T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.
Five to watch at Quicken Loans National
Series: Golf Buzz
Published: Wednesday, June 25, 2014 | 8:00 a.m.
The PGA Tour is in Bethesda, Md., this week for the Quicken Loans National, where Tiger Woods is making his first start since returning from back surgery.
The field is loaded with stars as you'd expect at Congressional Country Club, the course that hosted the 2011 U.S. Open.
Here are five players not named Tiger Woods that you should keep an eye on this week.
5. Keegan Bradley
Best finish in 2013-14 season: Runner up at the Arnold Palmer Invitational
Reason to watch: Keegan Bradley has made no bones about it. For him, the goal now is to make the U.S. Ryder Cup team. In order to do that, he needs to play well and collect points. With a tie for fourth in the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2, Bradley got back in the conversation. Playing the Quicken Loans National this week at Congressional -- another U.S. Open course -- I like Bradley's chances.
4. Justin Rose
Best finish in 2013-14 season: T4 at the Players Championship
Reason to watch: Rose won this event in 2010. Outside of a missed cut at the Memorial, Rose's worst finish in his last six starts is a tie for 14th. He's also coming off a tie for 12th at the U.S. Open -- not a bad finish for a defending champion. With five top-10 finishes in 12 starts this season, it feels like Rose is due for a victory soon.
3. Jason Dufner
Best finish in 2013-14 season: Playoff loss at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial
Reason to watch: The 2013 PGA Champion has been a mixed bag this season. It hasn't been great, but it's never been all that bad either. His missed cut in the U.S. Open was just his second missed cut of the season. Much like Bradley, Dufner has his sights set on another U.S. Ryder Cup team. If points closed today, he'd be in at No. 8. Since they don't close today, Dufner is looking for more of them.
2. Bill Haas
Best finish in 2013-14 season: T6 at Humana Challenge and WGC-Cadillac Championship
Reason to watch: The defending champ at Congressional, Haas has been pretty good in 2014 with three top-10 finishes in 18 starts. This week at Congressional should bring back some good vibes. One thing he's been is consistent -- not a single missed cut this season. Consistency and not making big mistakes will serve him well at Congressional.
1. Jason Day
Best finish in 2013-14 season: Won the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship
Reason to watch: After his win at the Match Play, I really felt this was going to be a special season for Day. It still can be, but unfortunately he's been nagged by a thumb injury. Luckily, Day is finally able to string some events together, which helps with momentum. This week will mark his third consecutive start after a T4 at the U.S. Open and a T18 at the Travelers Championship. He also has a decent track record at Congressional -- he was runner up in the 2011 U.S. Open and finished T8 in the 2012 AT&T National.
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