Let me start by saying this, yesterday was incredible. Rory McIlroy, with his wife and daughter just off the 18th green, on Erika’s 1st Mothers Day, won the Wells Fargo Championship for the 3rd time.
Like I said on the podcast last week, Quail Hollow has been one of my favorite courses on the Tour schedule for years, and it delivered yet again this week. The risk/reward, monster Par 4s, and tricky green complexes have stood the test of time.
Keith Mitchell wasn’t gonna make it easy for Rors, as he birdied the 1st hole after an incredible approach out of a fairway bunker. Before this week, Keith was playing really good golf. Him and Sneds had a solid week down at the Zurich, placing T4. Brandt said after the tournament that the only reason they finished that high was because of Keith.
At the Valero Texas Open, he finished T17. And down in Tampa he played solid all week, but on Sunday recored 42 putts. 42. That’s fucking terrible. But on Tuesday his coach realized that his putter was bent, and switched it out for a new one. At Quail Hollow, he was solid on the greens, rolling in everything early Sunday afternoon.
He’d end up shooting +1 for the day, finishing T3 after entering the round with a 2 shot lead.
Abraham Ancer, another name I mentioned on the show last week, had it going on Sunday. Ab birdied 3 straight on the back, 15, 16, and 17, and got into the clubhouse at -9 after shooting a final round 66. For a course that weighs heavily towards a long-hitter, Ab hung in there, played his consistent game, and collected a solo 2nd.
But, in the end, it was our fucking guy. Rory McIlroy, who entered the week with zero form, once again threw his golf ball into the Charlotte crowd.
It wasn’t easy. 6th hole he needed a 7 footer for par. Nailed it. Was forced to lay-up on the 7th after a poor drive, and had a left to right slider from 24 feet for birdie. Center cut. Another 7 footer for par on 11. Buckets. 13th hole he needed an 11 foot par putt to drop. Nailed it. Back to back birdie opportunities on 14 and 15. Two circles.
Then the 18th, with a 2-stroke lead. All he needed was a nice 3-wood and the tournament was over. But…
In the hazard, but lucky to stay dry. And this is where I give a lot of credit to Harry, Rory’s caddie. He slowed everything down, gave Rory all of his options, and finally determined that a drop was their best plan of action. Then Rors did this…
196. 8 iron. Ball at least a foot below his feet. Needs to find the green.
And 2 putts later…
After battling his game for months, struggling to find the problem in his swing, he’s back.
His next stop, Kiawah Island for the PGA Championship. Last time he was there? He won his 2nd major. Oh, and he did it by 8 shots.
My favorite moment from this weekend
Cover via GolfDigest.com (Jared Tilton, Getty)