Wells Fargo Championship 2014: Winners and Losers from Quail Hollow
As he stood on the 18th tee with a two-stroke lead during the final round at Quail Hollow, J.B. Holmes made a sincere effort to add his name to the "loser" column on this list when he inexplicably pulled out his driver and pushed his tee shot badly to the right.
However, a clutch three-footer for bogey placed him one shot clear of Jim Furyk and at the top of the leaderboard for the third time in his career, saving him from choke-artist status.
Who found themselves with Holmes among the winners at Quail Hollow? Who wasn't so fortunate?
Continue reading to find out.
Winner: J.B. Holmes
Sure, Holmes was the literal winner of the Wells Fargo Championship.
However, the win this week doesn't compare to the victory over adversity the long-hitting Kentuckian symbolically completed when he holed his final putt at Quail Hollow.
Holmes underwent brain surgery twice in 2011 due to structural defects in his cerebellum after suffering through vertigo-like symptoms for much of the season. After a comeback in 2012, he shattered his ankle while rollerblading and had surgery on his elbow in 2013. He made just five starts during the year.
In 2014, however, Holmes has made a return to form. He's finished inside the top 25 five times and has now made 11 of 12 cuts on the year.
Loser: Play-by-Play on Jim Furyk Cleaning Out His Locker
While Holmes was making a mess of the final hole, the television coverage shifted to the locker room. The camera showed Furyk, who, at 13 under, would have found himself in a playoff with Holmes had the golfer made worse than bogey.
Very well. It's a standard shot: the guy who could end up in a playoff. We've seen it many times.
What was bizarre, however, was the amount of time the camera spent on Furyk as the announcers detailed him packing his belongings and speculated as to what he was thinking in real time while Holmes faltered.
As Kyle Porter, golf writer for CBS, tweeted:
On a scale of 1 to Tiger winning the Masters with a holed chip on 18 where does "Furyk cleaning his locker" rank on the excitement scale?— Kyle Porter (@KylePorterCBS) May 4, 2014
The final round at the Wells Fargo Championship presented us with some impressive hole-outs.
Furyk poured in a 62-foot pitch for eagle at the 15th hole, which vaulted him into a tie for the lead at the time. He eventually finished second.
Martin Flores holed a brilliant 86-foot shot on the 10th hole for eagle, which helped him on his way to a third-place finish.
Jason Bohn, who has experience holing-out from distance, found the cup with a 95-yard wedge shot on the 10th hole for eagle. He canned a pitch shot for birdie at the 12th as well, eventually finishing fourth.
Loser: Sunday Mickelson
Phil Mickelson played some quality golf on Saturday, as you'll see in the next slide. He was a mere 13 strokes worse during his final round, as he found himself filling in "76" on his Sunday scorecard.
Mickelson was two over heading into the Green Mile, when he unceremoniously double bogeyed the 16th hole and made bogey at the 17th.
With just one birdie to offset the aforementioned, Sunday was everything Saturday wasn't: bad.
Winner: Saturday Mickelson
Looking healthy for one of the first times this season, Mickelson's Saturday 63 was spurred on by an outward 29 that stirred whispers of golf's holy number: 59.
However, the left-hander was only able to card two birdies coming in and settled for 34 on the back nine.
Still, without a blemish on the card, Mickelson posted a brilliant third-round 63, hitting 71 percent of fairways and better than 83 percent of greens in regulation during a fabulous round of ball-striking.
Loser: Quail Hollow Saturday
During Thursday's first round, the scoring average at par-72 Quail Hollow was 73.3.
On Saturday, the average was 71.1, as the course played more than two strokes easier.
Mickelson led the charge Saturday, carding a spectacular 63 that looked like it could have been 59 for the first half of the round. Rory McIlroy fired a 65. In total, more than 20 other players signed their cards for numbers in the 60s amid generous scoring conditions.
Winner: The Green Mile
The stretch from the 16th through the 18th hole at Quail Hollow (in case you didn't hear it mentioned 3,000 times during the telecast) is known as the Green Mile.
How tough is the stretch? During the first round, the scoring average for the par-four, par-three, par-four stretch was:
- No. 18: 4.506
- No. 17: 3.385
- No. 16: 4.333
The final three holes undid Bohn Sunday (doubled 17, bogeyed 18). Ditto for Flores (bogeyed 18) and nearly Holmes, who had his struggles at the final hole.
The Green Mile certainly maintained its reputation as one of the toughest stretches on tour.
Loser: Weekend Cabrera
Angel Cabrera has missed seven of nine cuts on the PGA Tour this season. This week, the 44-year-old Argentinian opened with rounds of 66, 69 and found himself in position for his third win on the PGA Tour (his first outside of the majors) entering the third round.
However, weekend rounds of 75, 75—thanks to a wayward driver—saw the 2009 Masters champion's hopes of victory go up in smoke.
At least El Pato still has this distinction: 100 percent of his PGA Tour wins are majors.