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Big changes could provide 'drama' as Quail Hollow transforms for Presidents Cup

Competition between U.S. and International sides begins Thursday.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — For patrons, and players, the Presidents Cup at Quail Hollow Club looks, feels and plays a lot differently than past events.

The most notable change is the famed Green Mile.

Known in most events like the Wells Fargo Championship as a feared finishing stretch of holes No.'s 16, 17 and 18, for this team event the holes will switch to No.'s 13, 14 and 15.

With a match play format, planners hope that the holes will still come into play in a decisive fashion, just a bit earlier than usual.

"I think you have the potential for more fireworks," said Justin Thomas, who won the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Club. "Eagles on old No. 14 and 15. And obviously, you have (new) 13, 14 and 15 that could very well be won with par. So there could be a lot of drama."

What about the conditions?

The Wells Fargo Championship is traditionally held in early May, and the 2017 PGA Championship was on a brutally hot and humid week in August.

A late September golf event will surely play differently.

In fact, WCNC Charlotte Chief Meteorologist Brad Panovich is forecasting shifting temperatures and winds starting Friday.

"Friday those winds will be howling up to 30 miles per hour, that's pretty dramatic," Panovich said. "The temperatures, we go from mid-90s to 70s. Saturday morning we could start off in the upper 40s to near 50s. A little bit of everything. We'll get three seasons during the tournament."

Keith Wood, the course superintendent, told WCNC Charlotte that the course is currently set up to U.S. Captain Davis Love III's requests.

"It's exactly what Captain Love asked us for. In a perfect world he said we want the rough low, the fairways firm and the greens as firm and fast as you can get them," Wood said. "The weather has played into our hands to be able to provide that to him this week, with the low humidity. With no rain last week at all, the surfaces are really starting to firm up and become what he envisioned them being."

Competition begins Thursday with a ceremony at a 2,500-spectator stadium on the first tee.

The first-round format will be foursomes, where a pair of teammates will alternate shots on each hole.

The United States has won the last eight Presidents Cups, which have been played since 1994.

The International Team has just one outright victory in 1998.

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