The 2005 Booz Allen Classic will be played at Congressional Country Club after members overwhelmingly voted to approve the one-year shift of Washington's longtime PGA Tour event from TPC at Avenel.
By a vote of 922-217, the members continued a longtime tradition of never rejecting a recommendation from the club's board of directors. The 79 percent margin of victory also is believed to be a record, according to past Congressional president Ben Brundred, also the director of the tournament's board of directors and its longtime past general chairman.
"It's a landslide," Brundred said yesterday. "Ernie Els has already said he'll be here next year. The tournament will be the week before the [U.S.] Open at Pinehurst and I believe we'll get the best field we've ever had for this tournament. This is perfect."
Brundred said he has not yet spoken to anyone in Tiger Woods's camp, but added, "I think there is a very strong possibility" that Woods would consider playing in the Washington tournament for the first time since he turned professional in 1996. Woods usually takes the week off before a major championship, but Brundred said "he's indicated he might [play] in this case because it's Congressional."
Ralph Shrader, chairman and CEO of Booz Allen Hamilton, the title sponsor through 2006, said his firm is excited about playing at Congressional and said he has been assured that the extensive renovations to the TPC at Avenel course next year also will provide a first-class venue in the future. The event often has had difficulty attracting the world's highest-ranked players and leading money winners in recent years.
"My goal has been to make this year's event as good as we possibly can and to learn from it so that next year at Congressional will really be the time to shine," Shrader said. "I'd like to use this year as a springboard into making Washington a must stop for the players on the tour."