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Shotgun Start: Previewing the Wells Fargo Championship

Jonathan Wall
Devil Ball Golf

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Quail Hollow Club / Getty Images

It's tournament time! The PGA Tour moves to North Carolina for one of the top tournaments on the schedule — the Wells Fargo Championship.  Here's a tournament primer to get you prepared for the week.

The course: Quail Hollow Club will host the 2017 PGA Championship, and after watching some of the finishes the course has produced in recent years, you can see why it was pegged as the site for "Glory's Last Shot." (Sorry, I had to throw that reference in there.) The par-72 George Cobb designed layout in Charlotte, NC, measures 7,442 yards and has one of the toughest final stretches on the PGA Tour. Dubbed the "Green Mile," the final three holes -- par 4, 3, 4 -- played more difficult than the final three at the Masters, U.S. Open or Open Championship last year. No doubt about it, the finish can make or break a round. The 480-yard par-4 16th and 217-yard par-3 17th deserve a portion of the spotlight, but it's the par-4 18th (the 14th-most difficult on tour in 2011 with a stroke average of +0.380) that seems to get most of the accolades. With a bunker on the right side of the fairway and a creek meandering down the left, it's imperative that players find the fairway on the 478-yard hole. Doing so should leave you with a chance to go at a back right Sunday pin, with the creek coming into play if players miss short side. Quail Hollow ranked as the 24th-most difficult course on tour in 2011 (-0.047 strokes under par), so outside of the closing stretch, the rest of the course is there for the taking.

The schedule: The tournament runs Thursday-Sunday. It'll be broadcast on the Golf Channel from 3 to 7 p.m. ET on Thursday and Friday; and on CBS from 3 to 6 p.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday.

The field: Some of the biggest guns on the PGA Tour are in the field this week, including 18 different major winners. Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Lee Westwood and Hunter Mahan headline the field. Other notables include Zach Johnson, Jim Furyk, Keegan Bradley and Cameron Tringale. If you've been complaining that the fields over the last couple of weeks have been a little watered-down, well, now might be a good time to sit down and watch some golf this weekend.

The video: Check out some of the memorable moments from the Wells Fargo Championship's history.

Your turn. Who are your picks for this week? Swing away!

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