Tag:quail hollow friday
Posted on: May 6, 2011 8:23 pm

To Harrington, the King ain't Arnold Palmer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- More than a few times, quirky Padraig Harrington has been compared to Howard Hughes.

Maybe there's another guy with a few personal pecadilloes he brings to mind as well.

The Irish star said this week that he will play in the Memphis stop before the U.S. Open, and it's partly because he loves visiting Graceland, the home of the late Elvis Presley.

"Greatest attraction in the States," he said Friday, repeating what he'd said a day earlier.

Harington is fascinated with the place and has visited Graceland twice. He loves the mansion, even though it's like stepping into a time carpsule with its late-1970s decor. Like in the so-called TV room, which is decorated in a garish, black-and-yellow color scheme. Don't tell Harrington that, however.

"There's nothing cheesy about it," he laughed. "That's retro, that's all back in fashion."

Wow, we certainly hope not, because the billiards room at Graceland has drapes on the ceiling. Harrington was blown away by the place, however.

"That man knew how to spend money like nobody else," Harrington said. "The excesses were mind-boggling."
Category: Golf
Posted on: May 6, 2011 8:13 pm

Ballesteros confusion makes difficult day worse

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- If there was anything that could make the news of Seve Ballesteros' declining medical condition even worse, it was the false alarms that circulated through player and tour channels Friday at the Wells Fargo Championship.

Several players received electronic messages from their management agencies, including several players represented by giant IMG, that informed them that the Spanish icon had passed away Friday morning and that testimonials about the Hall of Fame player were going to be collected.

Turns out, while Ballesteros was gravely ill and had taken a turn for the worse, he was still very much alive and resting at home in Spain.

"Thankfully, it's not true," Padraig Harrington said.

By the time a second message was sent to players, clarifyinghis status, many were on the golf course and had no idea for several hours that Ballesteros hasn't actually passed away. Longtime European Tour caddie Fanny Sunesson was told that Ballesteros had died and broke down in tears.

English star Justin Rose was informed by a media member that the five-time major winner had died and sent out a Twitter message expressing his condolences, then had to correct the error a few minutes later when he learned otherwise.

"I only saw the first message before going out on the course," Spain's Sergio Garcia said. "I'm happy to hear that he is still alive, but it doesn't look very good."

Category: Golf
Posted on: May 6, 2011 8:01 pm

Fear the beard as Glover makes his move

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Lucas Glover isn't a Brian Wilson fan.

Though with that beard, now six months established, he certainly resembled the San Francisco Giants reliever.

Glover had been mostly incognito as aplayer, too, but has finally climbed back into the mix this week at the Wells Fargo Championship.

He hasn't won since the 2009 U.S. Open and hasn't much been in the mix, either, but after two rounds stands two shots off the lead at Quail Hollow Club.

Whether he remains on the leaderboard remains to be seen, but the beard is staying.

"Until it gets too hot or starts itching and neither one has happened yet," he said.

Category: Golf
Posted on: May 6, 2011 4:22 pm

Quail Hollow becoming House of Haas

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The homeboy is holding steady.

Charlotte-born Bill Haas, whose father is a member at Quail Hollow Club, had his second straight solid day and finished at 10 under to take the halfway lead at the Wells Fargo Championship on Friday.

The Haas clan lives about 90 miles down the road in South Carolina, but they have deep roots at the host course and Jay Haas, now a regular on the Champions Tour, helped land a tournament at Quail Hollow.

"I've said this would probably be, outside of the majors, this would be my number one tournament to win, just because of the people involved with the tournament," Bill Hass said after his second-round 70. "When I walk in the clubhouse, everybody I see, I know. It's just the feelings I would have on Sunday night hanging around with all those guys would probably be unlike any other tournament. 

"I don't think that adds any extra pressure because it's just there's the pressure of winning any tournament that will be on me on the weekend. But to put myself in that situation to where I even have that chance to even talk about it is nice."

Haas attended college at nearby Wake Forest and while he's a South Carolina resident now, the ties still bind. 

"I don't know, I think this is one tournament that I always look forward to," he said. "A month out, I'm like, I can't wait to get to that tournament.  It just has a good feel about it.  I've got a lot of good friends here, a lot of Deacon fans here, which I'm hearing, 'Go Deacs,' out there a lot, which is nice. 

"But it's just probably our best event outside of majors. I've said that before. I think every player enjoys it, and I'm biased by growing up and coming here a lot."

Category: Golf
Posted on: May 6, 2011 3:48 pm
Edited on: May 6, 2011 4:06 pm

Tiger set for return at Sawgrass, it seems

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The PGA Tour announced at midday Friday that Tiger Woods had committed to play next week at the Players Championship, which no doubt caused a huge sigh of relief at tour headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., site of the event.

