AT&T National experts' picks

June, 27, 2012
Each week of the season, our experts will share their insights into which players fit the criteria for our four categories: Horse for the Course (a golfer who knows the track inside and out), Birdie Buster (a guy who could take it low this week), Super Sleeper (a player who could unexpectedly contend) and Winner.

This week's tournament: the AT&T National at Congressional Country Club's Blue Course.

Horse for the Course

Michael Collins, senior golf analyst: Hunter Mahan
Twice this year, Mahan has won in his third start in a row. The AT&T would be Week 3 after the U.S. Open and the Travelers Championship. He missed one cut all year and he's going to a course where he once shot a 62 on a Sunday during the final round. Two big stats for Hunter this week: He's fourth in GIRs and seventh in total driving. At just over 7,200 yards and a par-70, this horse is ready to run.

Farrell Evans, senior golf writer: Tiger Woods
When the AT&T National was last held at Congressional, the 14-time major champion had rounds of 64-66-70-67 to win by a shot over Hunter Mahan. After not playing here in the 2011 U.S. Open, he's ready to get another run at the place.

Kevin Maguire, senior golf editor: Jim Furyk
In the three years Congressional hosted the AT&T National from 2007 to 2009, Furyk finished T-3, T-3 and T-7. He gets back on the horse this week after letting a second U.S. Open win slip away at Olympic, and he should find the confines outside the nation's capital just to his liking.

Birdie Buster

Michael Collins: Robert Garrigus
I still believe he had the greatest third-place celebration in recent U.S. Open history at Congressional in 2011. As Rory McIlroy dominated the golf world, Garrigus made an 8-foot par-saving putt to earn an automatic invite to Augusta for 2012, so his good feelings at this bomber's paradise will be reignited this week.

Farrell Evans: Charley Hoffman
The 35-year-old former UNLV star blew a 2-shot lead at the Travelers by going double-bogey, bogey over the last two holes, but for the first 70 he played better than anybody in the tournament. His tie for second at the Travelers was his best finish of the year.

Kevin Maguire: Ryan Moore
Keep an eye on Moore this week; since 2007, he's had at least one top-10 finish each year in a tournament that has played at least one round in June. And he doesn't have one yet in June 2012.

Super Sleeper

Michael Collins: Kevin Streelman
He's not having a great year by his standards, but this guy has played this event extremely solid since joining the tour in 2008 (other than having to W/D in 2010). Full disclosure, last time the tournament was played here, I was caddying for him and we finished T-11. That means without me on the bag, a top 10 is all but guaranteed!

Farrell Evans: Jordan Spieth
The rising Texas sophomore shot 1 under over the weekend at the Olympic Club to finish as the low amateur at the U.S. Open.

Kevin Maguire: Bud Cauley
In his first start as a pro, Cauley finished T-63 in the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional, site of this week's AT&T National. The PGA Tour rookie missed four of his last five cuts, but he does rank 75th on the money list, so he's doing something right this season.


Michael Collins: Tiger Woods
He's one of the worst hosts of a tournament, just no graciousness whatsoever. The last time his tournament was held at Congressional, in 2009, he shot 67 to beat Mahan by one. Invite me to your house for dinner and then make me watch you eat?! Cold-blooded.

Farrell Evans: Dustin Johnson
Already a tour winner this year at Memphis after a three-month layoff after a back injury, the long-hitting Myrtle Beach resident will use his distance to great advantage over the field on this 7,500-yard beast.

Kevin Maguire: Hunter Mahan
The last time Congressional hosted Tiger's annual PGA Tour stop, Mahan lost to Woods by a shot, but that was after posting a final-round 62. Coming off a 61 in Round 4 on Sunday at the Travelers, it's fair to say Mahan has the hot hand.





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