Sports

Relaxed Malnati leads field at Wells Fargo, McIlroy fades

Relaxed Malnati leads field at Wells Fargo, McIlroy fades

Tiger Woods reacts to his birdie putt on number nine during the second round of the Wells Fargo Championship golf tournament at Quail Hollow Club.

He will play in a group alongside Ted Potter Jr and Martin Kaymer, and the trio will tee off at 12:40pm (Irish Time) on Thursday, May 3, for their first round.

Comments concerning that very tournament raised some eyebrows as the Ulsterman spoke ahead of this week's Wells Fargo Championship, an event which represented his first win on the PGA Tour back in 2010. Woods is nine shots behind Malnati, tied for 48th with Mickelson and Rory McIlroy. We like for him to continue to use his hot putter and short game and contend on Sunday once again at Quail Hollow.

"I certainly was frustrated, there's no doubt about that", said Woods.

"It's always nice to come back to a golf course and an event where you've played well before and you have some really good memories", said McIlroy. "I'm sure they'll keep them around where they are right now". Though an argument can be made for any of these top four players, I will be leaning towards Justin Thomas ($11,300).

McIlroy was making his first appearance since his lacklustre final-round 76 at the Masters. This is his seventh PGA Tour start since returning from a fourth back surgery, and Woods said he now is used to the rhythm and flow of tournament golf.

"It was just the quiet moments when you're staring off into the distance and thinking about a certain shot or a certain putt, so it got to the point where I needed to see a bit of daylight and start to do my normal things", McIlroy told a pre-tournament press conference of his post-Masters recovery. While McIlroy is the favorite this week, DailyRoto gives Thomas the best odds to win at 7.40%.

"The guys previous year that played the PGA were telling me how quick they are and how slippery they were", Woods said.

Quail Hollow member Johnson Wagner is in the thick of the battle for the championship is he is at 4 under after shooting an even par 71 today. For example, if Woods were to finish 10th this week, he is projected to barely crack the top 80. Next week, the Players boasts the best field of the year outside of the majors.

He fired a two-over 73 to share 79th place, while Masters champion Patrick Reed fared slightly better with a 71.

"I got on to the first tee (on Sunday) and it was like "Wow, this is pretty cool, it feels like there's a lot of people rooting for me here".

But when asked to clarify his "don't care" remark at Quail Hollow last night, where he opened with a three-under 68 to lie a three behind early clubhouse leader John Peterson, he did little to win more friends at the USGA or the R&A, claiming his "don't care" comment was taken out of context.


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