The Perfect Storm

The Perfect Storm was the disaster film starring George Clooney about the doomed crew of the Andrea Gail that got caught out at sea because of the convergence of several weather fronts including a hurricane.  The weather at Quail Hollow Club for the Wells Fargo Championship was rough, but not life-threatening.  It did cap what was easily the most difficult of the 11 years of the tournament as Mother Nature was unkind.

This event has always been viewed as one of the top stops on the PGA Tour.  The attention to detail for the golfers, spectators and media is second to none. The pristine conditions of the course itself has led to it being the host for the PGA Championship in 2017.  But a rough spring led to two of the putting greens being replaced and at least another four that looked to be brown enough that they should have been resodded as well.

The conditions led to some of the 10 golfers withdrawing from the event after Tiger Woods failed to even commit to play here at all.  Vijay Singh's back suddenly became more sore after the deer spray story was resolved.  Others like Ian Poulter cited personal reasons for not coming to Charlotte.  The weather for the event became more dicey each day.  Starting out cool and overcast for Day-1 and culminating with Day-4 being moved up two hours to include 6:45 am tee times and groups of three to beat the clock on the impending showers. 

They still finished in rain with big names Phil Mickelson, Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy failing to hold the leaderboard.  Derek Ernst, who was only invited at the last moment to fill one of the many vacancies chose wisely in skipping his Tour event to beat the field and win over $1.2 million.  The 22-year-old also lands a two-year exemption beginning with the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass this week.  So, it went well for him at least.

The good news is that work will begin immediately to replace all of the greens with a hardier sod that will withstand the summer heat.  Those greens should be ready to roll by late summer.  Several holes including the 16th green and 17th tee box of the Green Mile will also have new positions next year when all should return to normal and this event returns to it's well-earned lofty position on the PGA Tour.

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