It’s no coincidence that Tiger Woods chose the Quicken Loans National to make his PGA Tour return this week.
Formerly the AT&T National, the tournament has benefited his foundation since its inception in 2007. Feeling good enough to return, Woods decided to play a little sooner than anticipated. Given the choice between his tournament in the D.C. are and the Greenbrier Classic, which he played in 2012 and intended to play before an injury kept him out last year, the answer was obvious.
On top of his foundation being intertwined with the event, Woods had to appease two other constituents.
New title sponsor Quicken Loans wouldn’t be too pleased if their money didn’t land the game’s top draw at his own event, only for him to show up in a neighboring state a week later — even if Woods’ doctors would have felt more comfortable with the extra seven days to recuperate.
The membership at Congressional C.C. would be none too pleased to have Woods skip out on playing there at his event after a contentious vote over if the club would continue to host the event at all. Ultimately, the members approved a measure to host the National every other year. However, Woods took the small gamble to announce that change to the tournament before the membership officially committed to hosting the event on a biannual basis.
Woods was sitting in a precarious position when it came to his comeback. He wanted to get in some competition before heading overseas to play in the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool. However, he didn’t want to come back so soon that he could jeopardize his recovery. Woods chose to come back and play, but set low expectations in his return announcement saying he will be “rusty” this week.
As far as Quicken Loans and Congressional are concerned, a rusty Woods is better than an absent one.