Quail Hollow playing longer, softer than typical PGA Tour stop in Charlotte
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Quail Hollow playing longer, softer than typical PGA Tour stop in Charlotte

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 13: Playing Captain Tiger Woods of the United States team and Justin Thomas of the United States team celebrate defeating Byeong-Hun An of South Korea and the International team and Hideki Matsuyama of Japan and the International team 1up on the 18th green during Friday foursome matches on day two of the 2019 Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne Golf Course on December 13, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)


If you're counting on a firm-and-fast Quail Hollow Club for this week's Presidents Cup, think again.

The nearly 7,600-yard Charlotte host club for the biennial event pitting the Americans against the Internationals is proving to play softer and longer than fans are accustomed to seeing in May for the Wells Fargo Championship or even in August 2017 when the club hosted the PGA Championship.

Justin Thomas, who won that '17 PGA for his first major title, said the course is playing soft from tee to green and is forcing him to hit longer irons into greens. Speaking of the re-routed course, he gave a specific example of the vast difference in clubs because of a prevailing wind change and soft conditions.

"You got to play the holes for what they are. If you play them well out here, it's not terribly different,' he said. "It's just a lot of drivers, 7 irons, a lot of drivers, 6 irons. It's a long golf course. It's soft right now so it's playing even longer."

Trying to assess how Quail Hollow will look as a match-play venue this week, Thomas praised the Tour and the club staff for their setup. The Tour handles all setup decisions this week, as opposed to the Ryder Cup, where the home side has heavy influence on all facets of course setup.

"The Tour and Quail Hollow did an unbelievable job of just getting this place in unbelievable condition," he said.

"I really hope we can continue to get this sunshine and maybe a little bit of wind and dry it out a little bit just to get it firm and fast and really get, you know, challenging."

The reigning PGA champion doesn't want to be made to look bad if things turn tougher come the weekend, but knowing that it's match play all the way through, Thomas is just looking for victories.

"If I win a hole with a double," he said, "that's good enough for me."

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Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

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