Though TPC Potomac certainly faced its share of challenges, but by weekend’s end, Max Homa earned his second Wells Fargo Championship victory and fourth overall on Tour, qualifying him for the PGA Tour Champions in 19 years.
There certainly were positives and negatives to the week overall, with Homa of course being a big winner, but there was more than just him to examine. Here is just a quick rundown of some of those.
Winner: Keegan Bradley
Bradley has never been known for his putting, but he has picked up AimPoint and led the field in Strokes Gained: Putting. He certainly appeared surer of himself on the greens, which certainly has not always been the case for someone who years ago notoriously anchored his putter.
“I’ve been doing a little AimPoint and jeez, my stats have really improved,” he said. “I’m happy with where that is. It’s the best it’s been since I’ve had the belly putter and it’s not even close. So I feel like I can be even better than I was with that now with what I’m doing here.”
Loser: Keegan Bradley
Despite the marketed improvements with his flat stick, Bradley blew his fourth 54-hole lead in as many opportunities and his decision on the 11th hole to go boom or bust on the most difficult hole at TPC Potomac was certainly forced. Had Bradley listened to his caddie Scott Vail and taken the play Homa did to aim for the greenside bunker, he would not have had to drop and bring trouble into play.
Both Bradley and Homa were separated by a single stroke on that 11th hole, with the closest pursuers four shots back at the time, rendering the situation akin to match play.
Bradley’s decision was very forced and only further justified Homa’s line on his approach. Bradley walked to the other side of the course where multiple fans told him of his hazard and only with Vail confirming, did the pair return to the other side of the hole.
All day Bradley was indecisive with his club selections and just never appeared comfortable. Even after a birdie on the 16th hole, he was under the gun on the par-3 17th hole and his shot was a couple of yards away from being wet, whether it be a missed club, overexcitement or anything in between.
All indications from this week’s play are that Bradley will be in this spot again sooner rather than later and how he learns from Sunday’s round will determine how that opportunity goes.
Winner: Rickie Fowler
Following Thursday’s first round, Fowler expressed optimism that his game was not too far off but that the putter which was consistently reliable had gone ice cold.
Previously, Fowler did not have to work on putting as much but this past week, Fowler was 10th in Strokes: Gained Putting on a course which played different because of consistently rainy conditions.
Fowler did suffer a setback with Friday’s round, but the day as a whole was a blood bath as the field combined to shoot 326 over.
Loser: Sergio Garcia
Do we really need to go over this one? Sergio getting caught by a hot mic saying farewell to the PGA Tour, confirmed his intent of going to Saudi Arabia.
Regardless of the political ramifications, which certainly are present, making such a remark during a PGA Tour event displayed both arrogance and foolishness. It may have made commissioner Jay Monahan’s decision to veto any members requesting a release to play in the LIV Golf Invitational, even easier than expected.
Garcia has certainly earned his fair share of money from the PGA Tour and his Masters victory was universally celebrated. He did not make himself available to reporters to provide context of intent, which also of course means that golf fans across the globe were left hanging.
The PGA Tour did issue a statement in relation to Garcia’s penalty as the clock to search for his ball began prematurely but did not restore either stroke to his cumulative score. There was no right or wrong in this situation as either way, someone would have been angered by the decision.
Loser: Maryland/DC Market
The Wells Fargo Championship is normally at Quail Hollow Club but with the course contesting this year’s Presidents Cup, that option was unavailable.
It was determined that the aforementioned market was hungry and deserving of golf and offered hope to return in 2025 when the PGA Championship will again cause a scheduling conflict.
While pros did praise TPC Potomac and the course held up remarkably well, especially the greens despite the barrage of rain and wind.
Those who did follow the action during Friday and Saturday were treated to nearly six-hour rounds and crowds certainly would have been stronger had the weather cooperated.
A lot of the so-called bigger names also skipped this week, whether it was due to course difficulty or a reluctance to gamble on early-May East Coast weather, with the AT&T Byron Nelson, the desired play instead.
Ultimately determining when golf will be back in this market is a business decision and this week may not have helped in terms of 2025.
Congressional Country Club will be hosting this year’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship beginning June 23 and the 2031 PGA Championship will be there as well.
In terms of regular professional golf hitting the area, as Pittsburgh golf fans seem to be well aware of now, it just does not seem to be considered as a serious possibility.