CHARLOTTE — As the temperature started heating up Saturday, the scores began cooling off at Quail Hollow Club at the halfway mark through Round 3 at the Wells Fargo Championship with only 13 of the remaining 68 players underpar around the lunchtime hour.
Missing greens Saturday morning was a major factor in the decrease in red numbers.
Mark Hubbard, who was sitting tied for 18th after a low round of the day four-under performance commented on the difficulty of the green complexes as well as greens speeding up, adding that hitting greens does not correlate to low scores.
Hubbard went on to talk about the course playing easier off the tee due to a decrease in the severeness of the rough. Sometimes even short-siding, which would typically cause scoring issues, is doable around the greens this week with how tight the rough has been mown.
Hubbard had one of the highlights of the second round with a hole in one on the 17th.
“It was a perfect yardage for me,” Hubbard said. “It was a very cool moment, when you visualise your shot and pull it off exactly — it’s awesome.”
Hubbard went on to mention that it was a bonus to be on an elevated tee box and be able to watch his ball hit the green and release and break down to the hole and see it go in.
Sahith Theegala, a recent star from Netflix’s “Full Swing” show, also commented on the difficulty at Quail Hollow this week.
Theegala mentioned discussing with his playing partner, Rory McIlroy, how receptive the greens were at this point during competition but how difficult the undulations and green complexes were.
“The pins out there are in some really tough spots,” Theegala said.
Undulations and low points in the greens gave many in the morning wave trouble, seeing balls settle far from their landing spots or off the greens entirely.
As Hubbard mentioned in his comment: even if you hit the green, gauging speed and break has been a challenge.
Several players made big moves on Saturday heading into Sunday’s final round.
Corey Conners moved up the leaderboard 19 spots, shooting a 5-under 66 to put him into a tie for 10th place.
Viktor Hovland made the biggest move, also shooting a 5-under 66. Hovland moved up 23 spots but started the day further back and sits tied for 15th.
Brendan Todd made arguably the biggest move, moving into a solo ninth place after shooting a score of 65 and moving up the field 20 spots. Todd had an impressive mid-round run which included a 5 under stretch in 4 holes.
Xander Schauffele, currently 14-under, and Wyndum Clark, currently 16-under, are playing strong heading into their final holes of the third round, making catching them on Sunday a difficult task.
That being said, the last two winners at the Wells Fargo Championship — McIlroy and Max Homa — have come from behind on Sunday to take the trophy.