Simpson, Wagner excited for Quail Hollow
Local golfers believe Charlotte will serve as a great host city
February 25, 2015
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
- Webb Simpson and Johnson Wagner, seen flanking the trophy during the 2021 Presidents Cup announcement on Wednesday, are both members at Quail Hollow Golf Club and think that the course will be great for match play. (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Webb Simpson had already done the math.
He'll be 35 in 2021 when The Presidents Cup is played at the Quail Hollow Club. The venue holds special significance to Simpson because he's a member there and lives about a mile from the distinctive white clubhouse.
"I'll be right in my prime," the 2012 U.S. Open champion said with a smile. "So hopefully I'll make that team."
Quail Hollow will be the fifth course in the United States -- and first in the southeast -- to host the biennial competition between a 12-man International Team and a dozen of its American counterparts. The 2021 event will be held Sept. 30-Oct. 1.
"It's a dream come true for me, living out here and playing out here," said Simpson, who attended Wednesday's news conference to announce the event. "I wish it were in two years and not six years. I think it's a fantastic course."
Quail Hollow Club selected to host The Presidents Cup 2021
Quail Hollow should be very familiar to fans of the PGA TOUR. The course hosted the Kemper Open from 1969-79 and has been the site of the PGA TOUR’s highly regarded Wells Fargo Championship since 2003. The PaineWebber World Seniors Invitational also was played at the course from 1983-89.
In addition, Quail Hollow will host its first major championship when the 2017 PGA comes to town.
"(The Wells Fargo Championship) is one of the few tournaments on the schedule that pretty much the whole TOUR is unanimous in wanting to come here and play," said Simpson, who has been a member of the last two U.S. Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup teams.
"It's as hard as any course we play and every year it seems like they make a few changes and it gets even better."
Few holes on TOUR are as challenging as Quail Hollow's signature "Green Mile," which incorporates the 16th, 17th and 18th holes and annually ranks among the top three closing stretches on TOUR. The course also features four reachable par 5s.
"They have the ability to make it as hard as they want but also it's very playable," Simpson said. "... Its versatility is what sets it apart as a great match play course. I've always thought even from Day 1 that it would be a great match play course. A lot can happen.
"You want excitement on the last few holes and that's what you have here."
Johnson Wagner, a three-time TOUR champ, is also a member at Quail Hollow. He was at the news conference, as well, and shares Simpson's opinion.
"The finish is so strong," Wagner said. "14's an incredible driving hole. 15's a par 5, 16's just a brutal par 4, 17's got water and 18, anything can happen. ... It's a great match play course when I play with my friends out here and that's all we play. Just years of experience playing the course tells me that it will be perfect."
Simpson's wife, Dowd, was raised in Charlotte and the couple, who met at Wake Forest, soon found a home in Charlotte, one of the southeast's most bustling cities. Simpson likes the ease of travel with a major airport located just minutes away as well as the variety of activities in the area.
"It's big enough to where there's a lot of things to do," Simpson said. "We have the Panthers, the Hornets, we've got NASCAR, so there's a lot going on but at the same time it's still a small-town feel."
Wagner has lived in Charlotte for nine years and expects the city, as well as the fans in North Carolina and South Carolina, to get behind The Presidents Cup 2021 in a big way.
"This city supports the Wells Fargo Championship so well," he said. "I can't even imagine how well supported this Presidents Cup will be. The crowds we get out here on Mondays for the Wells Fargo ... are better than any place we play. For a Presidents Cup this city and state is going to come out huge."