CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Tommy Fleetwood took his lickings the first two times he played tournaments at Quail Hollow Club. But on a sun-drenched Thursday, Fleetwood finally figured this parkland beauty out, finishing birdie-birdie to shoot a bogey-free 6-under 65 and claim the first-round lead at the Wells Fargo Championship.
“You have days like today,” Fleetwood said. “There are plenty of players that shoot great rounds around here. It’s such a beautiful golf course and it’s a pleasure to play, it really, really is, but you just have to play well and that’s all there is to it. I enjoy the challenge, I loved playing today and having a score going and playing like that. I’m looking forward to whatever the week holds. It’s a great course to come and play, but it can just beat you up at times and today was my turn.”
Fleetwood hinted at the tough times, which included a T-61 at the 2017 PGA Championship and a missed cut at this event in 2018. The Englishman started to figure out Quail Hollow’s intricacies in 2021, finishing T-14.
“You can make it as daunting or as simple as you want to make it,” Fleetwood explained.
As for what makes Quail such a tricky old bird? “The scorable holes can actually still kick you,” he said.
Fleetwood, 32, reeled off six straight pars to start the round before jumping into red figures with an eight-foot eagle at No. 7. He tacked on a short birdie at eight and added three more circles to the card on the back nine, including playing Quail Hollow’s vaunted Green Mile – Nos. 16-18 – in 2 under. After driving into the right fairway at 18, he hit his self-proclaimed shot of the day, sticking his approach from 181 yards to seven feet.
“You never know when you’re one swing away from making a birdie,” he said. “There’s good shots out there and you have to always be looking for them and you always have to feel like you can hit one of those. Whether you do or not is a different story, but believing you can is the first part.”
Here are four more takeaways from the first round of the Wells Fargo Championship.
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