CHARLOTTE – Brian Harman will begin defense of his 2017 Wells Fargo Championship on May 3 but this is a different title defense.
Because Quail Hollow Club was the host of the 2017 PGA Championship, last year’s Wells Fargo Championship was moved to the Eagle Point Golf Club in Wilmington. But the tournament is back in Charlotte this year and Harman is very familiar with the layout at Quail Hollow, having played in the PGA last summer and in five previous Wells Fargo Championships.
But Harman said being the defending champion has a different feel to it.
“I’m excited and I thought the course played great here for the PGA Championship,” Harman said after playing nine holes May 1. “It’s in great shape. Creativity and good putting take you a long way here. It’s certainly odd not defending at the course you won at. But, that is the way it is. I have done OK here. I finished 13th at the PGA and I like this golf course a lot. It suits me and it has always been one of my favorite tournaments.”
Harman, who tied for second at last year’s U.S. Open, already has seven top 10 finishes this year while winning $2,164,942. He has two careers wins.
“I’ve had a nice year, and I have been really consistent,” he said. “It’s been a year since I won a tournament, and that is high on the list. I am trying really hard to get back into the winner’s circle.”
Harman will tee off of No. 1 at 12:40 p.m. in the first round on May 3 but he will start off the back nine at 7:30 a.m. in the second round on May 4. Harman is paired with Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler in the first two rounds. Harman said starting a round at Quail Hollow from the back nine is challenging.
“It is especially tough if you start on the back nine,” he said. “You have a stretch there where you have 16, 17 and 18 and then 1-4, that’s seven holes without a par 5. The shortest par 4 is 490 yards, so it is extremely tough when you start that way.”