Eagle Point, Wilmington draw high praise from PGA players

Eagle Point golf course in Wilmington

The drama was thick as the humid summer air down the stretch of the 2017 Wells Fargo Championship, and the PGA Tour event, taking place in Wilmington for the first time in tournament history, appeared to be headed for a playoff on Sunday until Brian Harman seized the title with a birdie-birdie finish.Harman’s final shot was as improbable as him besting Dustin Johnson for the title — he drained a 30-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a closing 4-under-par 68, giving him a dramatic one-shot victory over Johnson and Pat Perez at Eagle Point Golf Club and a 10-under 278.The top-ranked Johnson was denied an opportunity to win his fourth consecutive title on thePGA Tour because of Harman’s heroics. Playing for the first time since a slip down some stairs resulted in a back injury that knocked Johnson out of the Masters last month, he posted back-to-back 67s after barely making the cut on Friday.On the decisive par-5 18th hole, Harman’s second shot sailed over the green near a corporate tent. After Harman got relief, his chip barely landed on the edge of the green. From there, however, he made the winning putt.”I didn’t hit a great chip. It didn’t turn out very good,” Harman said, “but I guess it went where it was supposed to.”The tournament moved from Charlotte to Wilmington because of the 2017 PGA Championship taking place at Quail Hollow. And it could not have been more well received.No less than Phil Mickelson, who spent Sunday firing down back-nine birdies to climb his way back to even par on the day and four-under on the tournament, praised the work done by the Eagle Point and Wells Fargo organizers.”This was a really a great event for us,” Mickelson said, via WWAY in Wilmington. “This is an incredible turnout, support for this tournament and coming to a town where we haven’t had golf before, to see the way the people turned out and supported the event was pretty impressive.”Another top player in the world, Adam Scott, describe the course as “flawless” during the competition.Even local golfers appreciated the course, with Hickory native and Western Carolina standout J.T. Poston telling WWAY that he always imagined playing in Charlotte but was thrilled to step foot on Eagle Point.”Growing up and watching it in Charlotte, I’ve always envisioned myself playing in it there. But to be honest, I mean, it’s been incredible here,” Poston said. “Golf course is definitely a championship style golf course and a lot of guys have enjoyed it. I haven’t heard a single person say a bad thing about it.”It was appreciated by more than just pros, with Wells Fargo Executive Director Kym Hougham calling it “a marvelous week” and propping up the possibility for a return to golf in Wilmington.”I’ll say this, Wilmington and Eagle Point definitely put their best foot forward,” Hougham said via WECT TV. “And they certainly deserve a look if there’s ever an opportunity.”