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Friday's Wells Fargo Championship Notebook

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Quail Hollow notes: Rod Pampling make most of scenic route to tee box

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  • Saturday’s Weather Forecast

    Chilly, windy, high of 61



Rod Pampling didn’t qualify for the Wells Fargo Championship on Monday at Charlotte’s Carolina Golf Club, losing in a playoff. So he headed to Athens, Ga., on Tuesday for a Web.com tournament instead.

Wednesday, Pampling was driving back to Charlotte.

The first alternate at the Wells Fargo, he was summoned back after Ben Crane withdrew.

He made the most of his opportunity, shooting a 3-under par 69 Friday and is tied for fifth after two rounds at 6-under.

Pampling, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour, said he didn’t have any trouble finding his way back to Charlotte and Quail Hollow.

“My caddie’s local, so he knows the road!” he said.

Notes

Missed cut: With the cut at 1-over, a number of big names will not be teeing off at Quail Hollow this weekend.

Bubba Watson, the 2012 Masters champion, was sent home after following up Thursday’s even par round with a 4-over 76.

After starting the day at No. 10, Watson went into his second nine at 2-over, but jumped to 4-over when he hit into the trees at No. 4, found the bunker on his approach, flew the green on his bunker shot and then two-putted for a double bogey.

Bill Haas didn’t make the cut but ended his tournament in style by chipping in from over the rocks and creek for a birdie on No. 18. Haas, a Charlotte native who played at Wake Forest, finished the tournament at 7-over. He’ll return home to Greenville, S.C., where his wife Julie is expecting their first child soon.

Quail Hollow assistant golf pro Charles Frost missed the cut in his first PGA Tour event. Rounds of 74 and 75 left him at 5-over.

Other notable names not be joining the field this weekend are Scott Verplank, Henrik Stenson, Ricky Barnes and Charlotte resident Johnson Wagner.

Smith’s day: Duke graduate Nate Smith, who started the day tied for the lead at 5-under, shot a 2-over 74 Friday and is tied for 21st at 3-under for the tournament. Smith started the day nicely with a birdie on the first hole. But three consecutive bogeys on the back nine hurt. Still, he made the cut and will play the weekend.

Veterans on 17: Members of the Wells Fargo Veteran Team Member Network are manning the 17th green, where they have been tending a pin that is topped by an American flag.

Ryan Dubrosin, a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserves who is stationed at Fort Jackson, S.C., was at the 17th Friday morning.

“It’s been great to be out here and shake the players’ hands,” said Dubrosin, 26, who is a Charlotte resident and a legal process specialist at Wells Fargo. “Especially the Americans’. ”

Dubrosin and the other veterans manning the hole, however, aren’t able to replace the pin because the flat-soled shoes they wear have heels that might damage the green.

Dubrosin remained a few feet off the green as caddies handed him the flag after taking it out of the hole. He then returned it for them to replace it.

The other veterans on the 17th hole: Nathan Horton (Air Force Reserves), Alan Smith (Air National Guard), Marcus Washington (Air Force Reserves), Chris Hilliard (Navy Reserves) and Sengsuri Sidavong (Army Reserves).

Other tournaments on the PGA Tour also have similar programs. The Wells Fargo veterans are tending the pins through Saturday.

Quoting

“I take a week off. I don’t touch a club.” – leader Phil Mickelson, on what he does after playing the Masters.

“There is no player bigger than the game.” – Sergio Garcia, explaining why he would have accepted a two-stroke penalty on a potential rules violation on the 17th green. Garcia wasn’t assessed the penalty.

“I’ll concentrate on this week first, then I’ll think about it.” – Rory McIlroy, asked if he’s looking forward to the Players Championship next week.

By the numbers

3 Largest second-round lead at Wells Fargo (Bo Van Pelt, 2006).

24 Age 2010 Wells Fargo champion Rory McIlroy turns Saturday.

31 Rounds of par or better at Quail Hollow for Mickelson (out of 38 played).

72.97 Scoring average of morning rounds Friday.

72.51 Average of afternoon rounds.

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