5 Players Who Could Win The 2023 Wells Fargo Championship

TaylorMade staffers are among a world-class field in the designated PGA Tour event at Quail Hollow

Rory McIlroy during the second round of the 2023 Masters at Augusta National
Rory McIlroy returns to action in his first start since The Masters
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Many of the world's top players face another huge designated event with this week's Wells Fargo Championship. The event returns to Quail Hollow after a one-year departure to TPC Potomac. But who will master the course, including its notorious three-hole closing stretch, the Green Mile, to claim the trophy?

Will Rory McIlroy extend his number of record victories in the tournament to four, or will Rickie Fowler claim his second win in the tournament following his 2012 victory? Then there’s Collin Morikawa. He has underlined his big tournament credentials with top-10 finishes at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, RBC Heritage and The Masters, indicating his next win isn’t too far away.

Here are five of the TaylorMade players we expect to shine this week.

Key Wells Fargo Championship Info

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CourseQuail Hollow Club, NC, USA
Yardage/Par7,538 yards/Par 71
DatesMay 4-7
Defending ChampionMax Homa (-8)

5 Players Who Could Win The 2023 Wells Fargo Championship

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy with the trophy after winning the 2021 Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow

Rory McIlroy is looking for his fourth victory in the tournament

(Image credit: Getty Images)
  • PGA Tour wins: 23
  • Best Wells Fargo Championship Finish: 1st (2010, 2015, 2021)

View Rory McIlroy What's in the bag?

McIlroy has been one of the top players in the game for a long time, and few tournaments highlight that fact more than the Wells Fargo Championship. It is now 13 years since McIlroy first lifted the trophy, and he repeated the feat on two more occasions. 

His second win in the tournament came in 2015 when he romped to a seven-shot victory, including a course record 61. Not done there, he won it for a third time just two years ago.

McIlroy uses the TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver and he'll be confident it will continue to stand him in good stead as the season progresses. The signs are certainly good. McIlroy has not been outside the top three of the Official World Golf Ranking for over eight months. With three top-10 finishes in 2023 so far, including a win in the Dubai Desert Classic, there’s every chance the Northern Irishman, who turns 34 this week, will have another reason to celebrate by Sunday evening.

Collin Morikawa

Collin Morikawa takes a shot during the 2023 Zurich Classic of New Orleans

Collin Morikawa is making his first appearance in the tournament

(Image credit: Getty Images)
  • PGA Tour wins: 5
  • Best Wells Fargo Championship Finish: N/A

View Collin Morikawa What's in the bag?

This will be two-time Major winner Morikawa’s first appearance in the Wells Fargo Championship, but he is familiar with the course, having represented the USA in the 2022 Presidents Cup as Davis Love III’s team overcame a spirited challenge from the International team.

The American’s last win came in November 2021, and he’s due another. There have been encouraging signs that he isn’t far away, either. Morikawa began the year in style, finishing runner-up in designated event the Sentry Tournament of Champions, before achieving third the week after in the Farmers Insurance Open. 

A tie for sixth in the third designated event of the year, February’s Genesis Invitational, underscored his appetite for the big occasion, and he finished tied for 10th in the first Major of the year, The Masters at Augusta National.

With another huge tournament upon him, don’t be surprised if Morikawa’s near the top of the leaderboard again.

Rickie Fowler

Rickie Fowler during the 2023 RBC Heritage

Rickie Fowler's 2012 win in the Wells Fargo Championship is one of five he has on the PGA Tour

(Image credit: Getty Images)
  • PGA Tour wins: 5
  • Best Wells Fargo Championship Finish: 1st (2012)

View Rickie Fowler What's in the bag?

Fowler returns to the scene of his maiden PGA Tour win in 2012, where he kept his cool to battle to a playoff despite starting the final round in sixth. If that was impressive, his poise in the playoff was even better as he birdied the first hole to better the efforts of McIlroy and DA Points.

After a lean run of form, Fowler has reminded everyone of his gifts this season. A tie for sixth in season opener the Fortinet Championship was swiftly followed by a tie for second in the Zozo Championship. He carried that momentum into 2023, too, with top-10 finishes in the WM Phoenix Open and Valero Texas Open.

Before that, he offered another compelling reminder of his talent by beating World No.1 Jon Rahm in the opening match of the WGC-Match Play.

Tommy Fleetwood

Tommy Fleetwood takes a shot during the 2023 RBC Heritage

Tommy Fleetwood is looking for his first PGA Tour win at Quail Hollow in the tournament

(Image credit: Getty Images)
  • DP World Tour wins: 6
  • Best Wells Fargo Championship Finish: T14 (2021)

View Tommy Fleetwood What's in the bag?

Ever-popular Englishman Fleetwood quietly enjoyed one of his most successful years to date in 2022. As well as victory in the Nedbank Golf Challenge on the DP World Tour, he achieved top-five finishes in two of the four Majors, the US Open and the 150th Open Championship at St Andrews.

Fleetwood is still looking for his first PGA Tour win, but he wasn’t far off in last October’s CJ Cup, where he finished tied for fourth. Less than two months ago, he came even closer at the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook in the Valspar Championship with a tie for third.

Fleetwood is one of the best strikers of the ball in the game, doubtless helped by his driver, the TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus and selection of TaylorMade fairway woods. With that ability to draw from and solid form, he’s another with every chance of victory this week.

Kurt Kitayama

Kurt Kitayama takes a shot during the 2023 Zurich Classic of New Orleans

Kurt Kitayama has already won one designated event in 2023, the Arnold Palmer Invitational

(Image credit: Getty Images)
  • PGA Tour wins: 1
  • Best Wells Fargo Championship Finish: T15 (2022)

View Kurt Kitayama What's in the bag?

After a couple of wins on the DP World Tour, Kitayama earned his PGA Tour card in September 2021, and he hasn’t looked back. In fact, the American could barely have chosen a more high-profile event for his maiden victory on the Tour than this year’s Arnold Palmer Invitational.

As well as its long history and association with one of the game’s greats, it was also a designated event, meaning Kitayama had to overcome a field packed with world-class players to claim victory. In the end, he did so by one shot over McIlroy, demonstrating what many already knew – that the 30-year-old is a player on the rise.

He gets another chance to shine on the big stage this week, and after finishing runner-up to McIlroy in the CJ Cup last October, plus securing a creditable tie for fifth in March’s WGC-Match Play, another strong display is expected.

For more on all of TaylorMade's Tour Staff and the company's products, visit the TaylorMade Golf website

Mike Hall
Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 


He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 


Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 


Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.