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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Rory McIlroy enters 2024 Wells Fargo Championship as most dominant golfer to play Quail Hole

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It will be tough to discover a higher player-golf course match anyplace on the PGA Tour than Rory McIlroy and Quail Hole. McIlroy, who arrives off a win with pal Shane Lowry two weeks in the past on the 2024 Zurich Basic, will make his thirteenth profession begin at this golf course (12 Wells Fargo Championships, one PGA Championship).

In that span of time, Rory has amassed 5 prime fives, eight prime 10s and only one missed minimize (2011 Wells Fargo Championship), when he was simply 22 years previous. He has solely misplaced strokes from tee to inexperienced one time in 12 appearances and has extra tournaments during which he has gained 3+ strokes per spherical on the sector per spherical (4) than tournaments during which he has misplaced strokes to the sector (one).

“At all times good to be again at Quail,” McIlroy stated Wednesday. “Not simply one in all my favourite stops on Tour, however one in all my favourite cities in America. I’ve had so many nice recollections right here from through the years, first win on Tour and clearly successful right here just a few instances, and I assume the assist that I’ve had from this neighborhood and the assist that this event’s had from this neighborhood through the years, it is at all times been nice to expertise that. So yeah, nice to be again. Trying ahead to making an attempt to get my fourth one right here.”

Of the gamers within the area this week, McIlroy has far and away been one of the best on this golf course all through his profession. Listed below are the highest 5 in strokes gained:

  1. Rory McIlroy: 2.62
  2. Justin Thomas: 2.12
  3. Rickie Fowler: 2.07
  4. Jason Day: 1.99
  5. Viktor Hovland: 1.97

Solely three golfers have a profession common over 2.0 strokes gained per spherical, and McIlroy is nearer to three.0 than he’s 2.0. These are astounding numbers.

McIlroy has received right here usually. His first PGA Tour victory in 2010. His seven-shot rout in 2015 over Webb Simpson and Patrick Rodgers. And eventually in 2022 when he beat Abraham Ancer by one and Viktor Hovland and Keith Mitchell by two.

With out Scottie Scheffler within the area, McIlroy is instantly a 13/2 favourite to win the Wells Fargo Championship. The one different golfer getting into within the single digits is Xander Schauffele at 9-1.

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That doesn’t make Rory a shoe-in. His iron play has been up and down this 12 months. He completed T47 at this course one 12 months in the past resulting from struggles with that iron play. He has quite a bit at stake subsequent week on the 2024 PGA Championship the place he received in 2014; it could be simple to look forward at a juicy main risk.

“Iron play actually feels prefer it’s coming round,” stated McIlroy. “[Winning the Zurich Classic] was the top of a four-week stretch for me, so I took just a few days off after I received again dwelling, hit balls for the primary time Sunday. Generally to take a little bit of a break and simply give it some thought fairly than really doing it might probably assist as effectively. I received right here Monday fairly early and have finished some good apply. Yeah, I do not know if it is this place and I simply really feel good right here, nevertheless it feels prefer it’s all beginning to come round, which is nice to see.”

There are few higher course matches on the PGA Tour than McIlroy at Quail Hole. He completely decimates the place together with his driver, which is sensible as a result of it’s a course the place you’ll be able to hit driver in all places as a result of distance issues considerably. In 12 begins, he has by no means misplaced strokes off the tee. In 4 occasions, he is gained over 2.0 strokes per spherical off the tee, and unprecedented quantity for a single class.

In reality, colleague Rick Gehman calls Rory and Quail Hole probably the greatest course-player matches of the final 4 a long time. Solely Justin Leonard at LaCantera and Tiger Woods at a number of programs (after all) rank higher.

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