The 2018 Wells Fargo Championship returns to Charlotte’s Quail Hollow Club from May 3-May 6. The tournament, while only founded in 2003, has become a hotly contested affair as golfers compete for the $7.7 million dollar prize purse. The course, originally designed by George Cobb but featuring later modifications by Arnold Palmer and a redesign by Tom Fazio, the course is now largely considered the toughest on the course. Indeed, the course’s closing 3 holes, known as the “Green Mile”, is known throughout the PGA Tour as a make or break series which can drastically change the golfer’s finishing position.
The Wells Fargo Championship doesn’t enjoy the same level of history as older events, but the tough nature of the course and the strong field of golfers has allowed for many memorable moments. To date, only Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy has managed multiple wins, taking the title in 2010 and 2015. McIlroy also holds the record for the largest margin of victory at 7 strokes and the lowest score at -21. Other notable winners include Rickie Fowler, Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk and Vijay Singh.
In addition to the golf, the Wells Fargo Championship is also well known for its charitable impact. The tournament is put on by the nonprofit Champions for Education, Inc. and focuses on providing funds for the educational benefit of children. Notably, the tournament provides most of the money raised to the nonprofit Teach for America, a program that puts recent college graduates into low-income public schools for at least two years.
2017 Champion: Brian Harman
2017 was a unique year for the Wells Fargo Championship, as it moved from Quail Hollow Club for the only time in its history in order to host the PGA Championship. The 2017 Wells Fargo Championship was instead held at nearby Eagle Point Golf Club. The tournament was the scene of a dramatic come from behind victory for Brian Harman. Sitting one stroke behind Dustin Johnson and Pat Perez with two holes of the Green Mile left to play, Harman would birdie the 17th to set up a tense finish. However, after his second shot on the par-5 18th hole went wide of the green and nestled in deep rough near a large oak tree, Harman looked to be in trouble. His chip was scuffed and just got him onto the green 30 feet from the pin. Harman proceeded to sink the long putt and secure his second ever PGA Tour win.
2018 Wells Fargo Championship Preview
Brian Harman returns to defend his title against a very strong field of competitors. Included in the field are two-time winner Rory McIlroy as well as Rickie Fowler. Patrick Reed looks to build on his Masters win by returning the to the course he finished runners up at last year at the 2017 PGA Championship. In all, nine of the top 15 ranked golfers in the Official Golf World Ranking will be taking part, including Japanese golfer Hideki Matsuyama who is looking for his first win of 2018. Other heavyweights include Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson, and the mercurial Tiger Woods. Fans also have their eyes on former top ranked amateur and teenager Joaquin Niemann, who starts his second ever tournament as a professional after finishing a very respectable 6th place at the Valero Texas Open. The difficulty of the course will favor the hot hand of the moment as misplaced shots are often punished harshly at Quail Hollow.
For fans traveling to see the actions there are multiple ways to enjoy the event. Weekly ground passes can be had $175, while single days are available for $55-$65, with a Good Any Day ticket going for $75. Fans who want the relaxed atmosphere of the practice days can purchase a $35 Practice Pack, giving the fan access to the grounds Monday-Wednesday to watch both the Wednesday Pro-Am and practice rounds. The practice days are also the only opportunity for fans to take pictures during the week. For considerably more money, fans also have the option to take part in shared hospitality offerings, including seating as well as food and beverage options. The Wells Fargo Championship also allows kids under 12 in for free with a ticket-holding adult, and the first 1000 active or retired military ID card holders will receive two complimentary tickets allowing for grounds access.
For fans who cannot travel to beautiful North Carolina, the Wells Fargo Championship will be covered extensively on television. The Golf Channel will cover the opening two rounds Thursday and Friday from 2-6pm ET, with limited coverage of the final two round Saturday and Sunday 1-2:45pm ET. Primetime coverage of the final two rounds will happen on CBS 3-6pm ET on Saturday and Sunday. Radio coverage is also available through PGA Tour Radio on Sirius XM and PGATour.com.