You Oughta Know: Wells Fargo Championship


A flurry of birdies Saturday gave way to a barrage of wayward shots in the closing holes, as both Phil Mickelson and Nick Watney came back to the pack at Quail Hollow Club. Here's what You Oughta Know heading into the final round of the Wells Fargo Championship, where the two share the 54-hole lead, one shot clear of George McNeill:

• Both Mickelson and Watney will hope to break a recent drought for 54-hole leaders on the PGA Tour, as each of the last five events have seen players come from behind on Sunday to claim victory, dating back to the Shell Houston Open. The last player to convert a 54-hole lead into a win was Tiger Woods, who claimed the Arnold Palmer Invitational after leading through three rounds. Additionally, Mickelson will look to become the first to win at Quail Hollow after holding the 36-hole lead since Woods pulled off the feat in 2007.

• While much of the discussion this week has focused on the quality of the greens at Quail Hollow, Mickelson has had no trouble taming the putting surfaces en route to sharing the overnight lead. The four-time major champion has missed just two putts from inside 10 feet through 54 holes in Charlotte, allowing him to retain a share of the lead despite hitting only nine of 18 greens in regulation during his 1-over 73 in the third round.

• Unlike Mickelson, Watney has relied upon the strong ball-striking he's displayed throughout the 2013 season to grab a share of the 54-hole lead. A five-time winner on the PGA Tour, Watney entered the week eighth on Tour in greens-in-regulation percentage at 70.47, and has successfully reached the green at Quail Hollow 39 of 54 times thus far this week, a 72.22 percent rate of conversion. As a result, the 32-year-old enters Sunday with a great chance for both his first win since The Barclays last year and his first top-10 finish on Tour since a tie for fourth at the Farmers Insurance Open earlier this season.

• Beginning this week, Derek Ernst expected to be hundreds of miles down the road in Georgia, but instead he enters the final round with a chance to win on the PGA Tour for the first time. Ernst, who left last week's Zurich Classic with intentions of playing in the Stadion Classic on the Tour this week, instead gained entry at Quail Hollow during a rash of early-week withdrawals. The 22-year-old, who has never cracked the top 40 on the PGA Tour, now heads into the final round in a large tie for fourth, just two shots off the lead and in great shape for the biggest payday of his career.

• Twice a winner on the PGA Tour, George McNeill is in position to contend for yet another trophy thanks to an increased penchant for birdies this week in Charlotte. McNeill, who won the Puerto Rico Open last year, has largely struggled in 2013, with no top-25 finishes to his credit in nine starts and a current rank of 126th on the PGA Tour in birdie average. This week, though, the Floridian has carded at least four birdies in each of the first three rounds at Quail Hollow, and as a result enters Sunday in third place, having earned a spot in the final group alongside Mickelson and Watney.

• Having fired the low round of the day Saturday, John Senden will look to capitalize on the momentum of a 5-under 67 that helped him climb 31 spots up the leaderboard. The Aussie, who last cracked the top 10 on the PGA Tour at the John Deere Classic last July, carded six birdies against one bogey while moving from eight shots off the pace into a tie for fourth in the span of 18 holes. The round marked Senden's lowest number on the PGA Tour since a 66 during the second round of the Humana Challenge in January, and he now will begin the final round with a great chance to notch just his second top-25 finish of the 2013 season.