Phil Mickelson and his caddy, Bones Mackay, survery a shot at the Wells Fargo Championship.
By PGATOUR.COM staff
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- With a field that includes 16 of the top 30 in the FedExCup and 13 among the same number in the world, small wonder the Wells Fargo Championship is sold out for the 10th time in its 11-year history.
The tournament has been kind to first-time winners of late, too, with three of its last five champions -- Anthony Kim (2008), Rory McIlroy (2010) and defending champion Rickie Fowler breaking through at Quail Hollow. As we contemplate the possibilities of the first two rounds, here are some groups to watch on PGATOUR.COM and the Golf Channel.
Rory McIlroy-Bubba Watson-Angel Cabrera: In this group we have players who have finished first, second and third at the Wells Fargo Championship -- although not all three in the same year. In addition to McIlroy's first TOUR win, Watson tied for second in 2009 and Cabrera finished solo third in 2010.
Zach Johnson-Lucas Glover-Lee Westwood: Glover, who won this tournament in 2011, may be a bit distracted as the birth of his first child looms large -- but at least he's only 90 minutes away from his Greenville, S.C., home. Westwood tied for fifth last year at Quail Hollow while Johnson tied for sixth in 2011.
Sergio Garcia-Webb Simpson-Bill Haas: Even the Spaniard in this group has N.C. ties after joining Webb Simpson, who makes his home at Quail Hollow, as a winner of the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro last year. Haas, who went to Wake Forest, finds himself in a similar situation as Glover -- both their wives are soon-to-deliver their first children about 100 miles south in Greenville.
Phil Mickelson-Nick Watney-Rickie Fowler: Mickelson has a stellar record at Quail Hollow with six top-10 finishes in nine starts, including second in 2010. Fowler in on a similarly strong stretch after winning last year and finishing 16th or better in his other two starts. Watney went low the first two rounds a year ago, shooting 68-64, and ended up solo eighth.