Wells Fargo Championship – Fantasy Golfanac

Course Details

Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina
7,554 yards – Par 71 – Champion Bermudagrass Greens overseed with Poa Trivialis (bentgrass before 2014)
Fairways: Bermudagrass overseeded with Perennial Ryegrass
Rough: Bermudagrass overseeded with Perennial Ryegrass
Architect: George Cobb (1961); Tom Fazio (1997, 2016)
Water Hazards: 2 (in play on six holes)
Sand Bunkers: 60

Tournament Stimpmeter: 12 to 12.5 feet … Faster Green Speeds
Green Sizes: 6,580 sq. feet .. Average Green Sizes
Strength of Field Rating: ~430 … Strong Field Strength
Fairways Hit (Field Average): 50% … Extremely Low Fairways Hit Percentage
Greens in Regulation (Field Average): 64% … Average GIR Percentage

Tournament Angles

Long Courses
Performance on Fast Greens
Strong Field Events
Hard Courses
Driver-Heavy Courses
Overseeded Bermuda
Performance on Bermuda
Performance in the Spring
Hard Fairway Courses

Previous Winners

2018: Jason Day -12 over Nick Watney, Aaron Wise -10
2017 (Eagle Point): Brian Harman -10 over Dustin Johnson, Pat Perez -9
2016: James Hahn -9 over Roberto Castro in a playoff
2015: Rory McIlroy -21 over Patrick Rodgers -14
2014: J.B. Holmes -14 over Jim Furyk -13
2013: Derek Ernst -8 over David Lynn in a playoff
2012: Rickie Fowler over Rory McIlroy, D.A. Points in a playoff
2011: Lucas Glover -15 over Jonathan Byrd in a playoff
2010: Rory McIlroy -15 over Phil Mickelson -11

54-Hole Leaders

2018: Jason Day -10
2017 (Eagle Point): Patrick Reed -8
2016: Rickie Fowler -9
2015: Rory McIlroy -18
2014: J.B. Holmes -13
2013: Phil Mickelson, Nick Watney -8
2012: Webb Simpson -14
2011: Jonathan Byrd -15
2010: Billy Mayfair -9

36-Hole Leaders

2018: Peter Malnati -7
2017 (Eagle Point): Francesco Molinari -6
2016: Andrew Loupe -8
2015: Webb Simpson, Robert Streb -10
2014: Martin Flores, Angel Cabrera -9
2013: Phil Mickelson -9
2012: Nick Watney -12
2011: Pat Perez -12
2010: Billy Mayfair -8

First-Round Leaders

2018: John Peterson -6
2017 (Eagle Point): Francesco Molinari -6
2016: Andrew Loupe, Steve Wheatcroft -7
2015: Robert Streb -7
2014: Angel Cabrera -6
2013: Derek Ernst, Robert Garrigus, Rory McIlroy, Ryan Moore, Nate Smith, Daniel Summerhays, Nick Watney -5
2012: Stewart Cink, Ryan Moore, Webb Simpson -7
2011: Bill Haas -8
2010: Bo Van Pelt -7

Important Interview Quotes

Q. You said it was a big boy course and you’re happy with what you did from thetips?
JOHNSON WAGNER:
Absolutely. You know, it’s a long golf course. I play here a lot, and when it’s firm like this, I feel like I can play with anybody out here just because I know the angles and I know where to hit it on the greens, but when it gets soft and long, that’s when I struggle. But playing firm and fast, I really enjoy playing from back there. -2018

Q. How often would you say you do play?
JOHNSON WAGNER:
Here? It’s my home course. I’m a member here so I play here, I don’t know, if I’m on a week off, I play here four, five times a week. -2018

Q. Talk about this incarnation of this golf course. The Tour’s been coming here for 15 years. It’s a different golf course now than it was before and even different than last August.
JASON DAY:
Yeah, obviously we had bermudagrass last August at the PGA, and this is, I think, definitely an easier grass to play on. I think bermuda, coming out of the rough, you have more chances of having big flyers. The biggest thing is there were a couple times when I was in the rough and I really catch a flyer, and you know that when you’re in bermudagrass, you’ve got to catch it. And if you’re in the rough and you’re trying to land it on these greens, which are bouncing five to 10 paces with a wedge, that makes it difficult to hold greens. I think this is definitely an easier grass, but also still playing difficult because it’s obviously the scores reflect how the course is. -2018

