force anything because you can’t force anything out here. Just really staying patient and picking good targets and making aggressive swings. -2014
Q. Do you feel like this course this week is a fair test?
BRENDAN STEELE: Very fair test, yeah. It’s long, it’s a bear, the rough is pretty thick. The greens provide a lot of problems with some slopes. That being said, if you don’t drive it straight off the tee, you can still recover and get it up around the green. You’re not dropping or re-teeing or any of that kind of stuff so I think that makes it fair. -2014
Q. How do you classify the conditions out there?
JUSTIN ROSE: Any time you play in the afternoon on bentgrass greens you’re going to get the odd spike mark and ball mark and stuff like that, so it always gets a little rougher out there in the afternoon. That happens every single week but the course condition is great. The rough is up. It seems to have grown in the last couple days, it’s so warm out there; I think the rough is longer than it was on Tuesday. -2014
Q. You mentioned spraying it into the rough out here and scrambling around. How hard is it? Is the rough here a little bit thicker or do you not find it to be as penal as people are saying?
PATRICK REED: I mean, there are some spots here that are just insane. I was on 15 today and I missed the fairway about four or five yards to the left. I advanced the ball, maybe 50 yards. There’s some spots out here that are really thick, and there’s other spots that you can get lucky and get a good lie. Just all depends. Just the main thing is not put yourself in that position. -2014
Q. Now you’ve played well here in the past. What is it about these older-type of courses that brings the best out of you?
MORGAN HOFFMANN: I can read the greens pretty well because I grew up on this kind of grass, and just same around the rough, too, and when I’m hitting chip shots. So it’s pretty easy to read for me. -2014
Q. How are conditions out there?
BRENDAN STEELE: It’s like a major out there right now. The end of yesterday and today, major championship, for sure. I didn’t play the U.S. Open here, but obviously didn’t play the same way that it did this week. This is full major championship conditions. -2014 (Sunday)
Q. Bogey-free final round, and everybody remembers your start last year and second place finish. What is it about this golf course you enjoy?
ROBERTO CASTRO: I just love this place. It’s like a national treasure. I love all the holes. It’s really difficult but gives you some birdie opportunities. I love the feel out here. -2014
Q. There’s been a lot of U.S. Open comments today. Can you make any parallels to last year and the course?
ROBERTO CASTRO: It’s very similar in that there’s not a lot of birdies out there. You’re just plugging along. You’ve got three par 5s on this golf course as opposed to two at a U.S. Open. Just not a lot of birdies. If you hit good tee shots, with the greens soft, you can still make birdies.
I played with Chappell today, who played very well at the U.S. Open here. He said it’s pretty much the same except the USGA puts pins three off the edge whereas we saw more four and five off the edge.
Pretty similar setup, he said. Rough’s the same. Golf course hasn’t changed much in two years. -2013
Q. Compare this setup with what you had two years ago. You played The Open here. You didn’t play in this tournament last year. You missed the cut at The Open here in 2011. Any similarities, differences?
NICOLAS COLSAERTS: I think it’s pretty much the same. The rough is pretty brutal. You can’t really get anything more than a 7 iron out of the rough on the average lie. I’m sure on TV, you can see it jump out and get back on the fairway.
The greens are probably a lot more receptive than they were at the U.S. Open. That’s probably the only thing in our favor at this time. But apart from that, the course is pretty much the same. -2013
Q. Obviously, Fluff is a member here. How big an asset is that? Or is it business as usual?
JIM FURYK: I think it’s good. We still have to work hard on our lines off the tee. He plays from a different set of tee boxes and doesn’t see some of the tee boxes. Members don’t see some of the tee boxes we’re playing from. So we have to work pretty hard on lines off the tee, but he’s been a pretty big asset on the greens, and there’s a couple putts out here where he’ll say, hey, I know it looks like it’s going to go left, but it doesn’t go as much as we think, and he’d probably be right. -2013
Q. This is a U.S. Open type golf course. It obviously hosted the National Championship. It’s playing like the U.S. Open.
BILLY HORSCHEL: Yeah, you can’t miss these fairways out here. The rough is long, quick. You get a good lie and do something with it. You’ve got to drive your ball well around here. I think the guys that play well here year in and year out are the guys that are in the fairway and can control the balls going into these greens. -2013
Q. How tough is this course?
CAMERON TRINGALE: It’s a bear. The rough is quite penal. Depending on?? you know, you can get a lie and not be able to hit it 150 yards. But it’s really tough. The greens are quite undulating. So you have the tough hole?? long par 4s on the back side there and tough greens to boot. So it’s all you want. -2013
Q. Tomorrow’s your strategy to be super aggressive. Does this course allow for that?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: No, it does not allow for that at all. You take what the course gives you and realize that a couple under par is a good score. If I can get hot tomorrow with the putter, makes the golf course more gettable. -2013
Quotes found at ASAPsports.com unless otherwise noted.
2009: Course was renovated, switching from poa annua greens to bentgrass, adding Sub-Air systems in the process, as well.