A sparkling reputation for an ability to host big-time golf events has landed Charlotte’s Quail Hollow Club another of the sport’s top competitions.
The Presidents Cup, a match-play event held every other year between the United States and a team of non-European international players, will be played at the South Charlotte course in the fall of 2021, PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem told the Observer.
He called the Presidents Cup and Quail Hollow a “natural fit.”
“We’ve always had a wonderful relationship with Quail Hollow,” Finchem said. “They know how to run golf events as well as anybody. They’ve proven it.”
Quail Hollow, the site of the PGA Tour’s Wells Fargo Championship since 2003, will host the 2017 PGA Championship.
“Since we started down the road with the Wells Fargo as a tour event, we’ve tried to figure out ways to enhance from what we have at Quail Hollow,” said club president Johnny Harris. “Once we got the PGA (Championship), we began talking about something else like the Presidents Cup.”
An official announcement will be held during a news conference at 9 a.m. Wednesday at Quail Hollow.
This year’s Presidents Cup, a PGA Tour operation, is Oct. 6-11 at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea in Incheon City, South Korea. The United States, which has an 8-1-1 record in the competition, beat the International team 18.5-13.5 in 2013 at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio.
First played in 1994, the Presidents Cup doesn’t have the tradition or history of the Ryder Cup (played between the U.S. and Europe). It will feature 12 top American players and 12 non-European international players.
In the past, that’s meant international stars such as Australia’s Greg Norman, South Africa’s Nick Price and Fiji’s Vijay Singh have competed in the Presidents Cup. International players likely to play in South Korea this year are Australia’s Adam Scott, Jason Day and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama.
“It’s trying to follow in the footsteps of the Ryder Cup a little,” said Jay Haas, this year’s U.S. Presidents Cup team captain. “I think the players from outside Europe looked at our players and the European players celebrating after the Ryder Cup and said ‘We’d like to do something like that.’ That was the start of it.”
Quail Hollow’s Harris said no changes will be necessary for the golf course, which was renovated after the 2013 Wells Fargo tournament. Enhancements for spectators and other logistical improvements for the PGA Championship and future Wells Fargo tournaments are in place.
“The playing surface is great and we did some things that will make it a better experience for everybody,” said Harris. “We made sure all those things were coming together when we sort of knew (the Presidents Cup) was a possibility.”
Quail Hollow is already set up as an excellent course for match play, said former U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson, a Charlotte resident who is a club member.
“A great match-play course has a lot of risk-reward and Quail has that,” said Simpson. “They can do a lot of stuff with the holes and the tees. It should be great.”