Thanks to the support from almost 140,000 enthusiastic golf fans, 2,000 hard-working volunteers, more than 100 dedicated sponsors and the local Washington, D.C., community, the 2012 AT&T National made its triumphant return to beautiful Congressional Country Club after a two-year hiatus at Aronimink Golf Club in Philadelphia.
The tournament delivered many military initiatives throughout the week as active and retired military personnel were treated to complimentary tickets and their own climate-controlled pavilion with prime viewing of the 17th green. To kick off the week, Tiger Woods, joined by two children of local military service members, hit the opening shot of the 2012 AT&T National as Black Hawk helicopters flew overhead during the patriotic opening ceremony. Military members also served as starters on the first and 10th holes, announcing each player as they teed off for the day and presenting them with one-of-a-kind military coins.
Throughout the week-long PGA TOUR event, fans thanked and honored the men and women in the U.S. military. Adorned with flags and seals from each branch of the military, the We Salute Our Heroes tribute wall presented by PenFed made its Congressional Country Club debut, as fans filled five large canvases with words of thanks and appreciation. Fans also showed their gratitude by donating more than $3,000 and packing 5,880 care packages for troops overseas.
Record-breaking heat and stormy weather created unique playing conditions during tournament week. A powerful storm swept through Congressional Country Club after Friday's second round, blowing down 40 trees and leaving much of Bethesda, including the Club, without power. In the interest of safety, tournament officials closed the course to spectators -- a nearly unheard of occurrence for a PGA TOUR event -- forcing players to complete the third round without the usual cheers from the gallery.
Yet on Sunday, a record number of fans descended on Congressional to watch Woods win the tournament he founded, as he captured his third victory on the PGA TOUR this year. Woods shot 2-under-par 69 to finish at 8-under and hold off Bo Van Pelt, who shot 71 and finished at 6-under. By winning the AT&T National, Woods moved to first in the FedExCup standings and into second on the PGA TOUR's list of career victories with 74, breaking a tie with Jack Nicklaus. The victory at the AT&T National is especially meaningful to Woods and his staff at the Foundation, as he donated his $1.17 million winner's check to TWF.