The U.S. Golf Association is expected to announce the awarding of the 2011 U.S. Open and the 2009 U.S. Amateur championships to Congressional Country Club in Bethesda later this month, sources familiar with the USGA's plans said last night.
Congressional has been attempting to stage another Open, America's national championship of golf and the second major of the season, since it hosted the highly successful 1997 event, and USGA officials did a significant site inspection last September.
Congressional's board of directors already has recommended to its members that it approve the two events, and the final vote is being tabulated. One club source familiar with procedure said he would be "shocked" if the membership did not vote in favor. The members have never gone against a board recommendation, including a recent vote to approve holding the 2005 Booz Allen Classic, Washington's annual PGA Tour tournament, at the course while the TPC of Avenel undergoes renovations.
The U.S. Amateur will use both of Congressional's two 18 hole courses, the Blue and the Gold. The Amateur features two rounds of stroke-play qualifying followed by match play competition.
The Open will be played on the Blue course, virtually the same layout used for the '97 U.S. Open with two exceptions. The '97 event ended on a par-3 18th hole. That hole will become No. 10 on the Blue Course in 2011, and the hole will be reversed, with the tee box converted into a new green and the green being changed to a teeing area.
What was the 17th hole in the '97 event, a challenging 480-yard par 4 with a green guarded on the left side and over the back by a large pond, will become the 18th hole in 2011. Before the 1997 Open, the course underwent a major makeover supervised by architect Rees Jones.