Previewing the Wells Fargo Championship

This week’s stop on the PGA Tour is the Wells Fargo Championship, played at the Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, NC.  Incidentally, Quail Hollow will host the PGA Championship in a mere 5 years.  It is fitting that one of the most exclusive clubs in the country hosts a tournament that annually brings out the best in golf.  This year, 6 of the world’s top 15 players and 22 of the top 50 in the world will try their hand at winning the lion’s share of the $6.5 million purse.

The course is in the midst of some major changes, including the only change that will be in play this year; the pros will be playing from the “member tees” on the vicious par 3 17th hole that is surrounded by water.  This will move the tee shot from 217 yards to 150-180 yards with a much better angle to the putting surface.  Next year, however, players will see a relatively major redesign to the 4th and 8th holes, while the 12th green will be overhauled.  There has been some harsh criticism about the severe undulations on the greens, which is most likely the impetus behind the club’s plans to modify them in the future.

The list of past champions includes the likes of David Toms, Vijay Singh, Jim Furyk, Tiger Woods and Anthony Kim (when it was the Wachovia Championship) and Sean O’Hair, Rory McIlroy and defending champion Lucas Glover (since it has been known as the Quail Hollow Championship).

According to, Rory McIlroy is the favorite to win this week at 7/1, while Tiger Woods (9/1), Phil Mickelson (10/1) and Lee Westwood (12/1) are not far behind.

This should be a great 4 days of golf at an incredible course.  Let’s hope the perceptions (reality?) about the unreasonable undulations on the greens don’t cost anyone the tournament.