All-time Power Rankings: Wells Fargo Championship
April 27, 2020
By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM
Inside the PGA TOUR
Rory McIlroy's success at Quail Hollow
This was supposed to be our final gaze at Quail Hollow Club before it settles into its responsibility as the host of the Presidents Cup in the early fall of 2021. Instead, our most recent lasting memory of the usual backdrop of the Wells Fargo Championship remains Max Homa's cool-and-collected breakthrough victory in last year's edition.
Max Homa's winning highlights from Wells Fargo
Homa's title defense likely would have slowed him down on social media, however. There are only so many hours in the day, you understand. He's such a natural on the array of microblogging platforms that he'd sit prominently on a current Power Rankings of golfers who use any. Then again, given the youth of all of them, he'd also be right up there in an all-time version.
The Wells Fargo Championship has been contested 17 times, so it's just a little older. And not unlike social media, it's served as the site for numerous memorable experiences. Anthony Kim (2008), Rory McIlroy (2010) and Rickie Fowler (2012) recorded their first PGA TOUR victories at Quail Hollow, and there have been seven playoffs.
Bentgrass greens were in place from the tournament's inception in 2003 and lasted through 2013 before transitioning to Mini-Verde ultra dwarf bermudagrass from 2014-2016. The course then modified the putting surfaces again, this time to Champion T-12 Ultradwarf bermuda for the PGA Championship in 2017. Because of that duty, Eagle Point Golf Club in Wilmington, North Carolina, hosted the Wells Fargo Championship that year. Similarly, because the Presidents Cup is the next significant event at Quail Hollow, the 2021 edition of the WFC will be held at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm. Among notable tournaments, the last two editions (2017, 2018) of the Quicken Loans National also were held there.
Quail Hollow was a par 72 until the 2017 PGA Championship. It's been a par 71 since.
ALL-TIME POWER RANKINGS: WELLS FARGO CHAMPIONSHIP
10. Nick Watney
Quail Hollow forever has favored confidence and execution tee to green, and the first 15 holes (pre-The Green Mile) have been scorable, so it would have been an upset if he didn't find success on the course. While it wasn't until 2018 when he shared second place to finally sniff the top of the leaderboard, it also was the latest notable contribution to a record that includes three top-10s and another five top-25s on the course.
9. Jason Day
He's made only four appearances spanning 10 years, but all resulted in a top-25, including a pair of top-10s. When he captured victory in 2018, he set the new bar for winners on The Green Mile by scoring 3 under – and bogey-free at that – on holes 16, 17 and 18 for the week.
Jason Day lands 12th victory at Wells Fargo
8. Anthony Kim
In a sense, his career was both ignited and extinguished at Quail Hollow. It was there in 2008 that he established himself as a PGA TOUR champion. His 16-under 272 and five-stroke margin were tournament records until Rory McIlroy eclipsed both in the 13th edition in 2015. AK went on to win twice more on TOUR before the last of his 122 career starts ended after one round at Quail Hollow in 2012 due to a wrist injury. It was his sixth appearance. Half yielded a top-10.
7. Tiger Woods
Other than 2019 champion Max Homa by default, Woods is the only winner of the Wells Fargo Championship not to attempt to defend his title. He triumphed at Quail Hollow in 2007, and then scaled way back on his schedule in 2008 when he underwent reconstructive surgery on his left knee after winning the U.S. Open. He did return in 2009 and finished fourth. It remains his most recent impressive result in Charlotte. Prior to the victory, he placed T3 in 2004 and T11 in 2005.
6. Phil Mickelson
Not unlike the migratory U.S. Open in which the 49-year-old has six runner-up finishes without a victory, he has unrequited love at Quail Hollow where he's collected 10 top-10s and another two top-20s in 15 appearances. His record includes a solo second in 2010, two thirds, a pair of T4s and a trio of T5s. He added a T18 at Eagle Point in 2017.
5. Lucas Glover
The South Carolina native hasn't missed an edition since breaking onto the PGA TOUR in 2004. It makes sense, too, given that Quail Hollow's demanding test tee to green feeds right into his skill set. After a close-call T2 in 2009, he prevailed in a playoff in 2011 and has another three top-10s among 12 cuts made.
4. Vijay Singh
Shared runner-up honors in the inaugural edition of 2003 and placed T10 in 2004 before emerging with victory in a playoff in 2005. He'd go on to record another pair of top-10s and a T17 through his age-48 season of 2011.
3. Rickie Fowler
For a talent who has struggled in avoiding big numbers, especially early in his career, his 8-for-8 slate at Quail Hollow is even more impressive when you consider the overall challenge. He lifted his first PGA TOUR trophy as a 23-year-old on the course in 2012, he's finished T4 twice, sixth once (in his debut at age 21 in 2010) and connected for another two top-25s.
Signature Moments: Wells Fargo Championship
2. Jim Furyk
Avenged a playoff loss at Quail Hollow in 2005 with a playoff win in 2006. Also finished alone in second in 2014. Sprinkled in a pair of seventh-place finishes and a T11 among eight paydays.
1. Rory McIlroy
We've watched him grow as a professional at this tournament. After his breakthrough title at Quail Hollow in 2010, he proved that the distractions for a first-time defending champion (in 2011) play no favorites as he missed his only cut in nine appearances. He rebounded but lost in a playoff in 2012, and then became (and still is) the only multiple winner in tournament history in 2015 at a tournament-record 21-under 267 with a course-record 61 in the third round. Overall, he's 8-for-9 with seven top-10s and a T16.
Inside the PGA TOUR
Rory McIlroy's success at Quail Hollow
By comparison, his record at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans is stronger than it is at the Wells Fargo Championship. Yet, even with a win among three top-10s and another trio of top-20s piggybacking his connection to LSU and communities throughout the Pelican State, his record wasn't strong enough to elbow into the Honorable Mentions last week. The difference, of course, is that the WFC didn't even exist until this century. After serving as its first champion in 2003, he's gone on to connect for four more top 25s among seven paydays.
The 2014 champ preceded his title with a T17 in 2008 and a T9 in 2011. All told, he's 8-for-13.
Edges 2004 champion Joey Sindelar for the final slot among winners. The lefty prevailed at the only edition at Eagle Point in 2017, and he has another top-10 among three top-25s to sit 7-for-8 overall. Sindelar is 4-for-5, also with two top-10s and three top-25s.
Essentially all or nothing at Quail Hollow in 15 starts. In the worst 11, he made one cut (T80/MDF in 2013) and failed to break par in all 23 rounds. However, his best warrants attention here. He lost in a playoff in 2011 and finished T5 in 2009, T9 in 2012 and T14 in 2014.
From 2004-2015, he went 11-for-11 at Quail Hollow with three top-10s and another five top-25s. While his best finish was but a T7 in 2015, his body of work snubs five winners of the Wells Fargo Championship, who have a combined six top-10s, nine top-25s and 19 cuts made.