What they said: The best quotes ahead of the final round of the Wells Fargo Championship

Keith Mitchell leads by two with 18 holes to play at Quail Hollow, but Rory McIlroy and Gary Woodland are ready to pounce.

Whichever way you look at it, the final round of the Wells Fargo Championship has a touch of redemption about it.

With 18 holes to play Keith Mitchell leads on 9-under 204, with Rory McIlroy and Gary Woodland sharing second, two shots back.

Luke List is alone in fourth on 6-under, a shot clear of Satoshi Kodaira and Scott Stallings in a tie for fifth.

Each and every one of that leading half dozen is chasing a victory that would reverse recent personal trends.

Take Mitchell, who claimed the 2019 Honda Classic, his first success on the PGA Tour, but who has logged only one top ten on the circuit since this tournament two years ago.

Or McIlroy, who hasn't won since the end of 2019 and hasn't made the top five since the first week of the year.

Woodland, the 2019 US Open champion, has been struggling too: he's has landed just two top 20s, and not one top five, since July last year.

List is yet to win on Tour; Kodaira did win the 2018 Heritage but has only one top 30 finish (T20th) in 60 starts since then; and Stallings, as we'll learn, was reluctant to play this week because he'd missed seven cuts in eight tournament appearances - and was T53rd when he did make the weekend!

html) */?>

Given that 16 of the 17 winners at Quail Hollow in the 21st century won from inside the top six after 54 holes - and the exception was McIlroy in 2010 - it seems likely that one of this six will lift the trophy.

Let's see what they had to say ahead of Sunday's action.

Rory McIlroy, T2nd on 7-under

On having the fans back:

"I said on the ninth tee, it was buzzy. It's just so cool to play in an atmosphere like that again. I've missed it. I didn't think I would miss it as much as I did, but I really have. I've realised it's hard for me to bring the bets out of myself without noise. To be in contention, to have the fans back, I'm excited about tomorrow."

On the improved form:

"I wasn't really expecting to be in this position coming into this week. I felt like I was still working on my game and I thought progress this week was being here today, which I am. I just have to go out and play well again tomorrow, see where that leaves me."

On his putting:

"I've obviously worked on it a little bit. Saw Brad Faxon when I was home and even Pete Cowen gave me a couple of little things to think about, sort of taking my mind off the result of the putt and just sort of going through the process a little bit better.

"Historically I've putted these greens well. Even when they changed from bent grass greens to Bermuda, I was still able to see the lines."

On his mindset:

"I like nervous. It means that it really matters. I like that feeling. But sometimes, when I get off to a start like today, especially around here, it's hard for me to not get ahead of myself because I've done some pretty cool things here before. So I need to sort of rein myself back in a little bit."

On the Quail Hollow magic:

"People can draw conclusions that I've come here, one of my favourite places on Tour, that I've had a birthday, everything feels good. I'm sure there's something to do with that, but I would say there's still quite a bit of coincidence. If we were at Colonial this week instead of Quail, I still think I've been playing good enough golf to get myself in contention. But for me to be in contention for the first time in a while and for it to be here is probably beneficial."

Best price 21/10 Unibet.

Keith Mitchell, leader on 9-under

On what's working in his game:

"All of it. I just feel like everything's really working. My driver feels great and around this place you've really got to drive it well. I'm sure the stats would say that. But really? All of it feels good right now."

On playing difficult tests well:

"Really tough golf courses demand every part of your game. I've definitely played poorly on tough golf courses, but my best weeks have been at the tough ones. Bay Hill, Honda, here. When you hit a bad shot you get penalised and when you hit a good shot you get rewarded. I think that's a true test of golf. I feel more comfortable around a tougher course."

Best price 11/4 Paddy Power.

Gary Woodland, T2nd on 7-under

On his recovery:

"The ball-striking has been coming this week, I just haven't drove it well, and today I drove it very well. I hit a couple bad shots, but all in all I controlled the golf ball the way I wanted to and I'm excited about that. That's a good thing. It's been a while. Feels great to be back in this position"

On Quail Hollow:

"The golf course is tough, no doubt. It's a major championship golf course and it's in absolutely the best shape I've seen it. The fans will be hooting and hollering tomorrow, which will be nice."

Best price 11/2 Unibet.

Scott Stallings, T5th on 5-under

On a stats team transforming his view of Quail Hollow:

"I was dead set on taking the tournament off, just past history and everything. But they put together a game plan of how they thought I should approach it and here we are.

"He's a different kind of a statistician, kind of a game management guy and he laid it out. Gave me my schedule when we first started working and this was the second course best-suited to my game. I said, 'I don't know how good you are at stats, but seven missed cuts in eight tries is not very good.' He just laid it out, said you can play well there based on these few numbers and here we are.

"I was aggressive when I should have been conservative and kind of vice versa. The (short par-4) eighth is a perfect example. I've never really been one to force it up by the green and yet I've hit it up by the green three days in a row, had a 12-footer for birdie, an eight-footer for birdie and I chipped in for eagle today.

"It's about maximising opportunities. I was playing the hard holes well and the easy holes bad. Kind of flip it around a little bit."

Best price 33/1 Boylesports.

READ MORE: Final round preview at the Wells Fargo Championship: Rory McIlroy hunting a Quail Hollow hat trick

Latest Golf Videos