2022 Wells Fargo Championship leaderboard: Jason Day leads with Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler making some noise

The first round of the 2022 Wells Fargo Championship saw a little of everything. Gaps, disagreements over the rules, and low scores were rife at TPC Potomac on Thursday as competitors began playing in Potomac, Maryland. Jason Day is the name to top the leaderboard as the 34-year-old took full advantage of the soft conditions brought on by the rain earlier in the week by signing a 7-under 63.

Day has been winless since his victory in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2018. Those struggles have continued this year as he played after competition in the Farmers Insurance Open in January. The Australian team has only achieved five times in the past two months, the Australian’s best result since Tory Pines, along with compatriot Jason Scrivener, in the Zurich Classic as they finished in a draw in 10th place.

While the gray clouds did not subside with the rain on Thursday, it is unfortunately likely to continue the rest of the week. With heavy rain expected on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, it is unknown when and in what conditions players will face the golf course next. It’s a far cry from 2018, the last time the PGA Tour visited the TPC Potomac, as the par-70 is bird-prone and should move forward.

Rick Gehmann and Kyle Porter crash and respond to action Thursday at the 2022 Wells Fargo Championships. Go ahead and listen to The First Cut on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.


Jason Day (-7): Four years after the incident, Day is now in a position to win the Wells Fargo Championship again. The winner of this 2018 tournament at Quail Hollow Golf Club, the former world number one, came out with a shot Thursday. Day, who played eight against one bogey, was within reach of the competitive course record of 8-under 62, but settled instead with a short one stroke.

“Yes, I’m encouraged,” Day said. “I think it’s a good step in the right direction. Obviously I have to put myself behind because I played some nice golf today, but we have three more days after that and I think the main thing is to try and focus and get yourself in a position where you can win. Yeah. Good positive things today. Get ready and try to get into tomorrow’s round.”

The other competitors

2 – Joel Dahmin (-6)

T3. Matthew Wolff, Denny McCarthy, Aaron Ray, Calum Tarin, Paul Bargon (-5)

There are a number of good five-year-olds stories ranging from Wolff to McCarthy, but Dahmin was the player that caught my eye. The 34-year-old came out at the age of 6 to 29, unable to sustain that momentum in his half house, failing to cash in on some of the more scoreable holes in the TPC Potomac. He’s done his best this year in short and spot courses when looking at his results at Pebble Beach and Harbor Town and this week looks like no different.

Rory starts defending his title sporadically

There was a lot of good and a little bad for Rory McIlroy. Starting 4 under through his first six holes, the 33-year-old was without a tie until he mistook Byrdie from short distance on the 4 16, the seventh hole of the day. Three poses for a bogey in the very next hole, McIlroy will be level, save for one swing.

Finding water from a tee on the fourth hole, McIlroy later made a double bogey, dropping to 1 under the round. With five birds on his card at this point, the four-time main champ will deal another two, switching back-to-back in the fifth and sixth slots.

“Yeah, that was a nice bounce to fly both holes back in. And I said to myself walking in the green, if I can get back to 3 under today by the end of the next day, I’ll be very happy, and obviously I did the next two holes,” McIlroy said. “I’ve had a few chances coming up, but yeah, happy with the day. And over the course of the course you’re going to have – you’ll think about the shots you could have stuck with, but I think at the end of the week it’s all over. I can’t be too disappointed” .

Home fans push McCarthy to compete

It’s not his childhood golf course, Argyle Country Club, but TPC Potomac doubled as his home this week for Denny McCarthy, a Rockville, Maryland native. The best golfer out of the area in recent memory, the 29-year-old gave plenty of fans on Thursday.

Signing the 5-under 65, McCarthy was greeted with cheers and applause on nearly every hole as the number of spectators who followed his group was second only to McIlroy in the early wave.

“It felt like a little Sunday, honestly,” McCarthy said. “I think that’s just a good thing, it just felt really good,” McCarthy said. “If I’ve been to this place on a Sunday I’ve tasted quite a bit today, honestly. There were quite a few people following and I could feel the energy. I think that would only bode well for me.”

When asked what a typical Thursday fair looks like for him, McCarthy added, “Maybe the numbers are single digits, maybe I can count with one hand if not two hands. So it was fine – like I said, it kind of felt like Sunday where There was a nice crowd here. The fact that I was really comfortable under these circumstances is encouraging.”

Fowler in a flood

A decade after the Wells Fargo Championship title, Ricky Fowler lurks again. Experiencing well-documented struggles, the 33-year-old finds his name on the front page of the leaderboard after the opening round. Signing a 4-under 66, Fowler finally managed to find his stroke in unison with his iron game, except for a par-4 6th where his racket was not needed.

Updated odds and options

Here’s a look at the new possibilities after the 18 holes, courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.

  • Jason Day: 6-1
  • Rory McIlroy: 8-1
  • Joel Dahmin: 9-1
  • Denny McCarthy: 20-1
  • Sergio Garcia: 22-1
  • Aaron Ray: 22-1
  • Matthew Wolfe: 25-1
  • Max Huma: 25-1
  • Matthew Fitzpatrick: 28-1

Homma interests me because of his shooting ability and the way he puts his inner half. However, if this thing gets ugly in terms of weather, Fitzpatrick might be the best value on the board. He put together a beautiful infantry round of 2-under 68, failing to hit many of his close-range shots. The rest of his game looked solid and he’s been one of the most consistent offside players of 2022, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he fits in on Sunday.