Rory McIlroy won for the first time on the PGA TOUR in 18 months with his third title at the Wells Fargo Championship.
The victory, the first for the former world No. 1 since the HSBC Champions on Nov. 3, 2019 wrapped up a crazy week at one of the most prestigious stops on the PGA TOUR, the Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte
“This place has been good to me. Ever since I first set eyes on this golf course, I loved it from the first time I played it, and that love has sort of been reciprocated back. I’ve played so well here over the years. I think this is the first time I’ve ever won an event for the third time, so that’s pretty cool to do it here,” McIlroy said.
McIlroy won his first PGA TOUR event at Quail Hollow in 2010.
“It’s hard to win. You know, I got my nose ahead with the two birdies on 14 and 15 and then when I hit the tee shot on 16, I said to myself, “Four more good swings, that’s all you need. You need a good swing into 16, you need a good tee shot on 17 and two good swings into 18.”
McIlroy arrived at No. 18 with a two-shot lead and hit his drive into a hazard where his caddie Harry Diamond earned his paycheck for the week when they went through the options and elected for a drop that led to a two-putt bogey for a 3-under 68 and a one-shot win over Abraham Ancer.
The colorful week got underway with Phil Mickelson and Joel Dahmen joking on Twitter that ended with Dahmen saying “I’m excited to see how my game stacks up against the best of the Champions Tour” and Mickelson subsequently opening the tournament with a 64 to take the early lead in the tournament and perhaps more importantly, top Dahmen by four shots.
Another side note to the weekend came from Bryson DeChambeau, who flew home to Dallas on Friday only to end up having to jump back on a private jet at 2:45 a.m. to return to Charlotte on Saturday morning after he ended up making the cut.
“It was worth it. It no doubt was worth it. That’s what I was hoping to do this weekend when I was on that plane at 2:45a.m.,” DeChambeau said. “Yeah, I wanted to make it worth it. I didn’t want to come out here and finish 60–whatever, close to last. Even at that, it’s still FedExCup points, it’s still world ranking points. I was pleased to have come back and finished—hopefully I can get inside the top–10 and be there and keep moving up the world rankings. The goal is obviously to be No.1 and I want to be at the Olympics, so we’ll keep moving forward in the right direction. If I get my driving going next week, I like that golf course and hopefully I can play well out there.”
DeChambeau’s tie for 9th was good enough to move him to the top of the FedEx Cup standings.
McIlory also added to the the zaniness of the week when he let it be known that he injured his neck on Wednesday and would have had to withdraw if he had a Thursday morning tee time.
“I hit a 3–iron, flushed it and I turned back to talk to Harry and as I turned, my left side of my neck just completely locked up and I couldn’t—I couldn’t move it. It was really, really strange. So I stopped what I was doing and I went and got some treatment,” McIlory said. “If I had been playing Thursday morning, I probably would have pulled out.”
Next up on the PGA TOUR is the AT&T Byron Nelson at TPC Craig Ranch.