2024 Wells Fargo Championship leaderboard: Rory McIlroy dominates Quail Hollow to win second straight start

He’s done it again. Rory McIlroy has entered the winner’s circle for the 26th time in his PGA Tour career. Surging past Xander Schauffele on Sunday at Quail Hollow Club for a five-stroke victory at 17 under, McIlroy continued his dominance on the par-71 course, claiming his fourth Wells Fargo Championship title and third worldwide win of the calendar year.

With the win, McIlroy moves into a share of 22nd with Henry Picard for most wins on the PGA Tour and is now only two wins away from entering the top 20. McIlroy’s victory in Charlotte also represents the third time in his PGA Tour career that he has won in consecutive starts.

One of those occurrences came in 2014 when McIlroy won The Open, WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the PGA Championship in a three-tournament stretch. That PGA Championship victory a decade ago marks his last major conquest, and the tension of his return to Valhalla next week has only heightened with his latest win.

“Going to a venue next week where I have won, it feels like the stars are aligning a little bit, but I’ve got a lot of golf to play and a lot of great players to try to beat next week, but I’m going into the next major of the year feeling really good about myself.”

The 35-year-old entered the final day at Quail Hollow one off the pace of Schauffele, who was aiming to become the first player in tournament history to win in wire-to-wire fashion. McIlroy threw the first punch with a towering drive over the trees, cutting the dogleg right effectively in half. His approach settled 4 feet from the pin, and the two walked off the green all squared.

There was some seesawing back-and-forth on the front nine with a counterpunch from Schauffele landing on the par-5 7th in the form of his second eagle on that hole for the week. It was exactly what Schauffele needed to push his lead to two, but it was also exactly what McIlroy needed to put it in high gear.

“That was a big moment on seven where I three-putted and Xander made an eagle,” McIlroy said. “Xander was inside me on eight, and I knew I really had to hole that putt just to keep up with him, and then he missed his and I birdied nine and then I just went on a run that, for whatever reason, I am able to go on at this golf course.”

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McIlroy carded a birdie on the drivable par-4 8th, a birdie on the difficult par-4 9th and rolled in a 33-foot eagle on the par-5 10th to take the lead on his own. He didn’t look back from there. A couple nice par saves were followed by a pair of birdies and another eagle on the par-5 15th.

Schauffele struggling with his wedge play, McIlroy ran away and opened a six-stroke lead. After walking off the seventh green down by two, McIlroy played his next eight holes in 8 under and clipped Schauffele by eight during this stretch and gave him the leeway to cruise through The Green Mile for yet another title at Quail Hollow. Grade: A+

Here are the grades for the rest of the notables on the leaderboard at the 2024 Wells Fargo Championship.

2. Xander Schauffele (-12): This one is going to hurt. Paired in the final group on Sunday for the fourth time this year, Schauffele had the look early that this time was going to be different. He connected from 12 feet — his longest made putt of the week — for eagle on the par-5 7th to grab a two-stroke lead with 11 holes to play. It was all downhill from there as McIlroy steamrolled Schauffele, who wasn’t able to take advantage of missed greens by McIlroy on 11 and 12. Instead of gaining ground, Schauffele actually lost some. That just about did it for Schauffele, who experienced 60+ holes of solid golf only to be outdone by the champion. Grades: A-

T8. Max Homa (-4): It was a quiet top-10 finish for Homa marking his second straight in this tournament. He was brilliant where you would expect him to be as he picked up strokes on approach and made his fair share of putts. If you had to pinpoint the one shortcoming this week, it was his driver; he hit only 27 fairways across his four rounds. He got away with it at Quail Hollow, but he won’t have the same luxury at Valhalla where he goes for his third straight major top 10 following his run at the Masters. Grade: B+

T16. Collin Morikawa (-1): It was a bit of a mixed bag for the two-time major champion at Quail Hollow. While not a player one would pinpoint as a great course fit, Morikawa made the most of his early week iron prowess and entered the weekend on the first page of the leaderboard at 5 under. Like others, he backtracked over the weekend with a couple over-par rounds as his approach play fell off with the golf course drying out. He led the field in driving accuracy and ranked inside the top 15 in strokes gained putting. If he does that next week and has his iron play in tow, Morikawa should contend in his second straight major. Grade: B

T29. Jordan Spieth (+2): Guess what? It was another weird week for Spieth. After opening with rounds of 69-71, Spieth sunk down the leaderboard with a Saturday 76 that included eight bogeys. The good news? Spieth is driving the golf ball maybe as well as ever, which will be huge for his PGA Championship and career grand slam aspirations. The bad news? Spieth’s iron play has not been up to par, and his nagging wrist injury continues to be a factor. Grade: C

T47. Wyndham Clark (+7): The defending champion carded four straight over-par rounds and never put his imprint on this tournament. Clark’s boom-or-bust nature continued this week as he now has zero finishes from fifth place through 25th-place to go along with his four podium results this season. The reigning U.S. Open champion should be fine moving forward and is in good enough form to contend at the PGA Championship, but it’s tough not to chalk this week up as a disappointment. Grade: D

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