Q. Tell us about those scoring conditions. Pretty nice out here at Quail Hollow Club.
PETER MALNATI:
I mean, the golf course is amazing, but it’s really difficult. I’m not known for my distance off the tee, and this is a long course, so I had to show off my hybrid prowess today. I was hitting a lot of long shots into the par 4s and even some on the par 3s. It was perfect scoring conditions, like you said, but still a tough test, really tough test. -2018

Q. What’s the hardest part about this golf course, and what do you like most about the challenge?
PETER MALNATI:
For me, the hardest part is simply the length. I hit a lot of long shots out here. I don’t think anyone in the world would tell you it’s easier to hit a 4-iron than a 7-iron. So the length is the challenge for me. But I think this time of year with the course, not having bermuda rough, having this overseeded rye, the greens are where the challenge is. I wasn’t here for the PGA, but I’m guessing in August the rough had to have been quite a challenge. This rye, it’s pretty friendly. But the greens are still really firm, really fast, have a lot of slope, so the greens are a strong defense for everyone, but the length is a big defense for a lot of guys. -2018

Q. If people aren’t familiar with your game, you can bomb it off the tee. We had you 370 off of 15 and 354 on 16, and obviously I would think this golf course plays right
into your alley.
KEITH MITCHELL:
It’s definitely my advantage if I can keep it in the fairway. So I did that decently enough today, gives me some advantages. And the fairways are running so pure right now that the ball’s bouncing and rolling. If you can just — I mean, it’s tight out there, there are some big trees. So if you can just keep it in the fairway and keep the ball in front of you, you’re going to make some birdies. -2018

Q. The last couple tournaments maybe haven’t been what you’re looking for, but those couple tournaments there in March kind of up to now, do you feel like confidence is really gaining as the season goes along?
KEITH MITCHELL:
Absolutely. It’s such a learning curve out here with the golf courses and the competition, just getting comfortable really. This week — I worked with my teacher a little bit last week and just kind of I felt like my game was in a really good place, and this golf course suits me. So I just tried to stay out of my own way out there and I felt like I did that pretty well today. -2018

Q. Rory, is there a regular Tour stop that you feel as comfortable at as this one?
RORY McILROY:
Memorial, Bay Hill. Those are three that I really like. But no, probably not as much as here. I mean, I love this place. I play well. I feel like I don’t have to play that good and I can still get it around. So yeah, it’s a very comfortable golf course for me. -2018

Q. Beyond the changes, three par 5s now, what’s the toughest thing about this compared to what you faced at the PGA?
RORY McILROY:
I think the toughest thing about this week is the firmness of the greens. They react a little bit differently than most bermuda greens do, they’re very firm. It doesn’t matter if you pitch the ball into the green or down grain, it still gets a pretty big first hop. And that’s the toughest bit I think this week is if you short-side yourself, you’re going to have difficult chips because the greens are so firm, and if you’re hitting longer clubs in, it’s harder to control them. -2018

RORY McILROY: I like trees. No, seriously. I like tree-lined golf courses. I like that it gives you definition, I like that it frames holes for you. I love that.

That’s my sort of — I mean, I loved Akron. This is going to be the last year we’re there. That’s my sort of if I had one golf course to play for the rest of my life, it would be a
tree-lined, framed sort of golf course. -2018

JOHN PETERSON: I don’t think I’ve ever led solo out here. I might have been tied or one back a few times, played a few final groups. I don’t think it will be that bad.

I’m kind of freewheeling it at this point. I know a little bit has been said about me retiring if I don’t make the necessary money for my medical starts, and all that’s true. If I don’t make it, I’m not playing golf anymore. So I’m kind of freewheeling it out here. I don’t really have a ton to lose, just kind of playing golf. My whole family’s here and they came last week and they came the week before that and they’re watching me with all the starts I have remaining.

