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Rory made Quail Hollow favorite

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Tournament: Wells Fargo Championship
Date: May 1-4, 2014
Venue: Quail Hollow Club
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
2013 Winner: Derek Ernst

The PGA Tour visits Charlotte this weekend to play in a fairly young tournament, the Wells Fargo Championship. Although this tournament has been around only since 2003, it has boasted some top-seeded winners in Vijay Singh (2005), Tiger Woods (2007) and Rory McIlroy (2010). In six of the 11 events here, including the past three years, the champion had to win in a playoff, including 23-year-old Derek Ernst putting up an 8-under score in 2013.

Just like many of the other tourneys this season, the field is not as strong as in the past, with only seven of the top-20 golfers in the World Golf Rankings expected to show up, with the top players being Phil Mickelson (9th) and Justin Rose (10th). The door continues to be wide open for new blood to join the ranks as a PGA Tour victor, as the sport is seeing a wealth of young talent taking over the game.

Let’s take a look at a few that could make a push at a win this weekend at the Par-72, 7,492-yard course.

Golfers to Watch

Rory McIlroy (13/2): The worst position that McIlroy has finished so far this season is 25th and he has four top-8 showings as well. He has averaged a score of 69.62 this year (4th on tour), while making 4.3 birdies per round (3rd on tour). McIlroy, who won this tournament in 2010, has also performed very well over the past two seasons in Charlotte, with a runner-up finish in 2012 and then a 10th place showing last year.

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Webb Simpson (40/1):
Simpson is a native of North Carolina and while he has not placed in the top-25 in any of his past four tournaments, he has still finished in the top-10 five times over 11 events this year and should feel comfortable being in his home state. He has dominated par-5’s this season, scoring a birdie or better 53.2% of the time (4th on tour) while also having the 13th-best scoring average in the final round (69.13). Simpson should be able to jump back into contention this weekend.

Lee Westwood (12/1): Quail Hollow has seemingly been one of Westwood’s favorite courses, as he has placed in the top-5 there in each of the past two seasons. He seems to be heating up at the moment also, getting a seventh-place finish at The Masters followed by his first win in nearly two years when he took the victory in the Malaysian Open on the European Tour in his last start. Westwood could very well be in line for his third career PGA victory come Sunday.

Pat Perez (65/1): Perez has finished in the top-25 in half of his 14 tournaments on the year thanks to his impressive scoring average before the cut (69.50, 4th on tour). He will need to improve on the weekend though to capture his second career PGA tournament. Perez finished sixth at this tournament back in 2011, and he should be competitive in what is turning out to be one of the better seasons of his career.

Brian Harman (110/1): In a year where plenty of new names are topping the leaderboard, Harman has a chance to make some noise this weekend. He placed seventh in the RBC Heritage and third at the Northern Trust Open this season, while already being one of the best players on par-3’s. On those short holes, Harman has scored a birdie or better 16.4% of the time (23rd on tour) and has a total score of 4-under par (6th on tour) on the par-3 holes this year.

Betting Odds - Provided by Sportsbook.ag

Rory McIlroy 13/2
Phil Mickelson 15/1
Lee Westwood 16/1
Justin Rose 18/1
Jim Furyk 25/1
Rickie Fowler 29/1
Jimmy Walker 30/1
Zach Johnson 30/1
Ryan Moore 35/1
Hunter Mahan 40/1
Webb Simpson 40/1
Gary Woodland 40/1
Bill Haas 45/1
Jonas Blixt 50/1
Ben Martin 55/1
Seung-Yul Noh 55/1
Jamie Donaldson 55/1
Jason Kokrak 60/1
J.B. Holmes 65/1
Pat Perez 65/1
Nick Watney 65/1
Chesson Hadley 65/1
Charles Howell III 65/1
Kevin Na 65/1
Matt Jones 65/1
Hideki Matsuyama 70/1
Chris Kirk 70/1
Peter Hanson 85/1
Rory Sabbatini 85/1
Chris Stroud 95/1
Will MacKenzie 95/1
Kevin Streelman 95/1
Daniel Summerhays 100/1
Bo Van Pelt 100/1
Russell Henley 100/1
Jeff Overton 100/1
K.J. Choi 110/1
George McNeill 110/1
Brian Harman 110/1
Jonathan Byrd 110/1
Cameron Tringale 120/1
Robert Karlsson 120/1
Carl Pettersson 130/1
Martin Kaymer 130/1
Brendon De Jonge 130/1
Kyle Stanley 130/1
Robert Streb 140/1
Nicolas Colsaerts 140/1
Stewart Cink 140/1
Retief Goosen 150/1
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano 150/1
Ernie Els 150/1
Lucas Glover 150/1
Angel Cabrera 150/1
Brendan Steele 150/1
Stuart Appleby 160/1
Danny Lee 170/1
Sang-Moon Bae 170/1
Brian Stuard 180/1
Thorbjorn Olesen 180/1
Martin Laird 190/1
Brendon Todd 190/1
Michael Thompson 190/1
Kevin Chappell 190/1
Andrew Svoboda 190/1
David Hearn 190/1
Andrew Loupe 200/1
Morgan Hoffmann 210/1
William McGirt 210/1
Nicholas Thompson 210/1
Camilo Villegas 220/1
D.A. Points 220/1
Padraig Harrington 220/1
Martin Flores 220/1
Scott Brown 220/1
Andres Romero 220/1
Sean O' Hair 220/1
Bud Cauley 240/1
Shawn Stefani 240/1
Scott Stallings 240/1
Charlie Beljan 250/1
Billy Hurley III 250/1
Jim Herman 250/1
Steve Marino 250/1
J.J. Henry 250/1
Johnson Wagner 250/1
Jamie Lovemark 250/1
Bronson La Cassie 250/1
D.H. Lee 250/1
Troy Matteson 250/1
Scott Gardiner 250/1
Ben Kohles 250/1
Jason Gore 250/1
Ben Curtis 250/1
Scott Langley 250/1
Robert Allenby 250/1
Vijay Singh 250/1
Josh Teater 250/1
Roberto Castro 250/1
John Merrick 250/1
Richard H. Lee 250/1
Y.E. Yang 250/1
David Lingmerth 250/1
Brian Davis 250/1
Justin Hicks 250/1
John Rollins 250/1
James Driscoll 250/1
Michael Putnam 250/1
Trevor Immelman 250/1
Ben Crane 250/1
Mark Wilson 250/1
Brice Garnett 250/1
Ricky Barnes 250/1
Tommy Gainey 250/1
Spencer Levin 250/1
Will Wilcox 250/1
Derek Ernst 250/1
James Hahn 250/1
Greg Chalmers 250/1
Ted Potter Jr. 250/1
Jhonattan Vegas 250/1
Kevin Kisner 250/1
Chad Collins 250/1
Charlie Wi 250/1
Brian Gay 250/1
Wes Roach 250/1
Hudson Swafford 250/1
Jason Bohn 250/1
Tim Wilkinson 250/1

  
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