Winner’s Share: $1,242,000
After a few less familiar names dominated in the Zurich Classic, the Tour moves to the Quail Hollow Club in North Carolina. In 2013 Derek Ernst won from absolutely nowhere beating Englishman David Lynn in a play-off. Ernst had missed 4 out of his 5 cuts in the build up to the event. Despite this, the majority of previous winners had enjoyed a bit of success around the course previously.
The course plays fairly long at 7,442 yards but is one where accuracy is needed also (This is where the total driving stat on the PGA Tour comes in handy). The infamous final stretch of holes called the “Green Mile” awaits on the back 9 whilst there are four very tricky par 5’s out there. Areas to look at are the aforementioned total driving, GIR, par 5 scoring average and scrambling for the 60 bunkers and water that will inevitably come into play. With the course being a tough, low-scoring one, players who are willing to grind it out, avoiding bogeys are ones likely to prosper.
The field is very strong. McIlroy, Mickelson, Rose, Z. Johnson, Westwood, Simpson, Mahan and plenty other big names have made the trip. Without discounting Mr America Phil Mickelson, it is the British trio of McIlroy, Rose and Westwood who will all come into this week full of confidence. Rory feels his game is just about there and his 8th at Augusta certainly proves this. US Open winner Rose has also looked solid of late and recorded his second top 10 of the season last week. And Lee Westwood is fresh off his demolishment of the Maybank Malaysian Open on the European Tour beating Colsaerts, Wiesberger and Oosthuizen winning by 7 shots.
Picks to Follow.