A two-time major champion has found himself on top of the leaderboard at the Wells Fargo Championship. Angel Cabrera, affectionately known as El Pato, rolled in seven birdies to one bogey for a smooth 66 on day one at The Quail Hollow Club. Cabrera is big-time because he won the 2007 U.S. Open and the 2009 Masters, but has yet to win a regular PGA Tour event. This may be the week for the 44-year-old from Córdoba, Argentina.
Phil Mickelson and Martin Flores are one-stroke back at five-under par. Mickelson rocketed to six-under through 12 during the afternoon wave before a couple bogies got him coming in. Lefty’s presence is needed on the PGA Tour with the absence of TW.
Flores bogeyed the first hole and the seventeenth hole, but had seven birdies in between for his five-under 67.
Jonathan Bird, Stewart Cink, and Webb Simpson are tied for fourth at four-under. Simpson is a member at Quail Hollow, so his name on the weekend leaderboard should not be a surprise.
Rory McIlroy, Vijay Singh, Justin Rose, Hideki Matsuyama, Martin Laird, Charles Howell III, Shawn Stefani, Martin Kaymer, and Kevin Na are tied for seventh at three-under.
Kaymer had back-to-back eagles on seven and eight.
The newly renovated Quail Hollow Club is another star this week. The transformation on 16 is spectacular (the green was moved 80 yards to the left next to the lake), and the new greens are playing firm, which adds course strategy and excitement to the weekend.