nsucurrent.com May 24, 2018

5 players to watch at the Wells Fargo Championship

04 May 2018, 12:00 | Nina Perez

Tiger Woods first win at Quail Hollow began with Michael Jordan Sam Greenwood Getty Images

UNITED STATES- MAY 02 Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods during the Pro Am prior to the 2007 Wachovia Championship held at Quail Hollow Country Club in Charlotte North Carolina

Joaquin Niemann, 19, played in the Masters in April, then turned pro two weeks later.

In its 15-year history, the Wells Fargo Championship (originally called the Wachovia Championship) has produced more than it's fair share of memorable winners.

A three-under 69 on Sunday saw McIlroy finish the week on 21 under - the 72-hole record for the tournament - extending his cushion over nearest challengers Webb Simpson and Patrick Rodgers. Established stars like Tiger Woods (2007), Vijay Singh (2005) and Jim Furyk (2006) have won at Quail Hollow as well. Three years later as PGA Tour rookies, they shared the 54-hole lead at the Sony Open until Henley prevailed.

On a day when fans joked that Woods and playing partner Patrick Reed were "twinning" - they wore similar pink shirts and carded the same score - his round easily could have been three to four strokes better had he holed a few makeable putts. The course's length plays right into the Kentucky native's wheelhouse, as Thomas ranks eighth on tour in driving distance.

It is little wonder he has decided to make his return this week, and while an nearly month-long lay-off is a slight concern, I'm confident he will come out determined to right the wrongs of Augusta. Fleetwood hasn't missed a cut since the Memorial last June, and is contending against all loaded fields.

"I don't hate it out here, but I don't like the travel at all", Peterson said, according to the Charlotte Observer.

"I just don't enjoy the travel out here very much", he said.

The streaky Texan has found his game in recent times, with a seventh at Bay Hill followed by a runner-up finish in his native state at the Valero Texas Open 10 days ago. Sign me up. List is now eighth in SG: Off-The-Tee, 53rd in Ball Striking, and third in Driving Distance.

You really can't find a bad spot to enjoy the course at Quail Hollow though. "I've got to hit it long, big drivers, and yeah, I feel really good". The tournament featured walk-up songs for each group at the opening tee box which also added some excitement. I could take it straight from the range onto the golf course this morning. Strangely enough, Woods said Augusta National is probably the easiest course he has played all year in terms of scoring. "Yeah, he was incredible". I expect McIlroy to have another strong run this weekend. "It would be nice". The Wells Fargo Championship was held at Eagle Point past year so Quail Hollow could prepare for the PGA Championship. Could this be the year he finally wins the event.?

Another surprise: Brian Harman, the 2017 champion, doesn't sniff the top 20. And then I go back to Europe and then back for Memorial. just a bunch of great courses coming up. He had been building toward April, a phrase he used on more than one occasion from the onset of his return following a fourth back surgery.

"It should be a little quicker", he said.

BC-GLF-Wells Fargo, 3rd Ld-Writethru, 893 Peterson's 2 eagles carries him to lead at Quail HollowAP Photo NCCB122, NCCB125, NCCB130, NCCB138, NCCB139, NCCB135, NCCB127, NCCB114, NCCB101, NCCB107Eds: Updates with new top, details.

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