Had Woods not commited, the event would have been missing three players from the current world top seven, which is no way to begin a week at an event frequently dubbed the fifth major.

But tread lightly here, because by no means does the commitment ensure that Woods will play. He skipped this week's event in Charlotte with injuries to his left Achilles and knee and has been wearing a walking boot on the affected foot, swing coach Sean Foley said. In fact, they have not worked together since the Masters, so Woods' state of readiness can certainly be called into question.

Woods has one of his worst career track records at TPC Sawgrass, where he has played every year he has been healthy and managed one victory.

Woods raised a few eyebrows when he skipped the Charlotte event after spending the week after the Masters in China and Korea, doing exhibitions and outings for Nike. He announced last week that doctors advised him against playing, but he then hosted a charity rock concert in Las Vegas last weekend.

Interesting way of doing rehab, right? But for those wondering about the severity and legitimacy of the injuries, one longtime former Woods insider was certain that the fading world No. 1 is feeling some pain. Butch Harmon said any assertion that Woods is a hypochondriac is completely false.

"Tiger Woods has a higher pain threshhold than any player I have ever known," Harmon said Friday at the Wells Fargo Championship.

Harmon said that in addition to Woods' lifelong issues with his left knee, he routinely suffered undisclosed injuries during his punishing training regimen, but never let anybody know.

"He never wanted anyone to know he was hurt because it would look like a sign of weakness, and No. 2, he never wanted to make excuses," said Harmon, Woods' former swing coach. "He'd have calf injuries, sprains, whetever, and he would never even limp. People would have no idea. He's a tough guy."

Famously, Woods won the U.S. Open in 2008 -- his last major win -- while playing on a knee with two hairline fractures and shredded ligaments.

Given his myriad personal and physical issues, Woods has only played 16 stroke-play rounds and was bounced in the first round of the Accenture Match Play Championship.

Out of contention, Woods withdrew midway through the final round at Sawgrass last year with a previously undisclosed neck injury he said he sustained while practicing before the 2010 Masters.

Category: Golf
Posted on: May 6, 2011 11:00 am

Horn sounds as lightning threatens Quail Hollow

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Wells Fargo Championship is in a holding pattern.

Because of the threat of thunderstorms, play was suspended at 10:51 a.m. ET on Friday and players were evacuated from the course as a precaution.

With a full 156-man field, if there is a lengthy delay, second-round play is almost certainly going to carry over into Saturday.

Thankfully, PGA Tour officials were expecting the threat of thunder to pass in 30 minutes, which means players wouldn't need to go back to the range and warm up.
Posted on: May 6, 2011 10:34 am

Phil up to his usual tricks in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- If not for Rory McIlroy's blistering 62 in the final round last year, Phil Mickelson would be defending a title this year at the Wells Fargo Championship.

Looks like this time, he's not going to let a few squirrelly shots or anybody get in his way.

Off to a uniquely Lefty start, Mickelson hit three balls in the water over his first 27 holes, but after making a birdie on his ninth hole on Friday morning, Mickelson had stormed into a share of second place at 6 under.

Mickelson has five top-seven finishes at the Quail Hollow Club but has never won, including a solo second last year, on the heels of his Masters victory four weeks earlier.

"Philly being Philly," his swing coach Butch Harmon said.

Mickelson hit only 8 of the first 21 fairways and 14 of 27 greens, so you can see he's obviously working his magic. He even salvaged par on two holes when he hits shots in the water.

Mickelson loves the course, and the setup in particular, because there isn’t much rough. Here's what he said about Quail Hollow after his opening round of 69:

"The thing I love about this course is that the trees are very tight, so it's a very tight, treelined golf course," he said. "But with the rough being kind of first cut or a little longer than first cut, you can recover. You can hit shots. You can try different things, try to get out and around these trees, and it makes for fun, exciting golf because you can see what I think is the most exciting golf, which is the recovery shot."

Category: Golf
Posted on: May 6, 2011 9:42 am

Weather cools in Charlotte, scores to follow?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Let's call it cool and unusual punishment.

For the second day in a row at the Wells Fargo Championship, players off in the morning wave Friday were greeted by unseasonably cold weather and overcast skies, and this time, the clouds are packing some mustard.

The Friday forecast calls for a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms starting at 1 p.m. ET, which is right around when the second wave of play is set to begin.

Over the rest of the day there's a 30 percent chance of rain, though thunderstorms are not predicted and play likely would not be interrupted barring a heavy deluge.


Category: Golf
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