Though the tournament has yet to tout it, world No. 1 Rory McIlroy said Wednesday following his pre-tournament press conference at The Players Championship that he is playing the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte next week.
A win at the 2010 Wells Fargo was McIlroy's first PGA Tour victory and he has played at Quail Hollow Club every year since, missing the cut in 2011, losing in a playoff to Rickie Fowler in 2012 and tying for 10th and eighth in the past two years.
The Wells Fargo will be the third consecutive event for McIlroy, who turned 26 on Monday. He played seven rounds in five days en route to winning the WGC-Cadillac Match Play at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco on Sunday and is playing The Players Championship this week.
McIlory played just four tournaments on the 2014-15 wraparound PGA Tour schedule prior to the Match Play.
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Players have until 5 p.m. Friday to officially commit to the Wells Fargo through the PGA Tour.
McIlroy’s pledge is a boost for the tournament, which pushed its dates back two weeks from its traditional spot on the first weekend in May in part to accommodate the Match Play event, which changed locations and sponsors.
The change may have cost the Wells Fargo a few of the world’s top players because it falls the week following a WGC event and The Players in successive weeks, and it is expected to return to its traditional dates next year.
The tournament also recently received a re-commitment from world No. 9 Adam Scott. Others already committed include Henrik Stenson (world No. 3), Jim Furyk (No. 5), J.B. Holmes (12), Hideki Matsuyama (14), Phil Mickelson (18), Kevin Na (22), Louis Oosthuizen (24) and Bill Haas (25).
McIlroy was also pleased to hear the PGA of America's announcement in the past week that the PGA Championship was returning to the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island in the Charleston area in 2021. McIlroy won the 2012 PGA at the Ocean Course by eight strokes.
“I obviously enjoyed my time there immensely,” McIlroy said. “I think logistically it's a bit of a nightmare to get in and out and on and off the island. … but it’s another Pete Dye golf course that I figured out pretty quickly, and I'm happy that it's going back.
“I had a great week there. I went for runs on the beach there and stayed in a house right on the beach, and it was nice. So hopefully in a few years' time it can be the same result.”