Power Rankings: Wells Fargo Championship

April 29, 2013

By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy Insider

Say this about the goings-on at Quail Hollow Club, there's never a dull moment, at least lately. Now in its 11th year as host of the Wells Fargo Championship, the George Cobb design renovated by Tom Fazio in the back half of the 1990s has endured more than its share of attention over the last 12 months. In fact, with the PGA TOUR in town, the tournament offers a bit of a break for the grounds crew.

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Since last year's edition, numerous changes have been made to the property. Arguably atop the list of priorities was a complete rebuild of the green at the 12th hole where undulations have been diminished. While the par 4 still reads 456 yards on the scorecard, the measurements of 10 other holes have been tweaked. From a pair of nine-yard bumps (at the 210-yard, par-3 13th and 487-yard, par-4 16th) to a 19-yard reduction at the par-3 17th (198 yards), the net deviation was plus-23 yards to a course history-high of 7,492.

Garnering considerable awareness in recent weeks, the greens at the par-4 eighth and par-5 10th holes required freshly laid sod to resolve issues related to the failure of proper growth of the bentgrass on both. With the problem addressed, it's ultimately temporary anyway as all 18 greens will be replaced with Bermuda grass in advance of next year's tournament. It's a conversion that was originally scheduled for 2015 to prepare for the PGA Championship two years later, but the course demands it now.

Under normal conditions, The Green Mile -- holes 16, 17 and 18, a par 4-3-4 finish -- hogs the focus for the week, and rightly so. Yet, the closing stretch averaged 11.619 strokes in 2012. It's the second consecutive year that it established a new low. Overall, par-72 Quail Hollow played under par for the second straight year as well, registering a scoring average of 71.844.

Fairways are among the hardest to hit among all courses on the PGA TOUR -- Quail Hollow ranked third-lowest in driving accuracy (47.59 percent) for the third straight year in 2012 -- and the proximity-to-the-hole measurement is always among the longest. After four consecutive years as No. 1 on TOUR, it ranked third in 2012 at exactly 40 feet.

Unseasonably cool air will greet the field of 156 and remain throughout the week. High temperatures may not hit 70 degrees. A chance for rain cannot be ruled out at any time, but the threat is minimal. Winds are forecast to be moderate at worst.

NOTE: For similar characteristics among recent winners of the Wells Fargo Championship, please look for "Stats Suggest" in The TOUR Report on Wednesday.

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Power Rankings: Wells Fargo Championship
Rank Player   Comment
Webb SIMPSON Webb SIMPSON Took a week off after losing in a playoff at Harbour Town, his third top-six finish of the season. Sits 29th on TOUR in greens in regulation, 41st in strokes gained-putting and 17th in adjusted scoring. Solo fourth here last year.
Bill HAAS Bill HAAS Ranks 153rd in final-round scoring average, but still co-leads the PGA TOUR with five top 10s. Also eighth in greens in regulation and 13th in scrambling. Two fourth-place finishes and a pair of T22s in nine appearances at Quail Hollow.
Rory MCILROY Rory MCILROY All-or-nothing history at Quail Hollow where he owns the course record (62) and claimed his first PGA TOUR title in 2010. After missing the cut in 2011, he lost in a playoff last year. Rested since sharing 25th place at the Masters.
Bubba WATSON Bubba WATSON Reeled in a T15 in New Orleans after opening with a 1-over 73. Shared runner-up honors at Quail Hollow in 2009. Currently sixth on TOUR in greens hit, 45th in strokes gained-putting and first in birdies or better on par 4s.
Nick WATNEY Nick WATNEY Shot 3-under 69 in every round in New Orleans to post a T15, his second straight top 15. Six top 25s in eight trips to Quail Hollow including a personal-best solo eighth last year when he held the outright lead after 36 holes.
Rickie FOWLER Rickie FOWLER Already owned a sparkling record at Quail Hollow before breaking through for his first PGA TOUR victory in last year's playoff. Three top 10s this season. Ranks 20th in fairways hit, 35th in strokes gained-putting and 22nd in scrambling.
Phil MICKELSON Phil MICKELSON Didn't get the job done at the Masters (T54), but he's been lights out at Quail Hollow where he's 9-for-9 with four top fives and another two top 10s. Ranks 21st in greens hit, 42nd in strokes gained-putting and second in par breakers.
Sergio GARCIA Sergio GARCIA Making his eighth appearance. Lost in a playoff in 2005, but most recently played T28 in 2011. After sharing eighth at the Masters, tied for 12th at the Open de Espana. Eight top 20s worldwide this year. Ranks second in adjusted scoring.
D.A. POINTS D.A. POINTS Since losing in a playoff here last year, he's gone through some adversity, both on the course and off (back injury). Now riding a consecutive cuts made streak of four that includes a win in Houston and a solo second in New Orleans.
Lee WESTWOOD Lee WESTWOOD Top 10s in each of his last two starts, the more recent of which a T8 at the Masters. Tied for fifth at Quail Hollow last year in what was his fourth appearance. Ranks seventh on the PGA TOUR in scrambling and 16th in adjusted scoring.
Hunter MAHAN Hunter MAHAN Last year's T53 at Quail Hollow ended a run of four straight top 25s at the track, but ball-striking remains a premium and that plays into his skill set. He's 17th on TOUR in the stat. Also 25th in strokes gained-putting.
Lucas GLOVER Lucas GLOVER The 2011 champ has four top 10s in nine trips to Quail Hollow. Held the 54-hole lead in New Orleans last week, but settled for his second T4 of the season. Currently 10th in total driving and 42nd in the all-around ranking.
Jimmy WALKER Jimmy WALKER Forgettable record at Quail Hollow includes missed cuts in his first four appearances, but he's been a machine this season. A T8 in New Orleans was his fourth top 10 and 20th consecutive cut made. Ranks 11th in adjusted scoring.
Kevin STREELMAN Kevin STREELMAN He's 0-for-3 at this event, but he hasn't appeared since 2010 and he's in the midst of a career year in the heart of his prime. Since breaking through at the Tampa Bay Championship, he's added a T21 at Bay Hill and a T3 at Harbour Town.
Padraig HARRINGTON Padraig HARRINGTON Prior to missing the cut at the Masters, he posted top-10s in Malaysia and San Antonio to total four worldwide this year. He has top-10s in his last two trips to Quail Hollow, where he’s scored par or better in eight consecutive rounds