So I probably won’t do much different tonight. Probably go to the same restaurant and do the same thing, have a couple Miller Lites and call it a night. -2018

Q. Can you compare this golf course for the way it played for the PGA versus the years it hosted the Wells Fargo, was it that dramatically different?
BRIAN HARMAN:
It can be, it just depends on how firm everything gets. The overseeded rough is much easier to play in than strictly bermuda rough, which is what we had PGA. Around the greens will be slightly easier to chip on, and the greens won’t be quite as fast as they were for the PGA. They were brand new, I think they only had six months or something on them with the Champions bermuda. But this will be the first Wells Fargo we’ve played on these greens with Bermuda instead of the traditional greens that have been here forever. It will be interesting to see how the tournament plays out. It was extremely difficult for the PGA. It was really tough to chip around the greens because it was so tight, but with that overseed, you had a little bit more grass, a little bit more cushion to play from. -2018


Q. Outside of the grasses this week, is there anything different about the way the golf course is playing now as far as setup, pin placements, anything along those lines versus last year at the PGA?
JUSTIN THOMAS:
Yeah, the greens are quite a bit different. The greens are very firm and a decent bit slower than the PGA. The balls are going to be bouncing very high on our approach shots into the green. It’s different. They take a couple hops and then they check on the shorter irons, but that first hop is a big one. So you need to kind of have some height coming into the greens and some spin on certain shots. But other than that, I mean, the grasses are completely different, so like you said, you can’t even begin to compare that, but the greens are quite a bit different. -2018

Q. Do you wish the setup was like it was last year in the PGA versus what you’re facing this week?
JUSTIN THOMAS:
Absolutely. I wish it was exactly like it was at the PGA. I like the bermudagrass just from a comfort level, or the bermuda greens I definitely like more. But it is what it is and I still have to try and go play some good golf out there. -2018

Q. Rory, Justin just in here and he was asked would you rather play this golf course as the PGA venue with the different grasses and how it was set up versus the way it is this week. He said clearly the PGA venue. This one would you prefer?
RORY McILROY:
I like this one. Any time you can get it overseeded, I like that. Look, this golf course feels two to three shots easier this week than it was for the PGA just with we’re using it — there’s a couple holes where we’re not using the PGA tee boxes. The rough is way more predictable. You’re not going to get the flyer, you basically know how it’s going to come out and you can control your ball a little bit before out of the rye rough than you would out of bermuda, so I prefer it like this. It’s a little easier, it sort of sets up a little better for me, I guess. -2018

Q. Rory, you mentioned your strong play at this event in the past. Other than just sort of it suits my eye, can you kind of break down why this course really fits your game?
RORY McILROY:
I think there’s a lot of mid and long irons, that plays to my strength. There’s one less par 5 now than there used to be, but the par 5s are very gettable. I think they have toughened the golf course up a lot even though it is playing a little easier than it was at the PGA. It used to be if you weren’t sort of 1 or 2 under after six, you would be disappointed, where now if you’re even par through six holes, you’re pretty happy with that. The first six is a pretty tough stretch. -2018

Q. I know you won a lot as an amateur. Is there a type of course you prefer? Longer courses, shorter, tighter courses, what kind of works best for you?
JOAQUÍN NIEMANN:
Yeah, I think like tree-lined courses like San Antonio was really, really tight, and because I like to hit like my low drivers and I feel really confident with that. Yeah, I mean this course is really long. I’ve got to hit it long, big drivers, and yeah, I feel really good. -2018

Q. Tiger, your thoughts on all the changes you’ve seen the past couple days for the first time?
TIGER WOODS:
Well, the golf course is much harder than it used to be, that’s for sure. It’s longer but it’s also more difficult. The greens aren’t quite as fast as when I remember playing here, but they are more difficult. Some of these holes have become a lot more stout. The bunkers are certainly more in play than they used to be, and the greens are new, so they’re a little more springy. Even though we’re hitting certain shots with 9 irons and wedges, they’re still springing up in the air. Some of the holes yesterday afternoon, we were surprised because some of the bounces I got almost flag high. If it’s like this for the rest of the week, they’re going to be pretty springy. -2018

