AT& T Notebook

First Year of PGA Tour's Testing for Performance Enhancers Comes Up All Clean

Tiger Woods hosts a PGA Tour event in the D.C. area once again as some of the best golfers in the world converge at Congressional Country Club's Blue Course.
By Barry Svrluga
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 1, 2009; 10:36 PM

A year ago this week, the PGA Tour began a drug-testing program. Yesterday, the tour's commissioner, Tim Finchem, said there has not been a single positive test for performance-enhancing drugs.

"There have been no suspensions because of doping," Finchem said. "Again, I'll just say, it's not going to surprise me if we have some issue, but I think what's clear is we do not have a doping problem."

Finchem, who spoke on the eve of the AT&T National at Congressional Country Club, would not say whether any players had tested positive for recreational drugs, many of which are also banned. But he also knows that the lack of a positive test for performance enhancers -- which the tour would make public -- could lead to some skepticism about the seriousness of the testing.

"They'll say, 'Well, they're not testing enough,' " Finchem said. "That's just human nature. Some people are so cynical, they can't believe we can have 300 players and somebody is not using something. 'That's not right. They must not test everybody.' "

Finchem said the tour has worked closely with the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Olympic Committee in devising and administering its tests. Players are tested randomly, and also can be singled out.

"I didn't think we had an issue when we started," veteran Jim Furyk said. "If someone had an issue, and you know you're going to get tested, you would quit at that point anyway. I'm not surprised at all."

Cheers for Campbell

Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell did not enjoy the featured spot of his counterpart with the Dallas Cowboys, Tony Romo, who joined Tiger Woods in yesterday's Earl Woods Memorial Pro-Am. But he did receive the loudest ovation of anyone at the opening ceremony on the first tee, which featured a parachute team and the national anthem, sung by Jessica Simpson, who happens to be Romo's girlfriend.

"You expect that from our home town and the home team," Campbell said. "Who's our biggest rival but the Dallas Cowboys?"

Campbell played with Redskins wide receiver Antwaan Randle El and Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau, joining 2003 Masters champ Mike Weir. Campbell and Randle El struggled, particularly off the tee. But Campbell added quickly: "I tell you who's good is Coach from the Capitals. He's a good golfer."

House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) joined Woods and Romo.

All O'Hair Could Want

One player who is glad the AT&T National is moving to Aronimink Golf Club outside Philadelphia for 2010 and 2011 is Sean O'Hair, who lives in that area and joined the club recently.

"It's phenomenal," O'Hair said. "I'm excited, because it works out great for me, and they're making some changes to the course that will be great for the tournament."

O'Hair's last event was the U.S. Open, where a final-round 76 left him tied for 23rd. But the day after he returned, his wife Jackie gave birth to their third child -- son Grady. "I got to be there, and everyone's doing fine now, so you can't ask for anything more," he said. . . .

Steve Marino, a University of Virginia graduate who grew up in Fairfax, is once again expecting a rowdy group of family and friends at Congressional, where he shot an opening-round 65 a year ago. But he does so now with the experience of his best PGA finish ever, a second-place at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, where he lost in a playoff.

"The thing I take away from it is that I felt great in the playoff," Marino said. "I wasn't overcome with nerves or I wasn't freaking out."

Staff writer Dan Steinberg contributed to this report.

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