Charlotte, North Carolina (USA), May 4 (IANS) American Indians Akshay Bhatia and Sahith Theegala, who have both been knocking on the doors of a maiden PGA TOUR win will be in the starry field assembled at the this week’s US20 million dollar Wells Fargo, one of the elevated events on the Tour.
Bhatia, who has got his Special Temporary Membership, is in the field after a fourth place finish at Mexico Open last week. Bhatia, the 21-year-old southpaw, skipped college to turn pro at 18 and has now begun to flower as he cracked the Top-200 of the official World Golf Rankings last week.
After beginning the year with two Top-10s on the Korn Ferry Tour, where he won last year, Bhatia has also finished second in Puerto Rico and fourth in Mexico, two results, which have helped him gain Special Temporary Membership as he continues his quest for a maiden win on the Tour.
Theegala, who had a breakout last year despite not winning, reached the Tour Championships, a result that gets him into all the Majors. On his debut at the Masters at Augusta National, he finished in Top-10 ensuring a call-up next year. Theegala is now ranked 24th in the world.
Meanwhile, Korea’s Si Woo Kim returns to the Quail Hollow Club with some great memories of his fine performance at the venue last year. Kim, 27, a four-time winner on the PGA TOUR, scored three points at Quail Hollows at the President’s Cup last year while playing for the Internationals against the United States.
Kim’s International teammates, Sungjae Im, K.H. Lee and Tom Kim, are all in the elite field in this week’s showpiece, along with countrymen Byeong Hun An and S.H. Kim.
American Max Homa will defend his Wells Fargo Championship title against the likes of Rory McIlroy, a three-time winner, and Tony Finau, last week’s Mexico Open at Vidanta champion.
A total of 34 players from the world’s top-50 are gathered at Quail Hollow, representing the tournament’s strongest field since 2007.
At the Presidents Cup, Si Woo Kim savoured several big moments, including a 1-up win alongside Tom Kim against Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele in Saturday’s Four-Ball session which sparked wild celebrations on the 18th green. In the top Singles match on the final day, he took down Justin Thomas 1-up as well, and showed a different side of his character where he “shushed” the boisterous American crowds by putting his index finger on his lips.
A first top-10 since his Sony Open in Hawaii victory in January alongside Tom Kim at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans two weeks ago has Si Woo in a confident mood once again.
With the PGA Tour 2022-23 season heading towards a climactic finish with the FedExCup Playoffs slated in August, Kim is determined to play his way into the Tour Championship, which is limited to the top-30 players from the FedExCup points list. He is presently ranked 17th with 14 weeks remaining until the start of the Playoffs.