Q. I was curious if you could talk about this course, anything you find particularly distinctive about the way Quail Hollow plays and also how much or little difference
you think there will be the way the course is set up this week relative to the PGA as far as the bermuda versus the overseed and anything else that is particularly
distinctive about this course.
HAROLD VARNER III:
I didn’t play the PGA here, but I’ve played a lot of golf courses with bermuda and rye and I think it’s a huge difference. Anytime you can get the ball not running as fast and then just hard to chip out of bermuda, that very week just made it so hard because it’s so soft, you know, on the fairways and then the greens are so firm, it’s like you can’t run it up. I heard a few things about that. I don’t really know, I didn’t watch much of the PGA, but I think when it’s on rye, it’s a huge difference. -2018

Q. Were they any different than they were Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday?
TIGER WOODS:
Yeah, you know, I struggled on Tuesday and Wednesday trying to hit putts that much harder. I didn’t expect it because when I played here, they’ve been quick.
And the guys last year who played the PGA were telling me how quick they are and how slippery they were, but this is a different time of year obviously than it is in August. -2018

TIGER WOODS: They normally cut the greens and make them faster, but they’re just not quick. They’re firm. And that’s not a combo that you find very often where they’re firm and a little bit on the slower side, so just got to make the adjustments. -2018

PAUL CASEY: I think the grain got a little bit more prominent as the day went on, and I learned the slopes back when we played the PGA here but obviously some of the greens were redone. Still haven’t quite figured out the grain. It wasn’t like grain in Surrey where I grew up as a kid, so I’m still learning. At 40 years old, still learning. -2018

PAUL CASEY: It’s a golf course I didn’t have a lot of success on through the years and it used to be very sort of damp around here, sloppy around here. PGA, I had a good result, I think, finishing at 11th. For some reason it just seems to be clicking now around this golf course. Maybe the firm and fast, I like that. This is reminiscent of something like the small margin for error you get at something like Augusta National and I like that. If it stays firm and fast this weekend, I’ll be a very, very happy man and I think my chances are good to at least contend and see what happens. -2018

Q. Do you feel like you play better on more difficult golf courses?
PAUL CASEY:
Yeah, I think it favors me more. Why? I like the challenge. I like if everybody else is finding it tough, too. It’s not necessarily more enjoyable, but for whatever reason, I seem to thrive on that. -2018

Q. You’ve played here a number of years. In fact, you had a couple of top-10s in 2012 and ’13. I know they’ve made some changes here, but are you comfortable on this golf course? Seems like you like this place.
NICK WATNEY:
I do, I really like the golf course, I like the city, I enjoy coming here. I think it’s one of the best events we have. So the course for sure will keep your attention and I’m just — I’m thrilled to be in good shape and I’m really looking forward to the challenge tomorrow. -2018

Q. You’ve played this golf course well in both conditions, PGA and this week. Do you have a preference for one or the other?
RICKIE FOWLER:
I would probably prefer more of the PGA setup. I feel like it separates guys a little bit more. You know, driving was a bit more of a premium with the Bermuda rough, which has been nice. I’ve made birdies out of the rough this week, a lot of guys have. I mean, the rough is very playable this week. The greens are maybe a little — today they were softer, but the first two days they were firmer than what we saw at the PGA. But I thought the PGA setup definitely separated guys a bit more based on driving and ball-striking. -2018

Q. You played well here last year at the PGA, I think it was a top-10, and you’ve played well here in the past in limited starts. Do you prefer either this Quail Hollow versus the PGA Quail Hollow?
JASON DAY:
Quail Hollow PGA is definitely a lot harder not only because it’s a major, but because it’s a different grass. If you have bermudagrass, I think it makes it tougher for the whole field. I don’t know how many strokes different it will make it tougher.

This grass is easier to play, it’s more predictable whereas bermuda is not predictable. To a certain degree it’s not really predictable, especially around the greens. With the overseed, you know that you can somehow, even if you don’t quite hit a good shot, it’s going to be around there.

