The Quicken Loans National returns to the Washington D.C. area for the last time this week as it will move to Detroit starting in 2019. Tiger Woods is in the field this week and very involved with the tournament as his organizations TGR Live and the TGR Foundation help host, run and benefit from the event. The other big name this week is Rickie Fowler, who is looking for his first victory in over a year. Both of those golfers will help carry an event that will feature some intriguing young stars and other golfers looking to right the ship with just over a dozen events left in the 2017-18 season.
Let's take a look at this week's contest.
What: Quicken Loans National | When: June 28 to July 1
Where: TPC Potomac -- Potomac, Maryland
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Ranking the field (odds)
- Rickie Fowler (7-1): This was an easy one. Best non-Tiger player in the field by a wide margin.
- Tiger Woods (12-1): Woods has been .
- Beau Hossler (30-1): Threatening to break through with a T2 last week at the Travelers. Hasn't missed a cut since the beginning of March.
- Kyle Stanley (20-1): Defending champ who is coming in with three top 15s in his last five events.
- Francesco Molinari (18-1): Won in Europe a few weeks ago and is a menace from tee to green.
- Jimmy Walker (30-1): Hasn't missed a cut since February, top five in three of his last six.
- Charles Howell III (25-1): Lost to Stanley here in a playoff last year, coming off a top 25 at the U.S. Open and hasn't missed a cut since February.
- Kevin Streelman (50-1): Like Paulie pointed out here, this course sets up well for him.
- Joaquin Niemann (30-1): I can't help myself here. I think he might have The Gift.
- Marc Leishman (18-1): Can't ignore the talent, even if he's only had one great start since the Masters.
- Stewart Cink (60-1): Stewart Cink! He has top-five finishes in his last two tournaments.
- J.B. Holmes (25-1): He's also finished in the top five in each of his last two.
- Jamie Lovemark (40-1): Top 20 in three of his last five with just one missed cut.
- Ben An (33-1): Lost the Memorial in a playoff. Big-time talent in a field that lacks it.
- Si Woo Kim (50-1): See above. When in doubt, ride the talent.
Field strength (C-): The only players keeping it from a D or worse are Fowler and Woods.
Three stories to watch
1. Tiger's only between-Opens start: I think Big Cat has a legitimate chance to contend at Carnoustie in a month, even after his missed cut at the U.S. Open. Hopefully for him there's a ton of weather at The Open and he's able to hit iron after iron en route to getting himself in contention. The matter of his putting is an issue, though, and practicing with a mallet this week sort of belabors that point. The start this week is big both because of what it means for the future and because it's probably his best chance to win for the rest of the season.
2. Beau show? I'm here for the Beau Hossler story. His T2 at the Travelers Championship last week is as close as he's been to breaking through since a lost playoff at the Houston Open in April, and he used a 66 on Sunday to do it (Hossler ranks No. 159 in Round 4 scoring average). I know we've seen a budding star who had a great career at the University of Texas break through during the summer right before The Open, I just can't put my finger on it. Maybe Hossler makes it two.
3. Ryder Cup implications: You know who could use a victory this week? Jimmy Walker, who is currently No. 16 in the Ryder Cup standings. Or Kyle Stanley, who is currently No. 18. Or how about J.B. Holmes, who is currently No. 23. The Ryder Cup rankings don't take field strength into account -- you simply get points for how much money you earn -- so a number of Americans just outside the top eight currently could bolster their ranking number heading into the home stretch of the season.
So who will win the 2018 Quicken Loans National, and what massive long shot can stun the golfing world? Visit SportsLine now to find out and see the full projected leaderboard from the model that's nailed four of the last six majors heading into the weekend.
Quicken Loans National picks
|Winner: Molinari has been feeling it for the last month and is coming off a top-25 finish at the U.S. Open. He should thrive in a tournament that doesn't include some of the bigger names in the sport. Odds: 18-1
|Top 10: Easy pick here since he won it last year and has been top 15 in three of his last five events (he missed The Players and U.S. Open cuts). Odds: 20-1
|Sleeper: Shot a 64 and a 65 last week at TPC River Highlands and has finished in the top 10 in three of his last five starts on the PGA Tour. Good odds here, too. Odds: 60-1