AT&T National pays tribute to those who serve
After playing a practice round Wednesday at Congressional Country Club, Jason Day came away with one impression: the rough is deep and brutally thick.
“This course, I played it this morning, and it kind of feels like a U.S. Open again,” Day said of the venerable Blue Course. “It’s got some length to it and the rough is pretty dense out there.”
He added: “I think they cut the rough around 3 ½ inches, which is not as long as the U.S. Open. But ... the volume of the grass, there’s still a lot out there.”
In 2011, Day finished second in the U.S. Open here. He's also posted two top 10 finishes in four starts in the AT&T National, which begins Thursday at the Bethesda club.
But Day's success at Congressional is not the only reason he's among the favorites to win this week. The 25-year-old Aussie has posted five top-10 finishes in 2013, including a third at the Masters and a tie for second at the U.S. Open earlier this month.
"It brings a lot of confidence to my game that the little things that I've been doing in the off weeks and everything I've been doing in the offseason is paying off, which is nice," he said.
But to have a breakthrough in the next few days, Day, who owns one PGA Tour victory, said there’s only one way to do it.
“Hitting fairways is crucial this week,” he said. “Then, obviously, [your] short game around the greens is very big.”
Difficult, though, is just the way Day likes it.
“Just takes out the riff-raff,” he said with a smile. “No, it’s a good, tough course. [But] you have to drive it well, and you have to chip and putt well because, if you’re not hitting the fairways, you’re going to miss greens. And you have to make sure your short game is on.”