I would take either/or. The harder, the better. The course that we have rightnow is in great shape. I think the superintendent has done a phenomenal job. The greens are bouncing very, very firm, so that’s one thing that you have to keep in mind. But the green speeds are nice and it’s playing tough out there. -2018

Q. And yet another top-5 here at Quail Hollow again. You love the place, you’re due.
PHIL MICKELSON:
Yes, I do love the place. I think it’s some of the best crowds we play in front of. Some of the largest, some of the most fun to play in front of. Wonderful golf course tee to green. It is a hard golf course now. It is a brutally difficult golf course. There’s no letup on it. It was a fight to play well this week. -2018

Q. With your history, how much does that firm up the mind-set when you approach playing Quail Hollow?
RICKIE FOWLER:
I’ve definitely had a lot of good finishes here. Getting my first win, and then being in contention a couple years ago. This golf course has a great look to me. It suits my eye. I’ve made a lot of putts here. Obviously being on some different surfaces and some of the greens are different.

I feel like we did a good job of that on the putting surfaces today. The big thing for me is continuing to drive it, as good as I did today, if not better. That can be tightened up a little bit. If we do that, it will be a good week. -2017 PGA

Q. How much different is it?
TONY FINAU:
It’s a lot different. Playing the true bermuda compared to the bent that we used to play, it’s a lot different. The shots around the greens, you’ve got to be so much more precise. If you’re not hitting the fairways, it seems like you’re just trying to scramble somehow to make par.

Fairways are a premium for sure this week. But the golf course plays so different when it’s true bermuda like this. You’ve got to think about the grain more. More undulation in the greens. The putts downhill are really, really fast. So all those come into consideration when you’re playing on bermuda, true Bermuda.

So the golf course plays quite a bit different but the cool thing is the views off the tee are all — the lines are pretty much the same. So didn’t have to adjust too much of that. -2017 PGA

Q. Your thoughts on how different this golf course IS for this major as compared to what it’s been for a regular tour stop?
BUD CAULEY:
We kind of joked about it today. It’s amazing how much more difficult you can make a place when you suck the moisture out of the greens. We come here at the Wells Fargo, it’s softer and more scorable. I was surprised how much it dried out. Even still you are back there further than normal and going into greens that are still pretty firm. So it’s a good test. -2017 PGA

Q. How different is this place from the Quail Hollow you’re used to?
RORY McILROY:
It’s different. I think one of the biggest things is the bermudarough just around the greens, missing fairways. It’s just once you get yourself out of position, it’s very difficult. It’s tricky around the greens.

You know, with the way that the bermudarough is, for example, I missed the 12th fairway on the left and then it’s in that bermudarough. You just can’t get any spin on the ball. You know, a few years ago, you’re able to hook that wedge around and get it on the green. Where today, it’s good just to get it up in that right bunker.

Just little things like that that make a difference. And the greens are as firm as I’ve ever seen, probably any greens at a PGA Championship. That makes things difficult, as well. Yeah, it’s definitely playing a few shots harder than it usually is, and it’s a major championship; it should be.

I thought the course played great today. As I said, the surfaces on the greens just got a little grainy as the afternoon went on and looking forward to getting some better surfaces in the morning. -2017 PGA

Q. You’ve had success here in the past with different grass on the greens. You’ve talked about your affinity for bermudagrass. Do you like it better this way, putting on better bermuda?
KEVIN KISNER:
I do. I love playing on the bermuda. I like the bent when I’m in the rough, but I like the bermuda when I’m in the fairway. -2017 PGA

Q. They talked on television and said your win at Colonial, the greens roll similar to what they roll here. Would you agree with that, and if that’s the case, what is the stroke, what is the kind of stroke that works best on these greens?
KEVIN KISNER:
I think any rhythmic stroke works best on these greens. When they are rolling this fast, you have to have perfect speed because they are big breakers, and you have to almost dive them in high side every time because you don’t want the 4- and 5-footers coming back.

I don’t like the comparisons to Colonial because they are mostly slower and bentgrass, smaller greens, with not as much undulation. Here I think it’s more high side, speed, trying to will it in the hole on the last roll. -2017 PGA

Q. As a really good ball-striker and a longer hitter, do you invite hitting longer clubs into the greens because of the wetness and the length of this golf course. Do you think that plays to the advantage of a good ball-striker or do you like hitting a lot of short irons in in terms of how much you can be affected?
BROOKS KOEPKA:
I mean, it all depends on the golf course. But this golf course, it’s a bomber’s paradise I think. There’s some lines we can take over some trees. No. 2, I just take it up over the tree. Trying to think of some other holes — you can take a short line into a bunch of them.

