The First Look: Wells Fargo Championship
May 02, 2021
By Adam Stanley , PGATOUR.COM
Max Homa's Round 4 highlights from Wells Fargo
The Wells Fargo Championship returns to the PGA TOUR schedule after being cancelled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Max Homa returns to defend his title against a field full of TOUR stars, including FedExCup leader Justin Thomas.
FIELD NOTES: Two-time FedExCup champion Rory McIlroy returns to action for the first time since the Masters. McIlroy also is the Wells Fargo Championship’s only two-time winner. He set a course record in each win, shooting a final-round 62 in 2010 and a third-round 61 in 2015… The top two players in the FedExCup – Thomas and Bryson DeChambeau – are teeing it up in North Carolina. Thomas won the 2017 PGA Championship contested at Quail Hollow… Phil Mickelson will tee it up at the Wells Fargo for the 17th time in 18 editions. He missed the cut in 2017 but owns 12 top-12 finishes at the event… Sponsors exemptions include 19-year-old Akshay Bhatia, a North Carolina native, and Wake Forest alum Will Zalatoris. Zalatoris hasn’t missed a cut in the 2021 calendar year but enjoyed two weeks off after finishing runner-up at the Masters and T42 at the RBC Heritage – buying his own place in Dallas and getting engaged.
FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 500 FedExCup points.
STORYLINES: No golfer has ever defended his title at the Wells Fargo. Homa, who won at The Genesis Invitational earlier this year, looks to buck that trend. He arrives in good form, sitting in third place halfway through the Valspar Championship… Overall, 13 of the top 20 golfers in the FedExCup (through the Zurich Classic of New Orleans) are teeing it up at Quail Hollow… Rory McIlroy loves the Wells Fargo Championship. He’s finished outside the top-10 just twice in nine starts and in 2019 he finished T8… Rickie Fowler is looking for a spark after recording just two top-10 finishes in 29 events across 2020-21. Fowler, who is now ranked outside the top 100 in the world, won his first TOUR title at the Wells Fargo in 2012 and finished T4 in 2019…This year’s Wells Fargo will give players one last look at Quail Hollow before the 2022 Presidents Cup. Next year’s Wells Fargo will be played at TPC Potomac as Quail Hollow prepares to host the intercontinental tussle between the U.S. and International teams. It will be the first Presidents Cup since 2019 in Royal Melbourne, when the International Team took the lead into Singles but was overcome by the United States in the final session.
COURSE: Quail Hollow Club, par 71, 7,521 yards. The long-time PGA TOUR stop was originally laid out by George Cobb in the early 1960s. An upgrade was overseen by Tom Fazio as the course prepared for the PGA Championship in 2017. Annually rated as one of the toughest courses on TOUR, its ‘Green Mile’ closing stretch of holes flummoxes TOUR players year after year. Quail Hollow is set to host The Presidents Cup in 2022 and the PGA Championship again in 2025.
72-HOLE RECORD: 267, Rory McIlroy (2015).
18-HOLE RECORD: 61, Rory McIlroy (3rd round, 2015).
LAST TIME: Cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the 2019 Wells Fargo Championship saw Max Homa capture his maiden PGA TOUR title. Homa, the former NCAA champ who endured a difficult slump early in his pro career, shot a 4-under 67 in Sunday’s final round to top Joel Dahmen by three shots. Homa, who started the final round as one of three co-leaders, trailed Dahmen through six holes. But after going 3 under in a five-hole stretch, he held a four-shot lead before a weather delay with just five holes to play. After the hour-long delay was completed, Homa nailed a 5-foot par saver and cruised to victory after that. Justin Rose finished third while Rickie Fowler, Paul Casey and Jason Dufner rounded out the top five.
HOW TO FOLLOW
Television: Thursday-Friday, 2 p.m.-6 p.m. (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 1 p.m.-3 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3 p.m.-6 p.m. (CBS)
PGA TOUR LIVE: Thursday-Friday, 7 a.m.-6 p.m. (Featured Groups), Saturday-Sunday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. (Featured Groups), 3 p.m.-6 p.m. (Featured Holes)
Radio: Thursday-Friday, 12 p.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, 1 p.m.-6 p.m. (PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.com/liveaudio).
TOUR Pulse: Get the PGA TOUR app to utilize TOUR Pulse, which provides users the ability to experience a mix of content, such as video highlights, written hole summaries and stat graphics on every player after every hole they complete.