The PGA starts the month of May at Quail Hollow in Charlotte for the annual stop at the Wells Fargo Championship. Ten of the top 30 in the world rankings are scheduled to compete, but the history of this tournament shows many winners accomplishing their win early in their careers in fact four of the last six winners were under 24 when they won. Whoever comes out with the win will have to conquer the four finishing holes known as “The Green Mile” which are known for being one of the toughest finishing stretches on tour.
Last week, it was 22-year-old Seung-Yul Noh who got his first win on the PGA Tour at the Zurich Classic. No one in our 50-member group (details to join here) had Noh on their roster last week. That fact combined with an A-list that was pretty much all eliminated by the cut resulted in low-scoring weeks for just about everyone. “CamRogersTV” got the win for the week with 118 points thanks to Daniel Summerhays getting through the weekend from the A-list and a strong week from Justin Rose. The win was good enough to move that entry to the top of the Spring Segment standings while our previous leader ”Put it in the Hole” needs a mulligan after not updating his roster and pulling in a total of zero points for the week. Team Tiger capitalized on his absence to move into the top spot in our year-long standings by just a single point over Reagan Rules 1.
Here’s who will be on my roster this week at Quail Hollow:
Phil Mickelson: Lefty hasn’t ever won in the 11-year history of this event but he’s been in the top ten seven times in his ten visits to the venue including a runner-up in 2010 and being right in the hunt last year before struggling down the Green Mile. Phil hasn’t teed it up since missing the cut at Augusta, but he knows the course well enough to make a solid pick this week and is the biggest name and potential storyline in the field. Mickelson has alternated top 20’s with missed cuts in his last six events, but his past history is good enough to overlook his current form.
Ryan Moore: In case Mickelson can’t make the cut this week, it’s important to have a safe alternative. I like Jonas Blixt and Russell Henley as high-risk picks, but I’ll go with a safer option in Moore who has been steady in his seven events this calendar year although he too is coming off a MC in Augusta. Moore won early in this wraparound season at the CIMB Classic and has a total of six top-25 finishes this season. In the last two years, Moore has finished t6 and t5 at Quail Hollow.
Rory McIlroy: No previous winner has repeated at the Wells Fargo, but I think Rory reverses that trend this week by becoming the two-time champ. He won here in 2010 for his first win on tour and was in the playoff in 2012 where he lost to Rickie Fowler. McIlroy also logged a top ten here last season and has been playing well (no worst than 25th in six events this PGA season) despite not picking up a W on the Tour yet this season.
Jim Furyk: Furyk has been playing quietly well this year on tour picking up four straight top 20’s including a t7 at the Heritage in his last tournament which was two weeks ago. He also has a great history at this course where he has four top-ten finishes in nine trips.
Webb Simpson: Simpson lives near the course and definitely will have a home-course advantage. He hasn’t done anything remarkable the last month and a half in his four starts, but he has a good history here and knows the course incredibly well.
Justin Rose: Rose has had little success here at Quail Hollow but he’s in good form with top-15’s in three of his last four events including a t8 last week. Rose hasn’t cracked the bonus land (top 3) but has been stringing together solid tournaments and has the game to win almost anywhere when he’s at his best.
Jamie Donaldson: Donaldson is coming off a solid showing at Augusta where he finished t14. He also finished co-runner up at the Cadillac Championship earlier this year and is excelling in the States on the tougher courses. He’s also been playing well internationally with eight top 15’s in his last 14 starts around the world.
Kevin Na: While Jimmy Walker is sure to be a popular choice (and a good one), I’m going to go with Na who had three straight top-15’s before a missed cut at the Heritage. He’ll look to bounce back this week on a course where he has been in the top 15 two times in the last four years.