Like I hit pitching wedge into 1 today. I’m pretty sure a bunch of guys are going to be hitting 6-, maybe 5-iron into that hole. Length is a key factor out here, and especially when it’s as wet as it is, it makes those fairways a bit wider. And especially if you can keep it in the fairway, you’ll be just fine. -2017 PGA

JIMMY WALKER: “It has the potential to play completely different than it used to,” Walker said at a news conference Monday to promote Charlotte’s first golf major.

“We’re used to playing it with rye grass everywhere. It has a potential (with Bermuda) to play really firm and really fast. That’s when golf gets really hard, when you start losing control of the golf ball,” Walker said.

“Bermuda rough tends to fly a lot, or it could come out where you get some horrendous lies. Guys are going to have to deal with that: ‘Am I going to get the big jumper?’ Or ‘Will I get the really soft shot that comes out?’

“Even around the greens, Bermuda rough is very hard to chip out of. The greens ought to be fast, and that’s the biggest variable, I would think.” – 2017, PGA.com

COURSE CHANGES: The front nine will get three new holes starting at No. 1, which will be converted from a relatively short par-4 into a longer par-4 for professionals (par-5 for members).

The change will eliminate the par-3 second hole to allow for the new first green which will be located near the current second green.

The par-5 fifth hole will also go away and in its place will be a par-3 and a par-4 hole.

The sixth through ninth holes will remain the same.

The par-4 11th hole may also be redesigned, moving the green to add length to the hole. A fairway bunker will likely be moved approximately 80 yards farther from the tee to bring it back into play.

The design changes are part of a plan that began with the creation of a new 16th hole in 2013.

The work is scheduled to be done this summer when the putting surfaces are being switched from Mini Verde bermuda to Champion due to issues with the current grass. -2016, Charlotte Observer

Q. What makes it such a great venue for you that you like it so much?
ROBERTO CASTRO:
Other than East Lake, it’s the closest tournament to home. Especially when they had bentgrass greens, it just felt most like the golf I grew up playing. I love the rolling hills. It just really feels like an amazing version of the courses I grew up playing, so very comfortable. -2016

Q. You won here before. Do you like this place?
RICKIE FOWLER:
What do you think? No, yeah, I love this place. Just the feeling, the fans, the Charlotte area. I mean, it’s got a good vibe to it, it’s fun. And then yeah, the bonus of having won here and played well here before. No, I really do like this golf course, it’s fun to play. I feel like you can use a lot of your imagination to hit different shots. Putting becomes a pretty big premium with some inside 10 feet, you hit some putts that may be similar to Augusta as far as the mount of break that you’re playing or how soft you have to hit them and how perfect you have to hit them as well. -2016

JOHN BUSH: Here at the Wells Fargo Championship this will be your fourth start, a T-6 here last year. Get some comments on this golf course and how it sets up for your game.
KEVIN KISNER:
I feel at home here. Both my parents grew up in Charlotte. Spent a lot of time in this area of my life. My brother-in-law is a member here. Played the golf course a bunch. Love the golf course, sets up perfect for my game.
Played well last year. Got into the mix. Played in the last group on Saturday and second to the last group on Sunday. Very familiar with the golf course and looking forward to getting going tomorrow. -2015

Q. Finally, since you played the golf course so much is your caddy, Paul Tesori, helping you with strategy?
WEBB SIMPSON:
He’s won here. It’s my home course but he’s won here. If I tell him leave me alone he’s always bringing that win up with Sean O’Hair. We have a good mix this week. -2015

Q. What is it about this golf course that you like so much?
MARTIN FLORES:
Just certain holes really fit my eye. As I was telling my caddy, just reminds me a lot of Royal Oaks but just much bigger version of Royal Oaks. Tree-lined. When I just step on the tee I feel very, very comfortable out here. -2015

