The PGA TOUR takes a visit to Charlotte for this week’s Wells Fargo Championship, performed at Quail Hollow Club.
Similar to final week, that is one other occasion that was not performed in 2020, because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Wells Fargo Championship has all the time attracted an honest area however it seems to be a big-time winner this 12 months as a result of how the 2021 schedule shakes out. Just a month faraway from the Masters and two weeks away from the PGA Championship, this occasion has been chosen as a super tune-up spot for a lot of of TOUR’s superstars. In reality, 4 of the highest 5 on the earth are teeing it up this week.
There might be 156 golfers lining as much as begin the week and the highest 65 plus ties will advance by way of the 36-hole minimize line.
Quail Hollow Club returns to host one other 12 months of the Wells Fargo. It has performed this function for all however one version because the inaugural 2003 Wells Fargo Championship. The 2017 event is the exception as they performed over at Eagle Point that season.
The scorecard reads 7,521 yards whereas taking part in as a par-71 format. It was beforehand a par 72 earlier than they tuned it up for the 2017 PGA Championship. Since then, they’ve saved it as a par 71 which makes it seem even harder when taking a look at scores relative to par.
The course is tree-lined and has a great deal of size. There are 9 par 4s that play 449 yards or longer (a lot of mid-irons). Five of these beefy par 4s play over 480 yards.
On the flip aspect, two of the par 4s play below 350 yards. That is a bit simpler for longer hitters to assault so each the lengthy and quick par 4s listed below are well-suited for the massive hitters. It’s no marvel that Rory McIlroy is a two-time winner and the listing of champions consists of loads of energy hitters like Jason Day, Max Homa, J.B. Holmes.
The one factor that enables for shorter hitters to contend is the firmness of the course. As lengthy because the course performs agency, prefer it often does, it permits for the shorter hitters to choose up yardage off the tee by preserving it within the fairway and letting it roll.
There are greenside bunkers guarding each gap so good luck discovering a GIR on among the prolonged par 4s, in case you are lacking the fairways.
Looking on the grass situations, they are going to see a bermudagrass base once more this week. The tough will get overseeded with ryegrass which makes it a bit simpler to play out of in comparison with straight bermuda. The 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow was performed with pure bermudagrass tough however this occasion is all the time ryegrass tough. Once they attain the greens, they are going to see average-size inexperienced complexes that function Champion G12 Bermuda. There is a few overseeded poa trivialis hanging round nonetheless however that is the time of 12 months when the bermuda begins to claim its dominance. The greens had been flipped from bentgrass to bermuda previous to the beginning of the 2014 version and so they’ve been capable of ramp up inexperienced speeds since then because of this, sometimes stimping between 12 and 13 toes.
Sifting by way of some previous quotes, let’s attempt to break down the course to see the way it will play.
Patrick Reed: “The good thing around a place like this with how fast the greens are, especially if you’re downhill, you can’t force anything because you don’t want to hit it five, six feet by, so everything is kind of free flowing motions.”
Martin Laird “I remember when I first came here there was maybe four or five, maybe even six par 4s where I hit 3-wood or maybe 2-iron or 5-wood off the tee and now it just pretty much feels like you hit driver all day. I think I hit two 3-woods and then the rest are driver. It’s definitely stretched out.”
Phil Mickelson: “It’s very much like Augusta in that the grasses are very similar and the rough is very low, so I love that. It gives me a chance to recover if I hit some poor shots.”
Jason Day: “I think it’s a golf course where you kind of have to have every aspect going. You need to drive it well because it is a long golf course. If you’re not hitting fairways, then you’re going to miss greens because of how firm the greens are, so you need a really good short game to try and save yourself.”
Justin Rose: “It’s a strategic golf course. The greens are so severe, so sloping, that you need to respect a lot of pin placements out there. A lot of guys can make cheap bogeys on this golf course and maybe that’s what I haven’t done.”
Looking at grass sorts, geography, course attributes, and previous efficiency, listed below are a couple of programs/occasions that I believe might show to be an excellent pointer this week:
The themes listed below are bogey charges (excessive), method distances (lengthy), and inexperienced speeds (quick).
Thursday: Sunny with a excessive of 72 levels. Winds 5 to 10 MPH.
Friday: Sunny with a excessive of 71 levels. Winds at 8 to fifteen MPH.
Only a slight likelihood of any rain this week in Charlotte. Temps are hovering within the low 70s for many of the week. Solid golf climate.
Golfers to Watch
JT performed properly from tee-to-green final week however could not capitalize on the greens. He mentioned this after three days of play at Innisbrook, “if I’m putting well this week I’m winning this tournament without question.” He misplaced 6.5 strokes placing at week’s finish in order that story checks out. Now he’ll head to Quail Hollow which is a course the place he misplaced strokes placing in all three of his May visits. He did acquire 7.2 strokes placing when taking part in the course in August, profitable the 2017 PGA Championship that week.
He arrives off back-to-back missed cuts in stroke-play occasions (PLAYERS, Masters). If there have been ever a get-right course for McIlroy, it might be Quail Hollow. He’s gained at 6.7 strokes tee-to-green in all seven eight visits to Quail Hollow, together with the 2017 PGA Championship.
The new dad settled for 58th place on the 2017 PGA Championship held at Quail Hollow Club. So, it will not be his frist time seeing the course. It might be his course debut in a non-major. His solely earlier Wells Fargo begin was a high 5 within the 2017 version which was performed at Eagle Point. With high 15s in 9 of his final 10 begins, it is exhausting to miss him.
Quail Hollow Club is a big-boy golf course however there are a couple of shorter hitters which have gotten the job accomplished right here. Perhaps Simpson might add his identify to that listing this week. Course information won’t be an issue, as he’s a member right here and is aware of the course in addition to anybody.
Similar to McIlroy above, he arrives searching for his misplaced kind however is headed to a course that has handled him very properly through the years. He’s gained no less than 7.7 strokes tee-to-green in 4 of his six Wells Fargo appearances and in addition gained 7.9 strokes tee-to-green on the 2017 PGA Championship. Fowler has dipped to 116th within the OWGR this week, his first time making a begin whereas outdoors of the highest 100 since early 2010.
The Texan is an ideal instance of there being a couple of solution to get the job accomplished. Success at Quail Hollow is mostly about hanging the ball at an elite degree. Yet, Reed has a powerful report right here and it is largely as a result of his quick sport. He’s gained no less than 2.2 strokes around-the-green in every of his final 4 visits and he is gained no less than 4.3 strokes placing in three of these 4 current begins at Quail Hollow. Don’t be stunned if he claws his solution to one other high 10 this week.
Ranking the Field
1. Justin Thomas
2. Jon Rahm
3. Tony Finau
4. Bryson DeChambeau
5. Xander Schauffele
6. Rory McIlroy
7. Webb Simpson
8. Viktor Hovland
9. Patrick Reed
10. Corey Conners
11. Will Zalatoris
12. Patrick Cantlay
13. Joaquin Niemann
14. Abraham Ancer
15. Cameron Tringale
16. Max Homa
17. Brian Harman
18. Sungjae Im
19. Jason Day
20. Tommy Fleetwood
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