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Field, course in good shape for Wells Fargo Championship

Defending champion Rory McIlroy will play in next week’s Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club.
Defending champion Rory McIlroy will play in next week’s Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club. AFP/Getty Images

Kym Hougham’s pre-tournament assessment of next week’s Wells Fargo Championship is nothing but optimistic, from the condition of Quail Hollow Club’s course to the field of players who have committed to play.

“The fairways are phenomenal and the greens are as good as we’ve seen,” Hougham, the tournament’s executive director, said Thursday. “These guys are so good … if the greens are pure and they’re putting well, they’ll (score) low.”

The condition of the course matches the quality of the field, which includes five of the world’s top-10 players and 10 of the top 20.

That includes defending champion Rory McIlroy (ranked 3rd), 2013 champ and No. 5 Rickie Fowler, No. 6 Henrik Stenson, No. 7 Adam Scott and No. 8 Dustin Johnson. Phil Mickelson will also play for a 12th consecutive time at Quail Hollow. The player commitment deadline is 5 p.m. Friday.

“It’s a really good field, we’ve got some players coming back – we’ve missed some,” Hougham said. “But now they’re coming back.”

The tournament is also is settling back into its customary spot on the PGA Tour schedule after a one-off move to late May in 2015.

More change is in store in 2017, when the PGA Championship comes to Quail Hollow in August. The Wells Fargo will make way by moving to Wilmington’s Eagle Point Golf Club.

Preparations for both the PGA’s arrival and the Wells Fargo’s temporary relocation have long been underway. But they’ll ratchet up when the Wells Fargo wraps up next Sunday.

“We’ve been prepping for 2017 since 2014, when the PGA made its announcement,” said Hougham. “There’s a lot of work and decisions to be made about Wilmington, but we’re in a good position to do so. We’ve gotten a really good first leg up.”

Wells Fargo Championship

When: Thursday-May 8 (Rounds 1-4); tee times begin at 7 a.m. Thursday-Friday and 8 a.m. Saturday-Sunday

Where: Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte

How to watch

Thursday-Friday: Golf Channel, 4-7 p.m.

Saturday-Sunday: Golf Channel, 1-2:30 p.m.; CBS, 3-6 p.m.