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Day clings on for Quail Hollow glory

Day clings on for Quail Hollow glory

Jason Day secured his second trophy of the season as he held off Aaron Wise and Nick Watney to win the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow.
 

What happened at the Wells Fargo Championship?

Are we forgetting about Jason Day? It was only a few years ago that he was the dominant player in golf, and he’s quietly putting in a superb season.

His two-shot win at Quail Hollow was further evidence that he remains one of the best pressure players in the game.

After he dunked two balls into the water on the back-nine, many would have capitulated. But not Day. The Australian quickly made up for the two dropped shots with back-to-back birdies at 16 and 17, with the latter a near ace at the 230-yard par-3.

Day’s nearest competition was the rookie Aaron Wise. The 21-year-old managed to draw level with the eventual winner on the back-nine before Day pulled away. Wise’s round of 68, under the pressure of Sunday at a strong field PGA Tour event, was particularly impressive. He’s one to keep a close eye on in the near future.

And then there was a blast from the past in the form of Nick Watney. The former world number nine hasn’t had a top-10 finish in the last three years, but after he drained a monster 60-footer for birdie on the 18th, the American secured a T2 – his best finish since the 2015 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau – both tipped up this week in our betting column – finished inside the top-five alongside Paul Casey and Peter Uihlein.

Full Wells Fargo Championship leaderboard

Talking point

Since his comeback at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas at the end of last year, we’ve seen Tiger Woods excel with the putter and around the green.

This season, Woods ranks 6th in strokes gained: around-the-green and 8th in strokes gained: putting. The biggest disappointment, without a doubt, has been his performance off the tee, where he ranks 152nd for the year.

Golf can be a silly game, evidenced by Woods’s performance this week. The putter, which he has relied on so much in his career and indeed this season, was stone-cold this week, where he lost almost six strokes.

Meanwhile, Woods’s normally erratic off-the-tee game completely flipped. An average driving distance of 330-yards carried him to a SG: off-the-tee rank of 26th.

So, what can we take from this? We have to believe that this was a poor one off week with the putter. If Woods can continue his strong driving performance at the Players Championship, and have a slightly better week with the trusty flatstick, we could quite easily see him contend for his third Players trophy.

Best moments

Tom Irwin

Tom Irwin

Tom is a lifetime golfer, now over 30 years playing the game. 2023 marks 10 years in golf publishing and he is still holding down a + handicap at Alwoodley in Leeds. He has played over 600 golf courses, and has been a member of at least four including his first love Louth, in Lincolnshire. Tom likes unbranded clothing, natural fibres, and pencil bags. Seacroft in Lincolnshire is where it starts and ends.

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