Q. Pretty impressive 61 today to break your own record here at Wells Fargo Championship.
Kind of talk about the round today and your thoughts about the round and we’ll have some questions.
RORY MCILROY:
Yeah. Obviously really happy with how I played today. You know, I said yesterday I needed to be a little, little better with my iron play and I feel like I was. Gave myself plenty of looks for birdies and, you know, I just feel like it’s one of these courses that I can get on a roll on.
I feel like the flow of the golf course with some of the short par-4s and the par-5s you can really get some momentum going. So, you know, got it going again today and really nice to break my own course record here. -2015

Q. What was your attitude today?
RUSSELL KNOX:
Just let it rip, go for it. This is the type of course you can’t guide it around. You got to start on the tee and hit good, hard swings. I don’t hit it so far. I got to give it a lash or giving up too much distance. It’s a great course for me for that, I can really swing at it. -2015

Q. Stewart, you’ve always played well on this course. What is it about Quail Hollow that really I guess either fits your eye or whatever you seem to like about it?
STEWART CINK:
I think what it is about this course, this course fits my style of thinking well. I think there’s places out there on this course that are definite caution lights and I’ve always been pretty good at recognizing those and knowing myself and when to steer away from the hole, and there’s also places where you need to be aggressive and you can certainly be aggressive, holes like 14 and 8 and the par-5s.
It’s a good mix of that kind of golf and that mix just fits my style really well and I feel comfortable playing that kind golf. -2015

Q. Really played some great golf around this course for the first two days. First time here as a professional.
PATRICK RODGERS:
Yeah, thanks. It was great. Lots of fun to be out there and this golf course just sets up really well for me. Lot of holes turn right to left and I can hit a big high draw. Kind of my go to shot. I’m able to really put myself in good position off the tee and it’s yielded some good scores. -2015

Q. What is it about this golf course you like?
WILL MACKENZIE:
North Carolina turf and just the vibe of being in North Carolina. Obviously love the golf course, the layout. Beautiful, big tree, old school. One of the best golf courses we play on Tour.
Challenging green complexes. You get above the hole, it’s very fast. Get pin high and got some sweeping putts. If you’re putting well, you should do pretty well around here. -2015

Q. Webb, do you think local knowledge helps you at all now or guys can learn the course?
WEBB SIMPSON:
I think it helps a little bit. Just knowing, you know, where to miss it for the pins we’re playing, I think that helps. I think knowing when tendencies — the wind on 7 and the wind on all the holes around the back always swirls. I think that helps, those little kind of the little things but, yeah, like I said, the best player is going to win this week no matter how many times somebody has played it. But I definitely feel a little sense of comfort knowing I’ve been here so much. -2015

Q. Phil, you’ve always played well here. You’re the leading money winner at this tournament yet you’ve never won the trophy. How important would it be to win?
PHIL MICKELSON:
It’s a course, again, that I feel like I should play well on. The irony of the situation, I’ve actually won at Sawgrass last year — last week’s event which is just unbelievable.
I haven’t won here where I really have — it’s such a perfectly suited golf course for me that here at Quail Hollow that that’s kind of the irony of the situation. I’m looking to try to fix that. I think that it’s going to be a good week. I do feel like I’m playing well enough to score low. -2015

JOHN BUSH: Back at Quail Hollow for the third time. Comment on this course and how it suits your game.
BEN MARTIN:
This is pretty much and even though I live in Greenville, South Carolina we’re not in South Carolina but this is the closest event to Greenville, an hour and a half down the road. It’s pretty much my home game on the PGA TOUR and played the event twice. -2015

Q. What about this place? You seem to be mixed almost every year you’re here.
PHIL MICKELSON:
Well, I really enjoy the golf course, I’ve always loved it, tee-to-green. I just think it’s one of the best I’ve seen, and it requires such great shot-making in all different directions off the tee, as well as onto the greens. The greens now are just stupendous. They match up perfectly with the beauty and the simplicity of the design, and I believe it’s one of the best golf courses I’ve played.
I’m excited to have a Major Championship coming here and I’m excited about playing, with the extension of the PGA TOUR event here at Quail Hollow, playing for many years here. -2014

