Webb Simpson, who is a member at the Quail Hollow Club and almost acted as the tournament host in the lead-up, will be watching this year’s Wells Fargo Championship from his home which abuts the acclaimed golf course.
A “minor neck” injury forced the 35-year old to withdraw minutes before Thursday’s opening round, resulting in his scheduled playing partners – Jon Rahm and Max Homa – being paired up with Tim Wilkinson, a last-minute alternate.
In a statement released to Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis, Simpson, who had a 7:23 am tee time, said:
“I am super disappointed to have to withdraw from the Wells Fargo Championship. I have a minor neck strain, which made it too difficult to swing this morning.
“I am optimistic for a speedy recovery in hopes of playing in the PGA Championship. Thank you for all the well wishes! I will definitely miss playing this weekend at home.”
Simpson, who is ranked No. 9 in the world, had never mentioned the injury in his pre-event interview, where the North Carolina native was the go-to man on everything related to Quail Hollow. So the assumption for the injury to have occurred sometime between Wednesday and Thursday morning.
“I’ve had two weeks off, so I feel like I’ve got a lot of good work done around here. The golf course hadn’t been too crowded. I love competing here,” said Simpson on Tuesday.
“It’s hard, it’s a hard golf course. Super challenging all week, but super nice to have support from Charlotte, friends and family.
“And I’m looking forward to Thursday getting it going.”
He continued, “I’m more confident than I’ve been all season, but still looking to have a couple higher finishes, have a few more chances to win Sunday.”
The last minute announcement clearly wasn’t helpful to either Rham or Homa as both played horribly on Thursday, shooting 5- and 6-OVER, respectively.