Winsday Hot List: Quail, gators and fried donuts


We’ve traded out Bourbon Street for a Southern favorite this week as the PGA Tour hits the Queen City, Charlotte, N.C. The tournament is heralded annually as one of (if not THE) best regular Tour stops outside of the majors. As a born and bred Tar Heel, I readily agree.

The Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow is definitely HOT! The fans show en masse, but are always quick with a “sir” or “ma’am.” The girls – the finest you’ll find – accent the course in their best spring sundresses (yet practical footwear). And of course, there’s the course. From the welcoming grand clubhouse to the challenging test Quail Hollow affords one of the top fields in golf, it’s among the best – and tops this week’s Hot List.

Wells Fargo Championship:

Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy. They’re all here. And as I write this I’m wondering why I’m not as well, but I have a reason (see final list entry).

The Big Miss

The (not so) Big Miss:

Believe it or not, Hank Haney’s book reached No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list last month for combined print and e-books. For hardcover nonfiction it sat at No. 2 on the list for two weeks. This week it’s ranked No. 5 with 228,000 copies now in print. Think Tiger still wishes he and agent Mark Steinberg had made such a ruckus about the book?

Ernie Els at the 2012 Zurich Classic of New Orleans

Ernie Els:

No special exemption needed, thank you! After his playoff loss at the Zurich Classic, Els moved to No. 40 in the world rankings. The top 60 as of May 21 are in for the U.S. Open at Olympic Club this June, meaning the Big Easy is now a lock.

Patrick Cantlay


The top-two ranked amateurs will tee it up in the Travelers Championship. Patrick Cantlay (above) and Patrick Rodgers were granted exemptions. Strategic move by tournament director Nathan Grube, who hopes these young guns will return the favor one day when they strike it big.

Rex Hoggard

Golf Media:

Tiger’s move to field questions from fans by video on his website (in lieu of a formal news conference at Quail Hollow) certainly boiled the blood in many a golf reporter. While some may be hot on this issue, fans and other players, including Dustin Johnson, aren’t critical of the move. Johnson tweeted, “People love or hate Mr. @TigerWoods – I like that he’s taking to the internet to reach his fans!! Not every time, but it’s OK!! #ItsTheFuture”

Jason Dufner and Amanda

Jason Dufner:

If Dufner EVER gets pumped up, I’m pretty sure this has to be the week. The guy captures his first PGA Tour win and follows it up by saying “I do” during the span of a week. If you measure hot by a sweaty forehead, there is no better week for Dufner to make the list.

Fried Donut

Fried Donuts:

I haven't tried them, but I’m jumping out of my skin to get a taste! Served in the men’s locker room at the Quail Hollow Club, Paul Goydos raved about them on “Morning Drive” and Robert Allenby tweeted about them. From beignets to fried donuts … you can’t go wrong. 

Donald Trump 

The Donald:

Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. will be awarded the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open. The formal announcement is to be made Thursday; however, it’s hardly been a secret (recall presser at the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral).


The Alligator:

The gator strikes again, this time at Lake Ashton Golf & Country Club in Lake Wales, Fla. A 75-year-old golfer went to retrieve his ball from shallow water at the 15th hole … and chomp! He grabbed the man’s knee and tried to drag him into the water. Luckily, the golfer was saved by friends and is OK.

Bandon Dunes

Bandon Dunes:

The golf resort opens its 13-hole par-3 this week. The goal, according to Bandon Dunes creator Mike Keiser, is to “attempt to elevate everyone’s concept of what a par 3 is.” I’m sold! That’s my kind of golf.


Baker’s Bay Golf & Ocean Club:

Last, but top-of-mind for me this week, is this Discovery Land hot spot with an 18-hole course located on the Sea of Abaco in the Bahamas. This week, voted it “favorite golfing destination” and this weekend the Tom Fazio design will contest its member-guest, “The Buccaneer,” in which I’m pumped to be invited to participate. There’s not much hotter than packing a bikini in your golf bag!