Monday, May 09, 2011

The Best Sunday Finish At Quail Hollow

In its nine years, the Wells Fargo Championship has given us a thick scrapbook of memorable moments. What it gave us this year was the best finish in tournament history.

Here are my five top Sundays at the Wells Fargo Championship:

1. 2011

It had a little of everything, starting with Phil Mickelson making some early birdies then it had the lead ping-ponging back and forth among a handful of players.

There was the rules issue with Padraig Harrington, sending him back to the 13th tee to determine if he’d hit from in front of the tee markers; there was Rory Sabbatini’s charge while facing a possible suspension from the PGA Tour; and, there was Charlotte-born Bill Haas chasing a victory.

The way it ended, with Clemson brothers Lucas Glover and Jonathan Byrd in a playoff forced by Byrd’s spectacular 72nd hole birdie capped a terrific day.

2. 2010

Rory McIlroy’s closing 62 last year was so spectacular and so far beyond what anyone thought was possible at Quail Hollow that it echoed around the globe.

It cemented McIlroy’s international stardom with his first PGA Tour victory and his run of six straight threes to close the round won’t be duplicated. It was pure magic.

3. 2005

A playoff with Vijay Singh, Sergio Garcia and Jim Furyk, that’s a pretty good threesome.

It was a Sunday when Garcia started with a six-stroke lead and shot even-par 72 but it wasn’t enough.

4. 2007

Tiger Woods won in Charlotte after struggling over the final nine holes. Steve Stricker had a chance to tie him until he hit his tee shot under a tree on the 16th hole.

Two memories stand out from Tiger’s victory:

The long eagle putt he made on the seventh hole to build his lead and the way he rifled his golf ball down the fairway after holing the winning putt.


On a rainy Sunday, Jim Furyk made an eight-foot par putt on the 72nd hole to force a sudden-death playoff with Trevor Immelman then he won the championship by holing a six-footer on the same green on the first extra hole. It was a measure of redemption for Furyk, who had lost in a playoff the year before.


Anonymous said...

While the tournament finish might have been the best yet, the proverbial "elephant in the living room" that no one is talking about is the lack of stars that were on the course this weekend (or really throughout the entire tournament). I'm not just talking about Tiger's absence, either. It was very noticeable that many of the current top golfers skipped the tournament, and it wasn't just the Europeans. While we didn't have European tour players Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Ernie Els, Luke Donald, Adam Scott, Charl Schwartzel, Jason Day, K.J. Choi, Y.E. Yang, etc. many PGA tour players were also MIA this year. Some that immediately come to mind are Tiger, Matt Kuchar, Steve Stricker, Brandt Snedecker, etc. Couple that with all the bigger names that didn't make the cut, and some of us were wondering who to follow around on the course this past weekend. Several years back, 29 of the top 30 players in the world came to our tournament and now some players aren't coming. What's up with that???