There’s just two weeks left until the season’s second major – the PGA Championship – at Bethpage Black.
But before the Tour heads to the northeast and Bethpage Black, it hits another major venue this week – Quail Hollow in Charlotte – for the Wells Fargo Championship.
Quail Hollow hosted the 2017 PGA Championship won by Justin Thomas. And its past champions for its regular Tour stop is a who’s who list of stars: Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk, Vijay Singh, Anthony Kim, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and more.
So which players should you be keeping a close watch on this week in the Queen City? We asked three caddies on the ground to offer up their respective picks to win. To protect the identity of our caddies, they submitted their picks anonymously.
Here’s a look at the players they expect you to be seeing on page 1 of the leaderboard come Sunday…
- Webb Simpson. “It’s been a fine season thus far for the former U.S. Open champion – just one missed cut in 11 starts to go along with three, top-10 finishes. This week, he gets some home cooking. A member and resident at Quail Hollow, there isn’t a person in the field who has logged more rounds here than Webb. It’s a tournament he so badly wants to win, and he’s come close before. There was the T2 in 2015 and a fourth in 2012. It’s a place where he’s obviously comfortable. A year ago, he won the Players Championship – a home game for his caddie, Paul Tesori. How about a home game win for himself this year at Quail Hollow?”
- Rory McIlroy. “Uh… have you seen his finishes since the start of 2019? Fourth in Maui; fifth at Torrey; fourth at Riv; second in Mexico; sixth at Bay Hill; winner at the Players; 21st at the Masters. He’s playing GREAT. Add that to the fact that Quail Hollow is a venue where he’s won twice before (2010 and 2015) and lost in a playoff once (2012) and I’d say you can expect a pretty good week ahead for Rors.”
- Lucas Glover. “Lucas has had a career resurgence in 2019 and it’s great to see for one of the Tour’s truly good guys. In 14 starts, he’s got 11 top-25 finishes, highlighted by four top 10s. He’s feeling good about his game. And over the course of the next three weeks, he gets to compete on two courses where he’s won before. First, there’s this week at Quail Hollow, where he won in 2011 (and it remains his last PGA Tour win to date). Then, in two weeks, he competes at Bethpage Black for the PGA Championship on a course he won the U.S. Open in 2009. Here’s a guy who likes where his game is at right now and he gets to take that confidence to two venues where he knows he can get it done because he’s done it before. He’s due for a win.”
- Rory McIlroy. “By far the favorite! He got his first PGA Tour win back in 2010 at Quail Hollow shooting a course-record 62 in the last round to win by four. He then shot a new, course-record 61 in the third round of the 2015 Wells Fargo Championship to win by seven the following day. Despite the course changes, no one loves Quail Hollow more than Rory.”
- Jason Day. “The defending champ will be hungry to win the Championship again two weeks before the PGA. No course is better than Quail Hollow to prepare for Bethpage Black. You’ve got to drive it long and straight and you’ve got to hit irons high… that’s Jason’s game.”
- Tony Finau. “The 15th ranked player in the world must be tired of being labeled by so many with ‘only one win on the PGA Tour.’ Quail Hollow is perfect for him to make a statement and prove them wrong.”
- Tony Finau. “He’s a regular when it comes to players to watch and it’s baffling that a player with that much talent still only has one PGA Tour win in his career. Doesn’t seem possible. He’s one of those guys who just needs that next win to possibly open the floodgates. I like his chances.”
- Rickie Fowler. “This is a special place for Rickie. Along with snagging his first PGA Tour win here in 2012 (taking down D.A. Points and Rory McIlroy in a playoff), he also tied for fifth here in the 2017 PGA Championship. Those are the kinds of memories that are nice to have tucked in the back of your head coming down the back nine in contention on a Sunday. In addition to that, I love the way Rickie has played this season. He’s notched four top 10s in 10 starts, including the win in Scottsdale, a T2 at the Honda and a T9 in the Masters – his last start. This week he gets to pair up the good golf with some good vibes.”
- Rory McIlroy. “His season is off to a great start and he’s just about getting to the meat of it. Rory already won at TPC Sawgrass. He’s won here twice before, and he’s got a major to look forward to in two weeks. You’ve got to love his chances whenever he’s playing.”