This week marks the return of Tiger Woods to the PGA Tour at the 2012 AT&T National. Woods will be competing against a great field that includes the likes of Hunter Mahan, K.J. Choi, Dustin Johnson, and many others. What follows are the top three groups to watch when the event kicks off on Thursday.
Most eyes will be on Tiger Woods this week as he looks to recover from a bad weekend at the U.S. Open after putting himself in contention following the second round. I wouldn't be surprised if he came out firing on all cylinders week, with the key area of his game to watch being his putting. If he can get to around the 27-28 mark on Thursday there is a great chance that he could win in my view. Look out for Nick Watney in this group as well, as he won the event last year but has been struggling with the putter of late.
Dustin Johnson, Hunter Mahan, and Davis Love III
After a great start to the year with two wins early on, Mahan has kept up the consistency with four made cuts over his last four starts, including a T11 at the Travelers Championship that included a 61 on Sunday. The more surprising result of that week, however, was that he ranked first in the field in both driving accuracy and greens in regulation. I would expect him to continue the momentum heading into the week, with the only real question for Mahan this week being whether or not he can make more birdie putts early on with all of the opportunities he gives himself.
Marc Leishman, Ben Curtis, and Adam Scott
Both Leishman and Curtis have won on the PGA Tour this year, and if I had to pick which would finish higher this week I would have to go with Curtis, even though Marc won last week's event. Ben's stats on the year are amazing to say the least, with him ranking first on Tour in strokes gained from putting, seventh in greens in regulation, and twelfth in driving accuracy. He has the complete golf game from tee to green that every golfer would dream of (although with a little more length off the tee), and it should translate well to Congressional Country Club this week.
Ryan Kekoufski is a scratch golfer who has both played and watched the sport for well over a decade.