Congressional Country Club officials are expected to formally announce that the U.S. Golf Association has awarded the 2011 U.S. Open and the 2009 U.S. Amateur championships to the Bethesda venue at a news conference scheduled at the club tomorrow.
Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan will appear at the news conference along with several top USGA officials to welcome America's national championship of golf to the Washington area. The USGA has been eyeing the club ever since it staged a highly successful U.S. Open in 1997 won by Ernie Els of South Africa, and the U.S. Amateur two years earlier will be an added bonus.
The 2011 event will mark the third Open at Congressional, where Ken Venturi prevailed for the 1964 title. The 1976 PGA Championship, won by Dave Stockton, also was contested at Congressional. Only one other men's Open championship has been held in the Washington suburbs, the 1921 event at Columbia Country Club won by James M. Barnes.
This summer Congressional's board of directors had recommended to the full membership that it approve the two events. Members have been voting over the last few weeks, and sources indicated yesterday the news conference would not have been announced unless the membership had approved the events.
The same membership also has approved holding the 2005 Booz Allen Classic, Washington's annual PGA Tour tournament, at the Congressional course while the TPC at Avenel undergoes renovations.
The U.S. Amateur will use both of Congressional's two 18 hole courses, the Blue and the Gold. The Amateur has a stroke play qualifying component, followed by match play competition to determine the champion.
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.
In addition, 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.
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-- From News Services and Staff Reports