BETHESDA, Md. - The head of the Tiger Woods Foundation still smiles broadly when asked about the contributions of the officials, staff and golf course at Aronimink Golf Club during the two years the Newtown Square facility hosted the AT&T National.
And with the PGA Tour event founded by the world's No. 1 player entering the last two years of its contract with Congressional Country Club, it could find a home at Aronimink again.
Greg McLaughlin, president and chief executive officer of the Tiger Woods Foundation, said Monday he has stayed in touch with Aronimink officials since the tournament left Delaware County and would love to return there if Congressional did not wish to renew its contract with the event.
McLaughlin also said he had talked to officials at other courses in the Philadelphia area but did not identify them.
"We love Aronimink, no question about it," McLaughlin said at the AT&T National media day attended by Woods. "It was phenomenal, an A-plus. Let me just make sure I'm clear: They would be our first choice, without question."
Aronimink officials could not be reached for comment.
The AT&T National moved to Aronimink in 2010 while Congressional was undergoing renovations to prepare the course for the U.S. Open, and stayed there in 2011 when the suburban Washington club hosted the Open.
The members at Congressional narrowly approved a three-year contract for the tournament after its stay at Aronimink, and the belief is that the club would not want to give up the course for the event past 2014.
Woods said Monday that tournament officials were having "ongoing conversations" with Congressional. But he added that the event has other options "whether it's Philly or it's in the D.C./Baltimore area.
"There's certainly opportunities out there," he said. "That's something that we're going to have to work through."
McLaughlin added that he is sensitive to the fact that Aronimink has expressed its intention to host a major. Club officials met with representatives of the U.S. Golf Association and the PGA of America during the 2011 AT&T National and all reviews at the time were positive.
"I know that their goal is to try to get a major, and they've been working on it through channels on an ongoing basis," McLaughlin said. "Of course we would want to go back there. I'm just not sure about the timing and how we would fit with everything. So we're actually talking to other courses in the area as well."
McLaughlin said the event has done well in the Washington area but that "we continue to maintain our Philadelphia connection" and that the foundation is supported in the Philadelphia area.
Of course, Woods will be in the Philadelphia area in three weeks for the U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club, seeking his first victory in the Open since 2008 - the last of his 14 major titles.
Woods said Monday he plans to play Merion for the first time before the week of the championship and will give the course a quick yet thorough examination.
"Generally that's when I do a lot of my scouting on the greens and do all my charting," Woods said. "I'll take care of that so I have very little to do as far as charting the greens during tournament week. Then I have to understand what my practice sessions are going to be.
"For instance, I don't know if [Merion] is hilly or flat. Is it predominantly right to left, left to right? I have to test whether it's going to be the driver [off the tee], or is it going to be the 3-wood that week, or the 5-wood? I don't know. These are things that I'll get an understanding for when I first go play it."