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Local soccer players outlast (golf) pros

Rory McIlroy, Martin Kaymer and Sergio Garcia spent Monday night playing soccer at Waddell High against a group of local players in a pre-arranged match.

"It was good fun," McIlroy said. "I think four or five of the players turned up, a few of the caddies. We played a local team that were a lot better than us.

"I think we got beat 7-4. It was 4-1 at halftime. We got it back to 4-all halfway through the second half and then they turned it on at the end to beat us. But it was great fun. Luckily, no injuries so we're ready for this week."

Kaymer said he scored the team's first goal and that McIlroy and Garcia also had goals. McIlroy countered by saying - with a smile - that Kaymer didn't arrive until the second half.

Eye on No. 1

Depending upon how things play out this weekend, Kaymer could return to No.1 in the world rankings.

He's playing the Wells Fargo Championship for the second time after a tie for 11th in 2009. Kaymer said he wanted to return last year because he likes the course.

"I think it's a way underrated golf course," Kaymer said. "It's one of the best we play so there's no reason why I shouldn't come back.

"I like a lot of the tee shots when I'm standing on the tee. You have to cut the ball (hit it slightly left to right) here, which is nice for me, and obviously it's a beautiful place. It's not only good golf holes, it's just a nice walk."

Heritage update

Andy Pazder, executive vice president and chief of operations for the PGA Tour, said he and Commissioner Tim Finchem were congratulated last week in New Orleans by several people who thought the tour had locked up a title sponsor for the Heritage on Hilton Head Island, S.C.

"We don't have anything new to this point, but we're excited about the number of interested parties in the last two weeks," Pazder said.

"We're very optimistic."

Pazder said he has "a couple of meetings" here this week related to the future of the Heritage.

Chip shots

Sean O'Hair, the 2009 champion, withdrew Monday night. O'Hair has been struggling with his game and recently decided to part ways with swing coach Sean Foley...

Geoff Ogilvy withdrew Tuesday and was replaced by Joseph Bramlett....

Five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson will be playing just his second round of golf this year today when he participates in the pro-am, but he loves being a part of the tournament at the club where he's a member. Johnson teamed with Anthony Kim and another amateur two years ago to post the lowest team score in the afternoon wave, an achievement of which he is proud.

"It's the only golf trophy I have and probably the only one I'll ever have," Johnson said.


Some of the best skip over history

Why aren't some of the top players in the world golf rankings not at Quail Hollow this week?

They each have their own reasons, but there's a correlation between the players absent and their records here.

No. 3 Luke Donald isn't here because he hasn't played well at Quail Hollow, missing three cuts and withdrawing once in five starts. No. 5 Graeme McDowell has only played here once, No. 9 Steve Stricker has two missed cuts and a second-place finish in 2007.

Matt Kuchar, now No. 11, hasn't finished better than a tie for 51st in six starts here, and Adam Scott, third in 2006, has missed his past two cuts here.

No. 2 Lee Westwood isn't here because he said he couldn't fit the Wells Fargo Championship into the 10 events he's allowed to play on the PGA Tour this year, and No.7 Tiger Woods is letting his injured left knee recover.