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PGA: Booz Allen Classic Preview


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By Jeff Gladchun via TheSandTrap.com
The Booz is back! Another quality tournament returns for our enjoyment.

booz_allen_logo.gifWell, this week we can finally see some birdies! It may be hard to top last week's final-hole theatrics, but the Booz Allen Classic has been known to provide some drama in its own right. Last year, the Swashbucklin' Spaniard found a putter that actually worked for him and walked away with this event.



You may not see eight-inch rough, but you can bet on seeing some birdies this week!

Last Year
Sergio Garcia came to the Booz Allen Classic last year ranked 168th in putting, but crediting a tip he recieved earlier in the week, he would finish the even tied for fewest putts with 107.



Garcia who had lost in a playoff at the Wachovia Championship just weeks prior, found himself in contention on Sunday. He started his rampage with birdies on the first and fourth holes, an eagle on the sixth, and two more birdies on seven and nine to go out in thirty strokes.



As this was going on, Ernie Els was making a charge of his own, carding birdies on the last four holes of his front nine. However, he would three-putt the eleventh and twelfth holes and double-bogey the eighteenth to finish two strokes behind his Spanish peer.



The Course
The Tournament Players Club at Avenel measures 7,005 yards, which may be deceiving because it plays to a par of seventy-one. The course opened with immediate fan-fare as PGA Tour player Arnold Palmer put the 239-yard par-3 third hole in the record books when he made consecutive holes-in-one on this hole in the 1986 Chrysler Cup. It was the first time back-to-back aces were recorded on any professional tour.



The course features a very diverse array of holes. Including the enormous par three third that Arnold Palmer put to shame, a long hole which is counter-balanced by the diminutive eleventh hole measuring 147 yards. This TPC features par fours measuring between 301 yards and 470, putting a real premium on both distance and accuracy. The diversity continues in the par fives, starting with the second hole which is a three-shotter for all but the longest hitters, measuring 622 yards. However the final two par fives are reachable for most, both measuring in the 520's.



Who's Hot
Padraig Harrington is coming of a great finish at the U.S. Open and will surely be looking to capture the win he missed out on last week. The Irishman's putter may be his greatest weapon, as he is well known for dropping bombs from all over the green.



Although J.B. Holmes didn't play fantastically at the Open, he will most definitely be looking forward to playing a course with less penal rough so he can smack the bejesus out of the ball as he likes to.



Despite Brett Quigley's less-than-stellar Open play, he's been playing fabulous golf as of late and I look to him to continue that trend. There was much talk prior to the Open as to his chances to win it and although he missed that opportunity, he will definitely be on the prowl this week.



Ryuki Imada, who got noticed earlier this year for playing alone in the Verizon Heritage and finished in one hour and fifty minutes, briefly held the clubhouse lead last week. Hopefully he's gained some confidence in his abilities from his excellent play last week and will be able to convert that to a podium finish.



Who's Not
Jason Gore has been battling an arm injury for the last few weeks and has been basically out of commission. I feel for the big guy, but I don't see him doing much this week. Especially so if he doesn't trust his arm.



Kenny Perry led the Driving Accuracy chart for much of the week last week, which should have put him at or near the top of the leaderboard. However, his poor iron play and ugly putting kept him away from contention. Don't look for him to do a whole lot this week.



TV and Radio Times



TV XM Radio
Thursday 4-6 USA 12-8 XM146
Friday 4-6 USA 12-8 XM146
Saturday 3-6 ABC 12-8 XM146
Sunday 3-6 ABC 12-8 XM146

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