Expert analysis provided by Jarod Kieler
Follow on Twitter @jkieler1010
After two straight weeks of top tier events, the PGA Tour makes its way to North Carolina and the Quail Hollow Club. Quail Hollow will be hosting the Wells Fargo Championship for the 13th time. Despite moving back two weeks to accommodate the updated Match Play Championship, eight of the top-20 golfers in the world will tackle the “Green Mile”, three of the most difficult closing holes on the PGA Tour. Rory McIlroy headlines the field and returns to the site of his first PGA Tour victory. J.B. Holmes shot 13 under par and ousted Jim Furyk by one stroke to win last year’s Championship.
My picks for this week:
1) Rory McIlroy (2) – Rory followed up his Match Play Championship with a tie for 8th at the PLAYERS. If McIlroy would have made a few more putts, he could have run away with the Championship. McIlroy posted a final round 62 to earn his first PGA tour title here in 2010. Since then, Rory has three additional top-10 finishes.
2) Phil Mickelson (0) – Although he has never won, Mickelson has seven top-10’s in 11 career trips to Quail Hollow. Last year, Mickelson was in third place heading to Sunday, but shot a final round 76 and tied for 11th. Mickelson missed the cut at the PLAYERS, but prior to that, he shared second at the Masters.
1) Ben Martin (0) – Martin has three top-20 finishes in his past five events. Last week at the PLAYERS, Martin came within inches of joining the three man playoff, but missed his par putt on 18 and settled for fourth. Martin’s best finish at Quail Hollow was a tie for 50th last year.
2) Brian Harman (0) – Like Martin, Harman enjoyed a nice PLAYERS Championship. Harman shot all four rounds under par and tied for eighth. The little lefty has never missed a cut in three career trips to Quail Hollow. Harman’s best finish came in 2013 when he shared 10th.
1) Kevin Kisner (0) – I am going to stay with the hot hand as Kisner played some phenomenal golf last weekend at the PLAYERS. Kisner found himself in a playoff with Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia, but would come up short on the fourth playoff hole. Kisner’s runner-up finish was his second in his last three tournaments. He also lost in a playoff to Jim Furyk at the Heritage. Kisner tied for 6th at Quail Hollow last year.
2) Justin Thomas (2) – You may look and see that Thomas finished in a tie for 24th at the PLAYERS and think he didn’t play that well. However, the youngster was in contention until he fell apart late on Sunday. Prior to the PLAYERS, Thomas tied for 11th at the Heritage and 12th at the Zurich.
Other Golfers Considered:
Jim Furyk (Tier A): Furyk has a win and two runner-up finishes in ten career trips to Quail Hollow. After winning the Heritage; Furyk finished solo 4th at the Match Play Championship and shared 56th at the PLAYERS.
George McNeil (Tier B): McNeil has two straight top-20 finishes, including a tie for 17th last week at the PLAYERS. In eight career trips to Quail Hollow, G-Mac has four top-25’s.
Bo Van Pelt (Tier C): BVP has three career top-10 finishes at Quail Hollow, including a tie for 6th in 2013. Van Pelt shared 9th at the Heritage and tied for 30th at the PLAYERS.