2012 Wells Fargo Championship Preview
The Course: Quail Hollow Club
Quail Hollow Club is a par 72 private course that measures out to over 7,400 yards. Many of the holes on this course have doglegs to them of varying lengths. Three out of the four par 5s on the course are reachable in two for most of the players in the event, while the par 3s will provide a difficult challenge (the sixth hole is over 250 yards in length). The key for players this week will be driving, as many of the tee shots are narrow and can penalize even the slightest mishit.
Players to Watch
Tiger Woods: Woods played poorly in his last event (at the Masters), never breaking even par in all four rounds to finish T40. Even with his poor performance at that event, he still ranks in the top 50 on the Tour in driving accuracy, greens in regulation, and total putting, so I wouldn’t count him out by any means to compete for another victory this week.
Rory McIlroy: McIlroy fared just as poorly as Woods did at the Masters, finishing T40 as well. The one thing that concerns me about picking him to win this week is his performance on par 5s; he currently ranks 153rd on Tour in par 5 performance. That will not get it done at this week’s event, so it will be interesting to see how he creates opportunities for himself besides the par 5s.
Phil Mickelson: As opposed to Woods and McIlroy, Mickelson nearly won the Masters this year, finishing in third after a disappointing final round that included a triple bogey on a par 3. Phil hasn’t been too good with the long stick this year, ranking 142nd on Tour in driving accuracy, but he still has a hot putter and ranks in the top ten in par 5 performance. In other words, expect him to be in contention come the weekend.
Golf Channel: Thursday/Friday 3pm – 7pm EST
CBS: Saturday/Sunday 3pm – 6pm EST
Ryan Kekoufski is a scratch golfer who has both played and watched the sport for over a decade and currently runs The Yips Blog, a blog dedicated solely to the game of golf. He covers sports for the Yahoo! Contributor Network, and currently resides in Virginia.