The PGA Tour and the nation’s capital have a difficult relationship. However, the on-again-off-again relationship could be back on again if everything goes well next year.
With Charlotte’s Quail Hollow Club hosting the 2021 Presidents Cup, TPC Potomac in Bethesda, Md., will step in as a one-off host of the May tournament. However, Sports Business Daily reports there’s optimism that a well-hosted and well-attended event could mean the area again gets to host at regular PGA Tour stop.
Of course, optimism doesn’t translate into a new event.
The Tour left the Washington D.C. market in 2018, after Francesco Molinari won the final edition of the Tiger Woods-hosted National at TPC Potomac. The National ran from 2007, with a date around Independence Day. When neighboring Congressional Country Club hosted and Woods was in better health, the event attracted a solid field and good crowds. After the 2011 US Open at Congressional, however, the tournament was cursed by Woods’ failing health and game (at the time), odd weather that included a derecho in 2012 and Congressional members voting to host the event on a biennial basis. Woods was not as visible of a host as perhaps he needed to be in the market.
The 12-year run for the National immediately followed the end of the old Kemper Open in 2006. TPC Potomac hosted the event (with the exception of 2005) since 1987. Players were not typically fans of the course, which has since been renovated and dramatically improved.
If the PGA Tour were to return to D.C., it would likely do best in the spring or fall portion of the schedule. The DMV is particularly humid in the summer months, and the tag team of heat and humidity make playing pro golf here less attractive in June or July. Compare that to the relative warmth in September and October, or the modest temperatures in May, and it’s clear a D.C.-based event would make more sense then. With The Greenbrier falling off the PGA Tour schedule, a D.C. tournament could replace it on a regional level.
The PGA Tour has always done a remarkable job of finding and developing new events, while maintaining long-term relationships with events once they’re created. That’s to say that there may not even be a permanent spot available on the schedule in 2022, which would be the soonest a new event could be established.