Writer: Lucas Garza
The Wells Fargo Championship returns to Quail Hollow this week after having last year’s tournament at Eagle Point. The 2017 PGA Championship won by Justin Thomas was at Quail Hollow, so the regular tour event changed locations for the year. This will be the first time the Wells Fargo Championship will be played on the redesigned Quail Hollow course that went under renovations for the 2017 PGA.
Even though last year’s Wells Fargo was at a different site, it did not disappoint. Dustin Johnson was playing in his first golf tournament since falling down the stairs at Augusta, and was continuing his good form. Jon Rahm was also in contention, but the short, left handed hitter, Brian Harman, outlasted all of them by draining a long birdie putt on the 18th hole on Sunday. James Hahn won the last Wells Fargo played at Quail Hollow, in 2016, and Justin Thomas won the PGA there last August.
The tournament is drawing big names as it always does, with Tiger, Rory, Phil, Justin Thomas, and Rickie Fowler all in the field. Patrick Reed will be playing his first tournament since winning the green jacket last month. Tiger is also playing in his first tournament since Augusta, he took a long break after the Masters to relax and reflect on the progress he has made.
The Players is the week following the Wells Fargo, and will draw an even better and deeper field. TPC Sawgrass has hosted the Players each year, and continues to be a difficult task for the players to handle. Si Woo Kim surprised the golfing world last year by running away with the tournament thanks to his incredible short game display, but the Players has a tendency to produce all sorts of winners. Tiger has also committed to playing in the Players this year. He won at TPC Sawgrass in 2001 and 2013.
The favorite anytime there is a tournament at Quail Hollow tends to be Rory McIlroy due to his past record there. Justin Thomas hopes to play well at the course where he won his first and only major, and Rickie Fowler and Kevin Kisner would like to get revenge at a course where they lost their chances to win their first majors. Historically, the Players has not been friendly to the reigning Masters champions, but Sergio did have a hole in one on Thursday at the famous hole 17 island green last year. TPC Sawgrass will look to destroy players’ confidences and identify the best player in the field that week.