Monday, April 30, 2007

Answering last-minute Wachovia questions

Now that Wachovia week has arrived, let’s run through a checklist of things to keep an eye on this week:

When will Tiger arrive?

Good question. I’m guessing he will show up at Quail Hollow sometime Tuesday afternoon to squeeze in a quick nine holes. That’s what he did the last time he played here in 2005. He likes to play early on Tuesdays but that may not be how it works this week.

What will Phil do next?

This is Week Two in the now-official Mickelson-Butch Harmon era and the first week was a good one. He tied for third at the Byron Nelson and nearly ran down the leaders on Sunday.
Obviously, Mickelson is working on some technical adjustments but the sense is he comes to Charlotte bubbling with optimism. He’s been close here before and likely will be this year.

Beyond the obvious, which players bear watching?

You may not know much – or anything – about Ken Duke but his name has been popping up on leader boards recently. Jerry Kelly nearly won at Hilton Head three weeks ago and shot 64 on Sunday at the Nelson for another top-five finish. He keeps talking about his fresh mental approach and there must be something to it.

What kind of shape is Quail Hollow in?

It’s close to perfect. The splash of rain last week and warmer temperatures did wonders. The rough has come up, the fairways are excellent and the greens are as quick as ever.
The hope is the rain will stay away this week so the course will play firm and fast.

What kind of national media attention does the Wachovia Championship get?

Plenty. The New York Times and Boston Globe are expected to staff the tournament as are Sports Illustrated, Golf World and Golf Week.

Any first-time players worth checking out this year?

Here’s a threesome – Darren Clarke, Jose Maria Olazabal and Henrik Stenson.
Clarke has become one of the game’s most popular figures, Olazabal has a short game that’s magic and Stenson is perhaps the game’s next great player.

Have another question you'd like us to answer? Post it in the Comments section and we'll try to get to it.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

when will the tee times for thursday be posted? my dad is coming from out of town to go, so we want to plan ahead.

Observer Sports said...

Tee times are in today's special section, or in this link:

http://www.charlotte.com/541/story/106058.html

Bob Henkel said...

Why don't you have the amateur T-time listings and matchups for the Pro-Am? For example, when is my friend Robert T. (Bob) Brown, a Wachovia board member, playing in the Pr0-Am and with whom?