Vijay Singh withdraws from Quail Hollow after deer antler spray ruling

Mike Ehrmann

Vijay Singh joined a hit parade of golfers withdrawing from this week’s Wells Fargo Championship. The former No. 1 player removed himself from the proceedings less than a day after the PGA Tour dismissed its case against him for using deer antler spray, which, since Singh’s admitted ingestion of the essence, has been removed from the tour’s prohibited-substance list.

Singh cited back problems for pulling out, while Dustin Johnson pointed to a sore wrist and Ian Poulter decided not to play for “personal reasons,” according to Jason Sobel.

Singh, the winner of three major championships, had received a sanction from the tour but was in the process of appealing the punishment when the World Anti-Doping Agency determined that deer antler spray was no longer illegal, causing the tour to drop the case.

Singh’s most recent start, at last month’s RBC Heritage, resulted in a missed cut. He is on the roster for next week’s Players Championship, according to Golf Channel.

Poulter, who missed the cut at the Masters, which was his last start, was among several observers to note that the greens at Quail Hollow could be an issue this week.

"You can't lie about it; the greens are shaky," Rickie Fowler told reporters Wednesday. "Some guys get used to certain conditions and [think] it may not be the best way to prepare for next week….Compared to the greens I grew up on...these are pretty good."

A cool and wet spring has wreaked havoc on the putting surfaces at Quail Hollow, where greenskeepers had to resod greens on Nos. 8 and 10, with the 10th undergoing two overhauls, according to PGATour.com’s Helen Ross. The 12th and 13th also have patchy spots, Ross added.

The club, which will host the 2017 PGA Championship intends to redo all the greens after the tourney ends.

"These greens, first of all, it's their last week of existence," tour VP of rules, competition and administration Mark Russell told Ross. "They just lived their life cycle. We have 12 very good greens out there. We sodded two greens and it's unbelievable how good they are for the sod just being down less than a week. The other two greens are going to be fine. They don't look as good as we'd like them to but they're going to putt well.

"They're going to be smooth,” said Russell. “We're going to do everything that we can to make sure that they putt well and smooth -- they just aren't going to look like some of the other greens.”

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