Note: As of 2014, the tournament is now the Quicken Loans National.
The AT&T National is just one of five tournaments given “invitational” status by the PGA Tour (The others are the Arnold Palmer, the Verizon Heritage, the Colonial and the Memorial). Its lofty status in spite of its relative youth—the tournament is just four years old—likely is due to two factors: it’s “hosted” by Tiger Woods for the benefit of his foundation, and it’s Washington, D.C. location, putting the PGA Tour in front of the power elite in the United States. As an “Invitational,” it has just 120 in its field and can ignore the PGA Tour Priority Ranking System.
The tournament replaced The International in 2007, after the PGA Tour abruptly ended it’s agreement with that event. Suspicions at the time were that the International was a sacrificial lamb so that Tiger could have his own regular season tournament. It’s just as likely that the PGA Tour wanted an event back in Washington, D.C. The D.C. area had hosted a regular tour event—first the Kemper Open (at which the GolfBlogger worked in a corporate tent in another profession), and then the Booz Allen Classic. Kemper/Booz Allen was played first at Congressional Country Club, and then at the TPC at Avenel. But the Booz Allen ended after 2006.
The AT&T National was scheduled to play its first two years at the Congressional County Club (2007 and 2008) and then was able to extend the agreement to 2009 when Congressional pulled out of hosting the 2009 US Amateur. For 2010, the AT&T National moved to Aronimink Golf Club in Pennsylvania. Congressional hosted the 2011 US Open and needed the summer to prepare. The AT&T National returns to Congressional for 2012 through 2014.
Tiger Woods will not return to defend his 2012 title due to an elbow injury.
Past winners of the AT&T National follow: