2012 AT&T National: Tiger Woods Ready To 'Defend' 2009 Title

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 17: Tiger Woods of the United States plays a shot on the first hole during the final round of the 112th U.S. Open at The Olympic Club on June 17, 2012 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Tiger Woods hasn't played his own event since 2009, when he won the AT&T National at Congressional. Can he have a "repeat" performance this week?

It has been quite some time since Tiger Woods played in the AT&T National at Congressional despite being the tournament's host, but that will change this week as he returns to action for the first time since winning in 2009.

Woods has been on a bit of a hotstreak so far in 2012, having won twice on the PGA Tour and showing flashes of brilliance in the first two rounds of the U.S. Open at Olympic Club. He also currently ranks second on tour in both greens hit and all-around stats, according to the PGA Tour website. Woods has certainly played well in his hosted event in years past but has failed to play in the tournament since 2009 due to a number of factors.

In addition to Tiger, many other big names will be in the field this week in Bethesda, MD, including Nick Watney, who won this event when it was held in Pennsylvania last year. Watney has had a somewhat quiet 2012 to this point but certainly made some noise at the U.S. Open by making an albatross on Olympic Club's No. 17 par-5 hole. Watney finished the major at T-21 along with Woods.

Hunter Mahan also returns to action this week after having a promising outing at the Travelers Championship last week, where he tied for eleventh. Mahan has also played very well at this event, having finished in the top-15 in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Sitting fourth in greens hit in regulation on tour, Mahan is a solid pick to capture the tournament this week.

Finally, Jim Furyk looks to continue his strong play this week for the first time since letting the U.S. Open slip away in disappointing fashion. Furyk held the 36- and 54-hole leads at the Open and has recorded seven top-15 finishes in his last nine tournament starts. He has also managed three top-10 finishes at Congressional.

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