James Hahn is defending champion at the Wells Fargo Championship on the PGA Tour this week. He faces a strong field at Eagle Point Golf Club in Wilmington North Carolina.
James Hahn defends the Wells Fargo Championship but he will face stiff competition from a field that includes World Number 1 Dustin Johnson – back in action following his fall down the stairs in Augusta – and Phil Mickelson, looking to pick up his first victory in an event where he has a tremendous record – 11 top-12 finishes in 13 starts. Also starting are Adam Scott, John Rahm and Paul Casey.
Although a relatively young event on the PGA Tour – first played in 2003 – this tournament has earned a reputation as one of the most prestigious on the regular circuit. It has produced an excellent list of champions.
David Toms came out on top in 2003 and, since then, Joey Sindelar, Vijay Singh, Jim Furyk, Tiger Woods, Anthony Kim, Sean O’Hair, Lucas Glover, Rickie Fowler, Derek Ernst, J.B. Holmes and Rory McIlroy (twice) have been victorious.
Last year, James Hahn ended a run of eight missed cuts with an impressive and surprising victory over a chasing pack that included Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Rickie Fowler. Hahn came through a playoff against Roberto Castro.
Rory – practice tips video:
With the tournament’s traditional venue Quail Hollow welcoming the USPGA Championship later this year, the Wells Fargo has moved to a different venue this season – Eagle Point Golf Club. It’s a Tom Fazio design that opened for play in 2000. It’s a well thought of track that generally features in lists of the top-100 tracks in the US. Laid out over a flat swathe of land, it features gentle contours and a natural feel.
The weather forecast is mixed and it may be challenging on the first couple of days. At this stage the weekend looks set fair.
Venue: Eagle Point GC, Wilmington, North Carolina
Date: May 4-7
Course stats: par 72, 7,396 yards
Purse: $7,500,000 Winner: $1,314,000
Defending Champion: James Hahn (-9)
Thursday 4 – Sky Sports 4 from 7pm
Friday 5 – Sky Sports 4 from 7pm
Saturday 6 – Sky Sports 4 from 6pm
Sunday 7 – Sky Sports 4 from 6pm
Jon Rahm – The Spaniard has been a revelation this year and has proved that new courses don’t faze him. He has five top 10s already this year with a victory and a runner’s up finish.
Phil Mickelson – Incredible record in this event and has played well this year. He’d love to get a victory here to add to his CV.
Kevin Kisner – Lost out in a playoff in the Zurich Classic and has generally been playing very well – he has made the cut in every event he’s played in this year.
Key hole: 18th. It’s a par-5 of 580 yards that’s downhill and should be reachable in two for the longer hitters. It could provide drama at the end of the tournament. A pond protects the right side of the green so going for it in two is risky. The lay-up isn’t easy either with trees on the left and water right.