Wells Fargo boasts impressive field

Tiger Woods among star-studded cast at Charlotte’s PGA Tour stop

Tiger Woods is the main draw in an impressive field at this year’s Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte. (Brian Snyder / Reuters)

Charlotte’s Quail Hollow Club isn’t hosting one of golf’s major championships this year, as it did a year ago with the PGA.

But you’d never know it from the field that’s been assembled for this week’s Wells Fargo Championship.

The lineup is a Who’s Who of golf, with virtually every big name in the sport other than world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth lined up and ready to take on one of the most challenging venues on the PGA Tour. It’s a list that includes Justin Thomas, who won last year’s PGA Championship at Quail Hollow, newly minted Masters winner Patrick Reed and two-time Wells Fargo champ Rory McIlroy.

For all that star power, however, the main attraction is a player that hasn’t had a tournament victory of any kind in five years.

That player is Tiger Woods, the 2007 Wells Fargo winner, who will be making his first appearance at Quail Hollow since 2012.

“Obviously we are excited to have Tiger coming back to compete in our tournament but to also have him healthy and competing on the PGA Tour this year,” tournament director Gary Sobba said in a release. “His win here in 2007 was one of the memorable moments in our tournament history.”

Woods has been showing signs of progress recently in his latest comeback from multiple back surgeries.

He posted a runner-up finish at the Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor, Fla., in early March and followed that up the following week with a fifth-place showing at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando. The former world No. 1 has not played since posting a disappointing 32nd-place result at the Masters four weeks ago.

Woods will begin the tournament at 12:50 p.m. on Thursday in a threesome with Reed and defending U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka.

Among the other notables, Thomas will tee off along with Rickie Fowler and last year’s Wells Fargo winner Brian Harman at 12:40 p.m., North Carolina native and former U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson will start at 1:20 while McIlroy (7:30 a.m.) and Phil Mickelson (7:40 a.m.) drew early morning tee times.

The tournament features a $7.7 million purse, with $1.38 million going to the winner.

Harman scored his second career victory at last year’s event, posting off a 10-under-par score that was one shot better than Johnson and Pat Perez. The tournament was held at Eagle Point Golf Club in Wilmington while Quail Hollow underwent preparations for the PGA Championship later in the year.