Fact Pack: Wells Fargo Championship

By Will GrayApril 30, 2013, 10:04 pm

This week, the PGA Tour heads to the Tar Heel State for the Wells Fargo Championship. Quail Hollow Club, which will host the PGA Championship in 2017, will serve as a stern test for the 156-man field with The Players Championship just a week away, though questions linger about the conditions of the greens this week. With that in mind, here is a look inside the numbers to see which players may contend for the title and help your Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge team in the process:

• Quail Hollow has been a 'feast or famine' venue for former FedEx Cup champion Bill Haas; in nine career starts in Charlotte, N.C., the former Wake Forest standout has missed the cut four times. When he's made the cut, though, Haas – who has five top-10 finishes thus far in 2013 – has fared well, finishing fourth in both 2006 and 2011, 22nd in 2005 and 2009 and tying for 29th in 2010.

Chris Kirk is in the midst of perhaps his best season on Tour, and he has a revitalized putting stroke to thank for his success. Kirk, whose lone victory came at the Sanderson Farms Championship in 2011, finished 140th in strokes gained putting in 2011 and 124th in 2012. This year, though, he currently ranks ninth in the metric, in addition to seventh in the all-around ranking. His results have followed suit: a runner-up finish at Pebble Beach earlier this season and top-30 finishes in each of his last four starts.

• Finding greens in regulation was likely to be a strong indicator for success this week, but with reports that several of the greens at Quail Hollow may be in poor condition, the importance of having as many birdie putts as possible will only increase. Since 2009, three of the four champions have finished T-5 or better for the week in GIR percentage: O'Hair (T-3), McIlroy (T-4) and Fowler (T-5). The lone outlier in that stretch was Lucas Glover, who won in 2011 despite finishing T-27 for the week in GIR percentage.

• Though he missed the event last year, Padraig Harrington has had no trouble taming Quail Hollow of late. The Irishman tied for ninth in 2011, leading the field in total putts for the week, and was tied for seventh in 2010. Each of his last eight rounds in Charlotte have been at par or better, and Harrington closed out the event in both 2010 and 2011 with a 4-under 68 during the final round.

• Outside of his runner-up finish at the Honda Classic, Geoff Ogilvy has had a forgettable 2013 campaign thus far, with six missed cuts in 10 starts. That may change this week in Charlotte, though, where the former U.S. Open champion has had a consistently strong history. Ogilvy has a pair of top-10 finishes in eight career starts at Quail Hollow, with no result worse than his T-38 in 2011. Considered one of the more astute observers when it comes to golf course architecture, the Aussie appears to have found a course that meets his eye. 

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Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

By Tiger TrackerFebruary 21, 2018, 7:00 pm

Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

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Woods happy to help Furyk at Ryder Cup

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 21, 2018, 6:58 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Tiger Woods didn't hesitate when Jim Furyk asked him to become a vice captain at the upcoming Ryder Cup.

Woods said Wednesday that Furyk asked he and Steve Stricker “a while ago” whether they were interested in being assistants in Paris as the Americans try to win a Ryder Cup on foreign soil for the first time in 25 years.

“He’s one of my best friends,” Woods said of Furyk, “and whatever he wants, whatever he needs, I’m there to help him. We’re worked well the last couple of years in the cups together.”

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Though Woods has said that he wants to be a playing vice captain, he has been an assistant at each of the past two international team competitions.

Furyk, Woods and Stricker were all assistants at Hazeltine, where the U.S. won in a rout.

“Jim is very detailed, very smart, very analytical, and he’s just a fantastic leader,” Woods said. “For him to ask Stricks and I together, it will be special for both of us.”

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Woods to hit '4 or 5' drivers each day at Honda

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 21, 2018, 6:25 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Those hoping Tiger Woods will wield the driver early and often this week at PGA National likely will be disappointed.

Depending on wind direction, he said he will only hit “four or five” drivers each round.

During Wednesday’s pro-am, Woods hit driver on six holes. He found two fairways with the big stick and found the right rough four times, though a few of those misses were only a few yards off the fairway.

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In two starts this year, Woods has struggled mightily with every club off the tee, but driver has been especially troublesome. He has found only 36 percent of the fairways so far (30 of 84).

The Champion Course here is a par 70, with water and bunkers often lining the fairways. Putting the ball in play off the tee will be at a premium, and so Woods opted for a low, penetrating 2-iron six times in the pro-am.

Woods said he did not make any equipment changes following the missed cut at Riviera.

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TT postscript: One birdie in casual pro-am round

By Tiger TrackerFebruary 21, 2018, 6:15 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Here are a few observations after watching Tiger Woods’ pro-am round Wednesday at the Honda Classic:

• As expected, the stress level was minimal at PGA National. He had a short warmup (considering it was still freakin’ dark when he was about to tee it up, at 6:45 a.m.) and generally took little time contemplating shots, except for a few clubs off the tee.

• Tiger spent a lot of time chipping, pitching and putting after completing a hole. No surprise there. He didn’t play a practice round Monday or Tuesday, and he hasn’t competed here since 2014. Gotta get in that work.

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• He hit six drivers Wednesday. That’s probably one or two more than he will in competition, depending on wind direction. Two of those drives found the fairway. The other four were varying degrees off-line in the right rough, none more wild than his push slice on the difficult sixth hole that was probably 60 yards right. At least it was playable over there – water runs all the way down the left side.

• It’s not quite a stinger, but he hit more than a few 2-iron shots off the tee, with a sweet, little draw. That’ll play quite nicely here.

• We said it for a few rounds at Torrey Pines, and then again for one day at Riviera, but here goes: Woods appears to have taken the left side of the course out of play. Whether that remains true after playing under “game speed” this week, who knows?

• Woods made only one birdie, after getting up and down out of the greenside bunker on the par-5 third. His pro-am stat line, for those interested: 7 of 14 fairways, 12 greens and 31 putts and shot around 2 over. Again, he was not really trying.

• Best shot of the day? His fairway-bunker shot on the sixth hole (while playing his second ball). He skied a mid-iron from 187 yards to kick-in range. A little more of that, please.