Q. (No microphone.)
PHIL MICKELSON:
It’s one of the best tee-to-green golf courses in the world, and what Tom Fazio has done is just perfect, just perfect, and he has enhanced them.
When the PGA comes here in a couple of years and you’ve got these greens firm and quick, the subtleties and the nuances will be brought out and it will be even better. He did such a great job. This has become one of my favorite courses anywhere in the world and I think one of the best courses anywhere in the world. -2014

Q. In your five appearances prior to this year you have just one top-5 finish here at the Wells Fargo Championship, which may be surprising considering that you are a member here at Quail Hollow. How do you manage your emotions and your mentality for the week?
WEBB SIMPSON:
It’s tough. My first couple of years I missed the cut, that was actually before I was a member. That’s my excuse! (Chuckles.) I’ve learned to use all the energy from all the people here supporting me in a good way. And it makes it more of fun when you play well, so I relax in a sense because I know it so well. I know the golf course and I know the breaks, and it’s relaxing knowing I don’t have to play that hard. -2014

Q. Is this a good time to be on your home course?
WEBB SIMPSON:
I think it is. There is a comfort here, familiarity here that before I even teed it up I think helps me. I know different wind directions, pin placements. I think it hurt me the first couple years here. I put too much pressure on myself, but I’m not putting any pressure on myself this year. It’s more just I know that, hey, you know this golf course as good as anybody. So use that to your advantage. -2014

Q. Rory, being a past champion here and you’ve won on this golf course with the Bentgrass greens, now the Bermuda. You had a chance to play them today. How are they? They have only been in since fall of last year.
RORY McILROY:
They’re obviously new greens but the surfaces are really good. I think the characteristics of most of the greens are the same but some of the slopes aren’t as severe as they used to be and I think that’s a good thing. They’re obviously still gradual slopes and they feed off the greens but some of the slopes on greens aren’t as severe, which is a good thing. -2014

Q. How do you like this course?
ANGEL CABRERA: Honestly it’s a course that let’s me hit driver a lot and for that reason it probably fits my game well, and that’s probably why I play well here. -2014

THE MODERATOR: We will go ahead and get started. Like to welcome Martin Flores, another solid round at the Wells Fargo Championship. Talk about what’s been going well for you in the first two rounds and we’ll take some questions.
MARTIN FLORES:
First of all, mentally I’ve been patient and comfortable on this golf course. It just seems to fit my eye. I don’t know what it is but consequently I’ve driven the ball pretty well and it’s given me a lot of short irons on the greens that have been firm in some areas, also “holed” some putts, so it’s been pretty good. -2014

Q. What are your thoughts on this golf course as it pertains to this game and is it a place you like to come to?
JUSTIN ROSE:
I think it’s a championship golf course and you have to move the ball both ways off the tee, which I think suits my tee, and it’s a good-iron play golf course, which typically suits my game, hasn’t been sharp this year but it’s coming around, and the greens are putting well, so I feel like I’m reading them well right now. Every hole pretty much suits my eye, and I know how to play this golf course and get round it, and I’ve done well here in the past. I have played some good rounds and I seem to be comfortable. -2014

Q. You grew up close to here. Did you ever play over here? How often did you come over here and play?
HAROLD VARNER III:
I didn’t come over here until I was a senior in high school. A guy named Bill Williamson, pretty good friends with, he’s a member here and he brought me out. The fairways were aerified when I played, so number 9 I was hitting driver and driver. It’s a little different. I played a few times the last three weeks, and obviously, it’s in great shape. -2014

Q. How much have you thought about this since you got the exemption?
HAROLD VARNER III:
Every day. Yeah, I mean, I get to play literally 30 minutes from my house, and that’s a blessing because I get to sleep in my bed. But you dream of stuff like this. To be here, I just need to focus. I’m not good at that, so I need to do that. -2014

Q. Did you come to this when you were younger and watching? How many of these events did you come to when you started playing?
HAROLD VARNER III:
I think I’ve come every year since the ninth grade, maybe. So that’s like, holy cow, man. I’m getting old. Eight years, wow. It’s good. -2014

Tournament Notes

2016: Immediately following the 2016 edition, the greens were switched from MiniVerde to Champion Bermuda in preparation for the 2017 PGA Championship.

2014: Prior to the 2014 edition, all 18 greens were redone from bentgrass to MiniVerde Bermuda. –USAToday

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