By Brandon Raper @Brandon__Raper on April 30, 2014
The last few weeks on the PGA Tour have been something of a recovery period for several top stars. The build-up to the Masters, not to mention the tournament itself, can take a lot out of even the best players.
This week, though, many of those guys are back in the field at Quail Hollow for the Wells Fargo Championship. With a deep field, any number of players have the win in their sights, and these are my favorites to separate from the field.
Simpson could certainly use some member’s bounces this week at his home course. He’s been in a bit of a slump the last month or two, but with the way he started the year, there’s no cap on where he could take his game once it’s all back in line.
Quail Hollow should hold a special place in Fowler’s heart as the site of his only Tour win so far, back in 2012. I still think the Fowler we’ll see the rest of 2014 is more like the one who finished sixth in Houston and fifth in Augusta, and not like the player who missed the cut in New Orleans. This is going to be a telling week for Fowler, either way things go.
Back in action for the first time since the Masters, Walker certainly didn’t seem to be intimidated by the stage as he finished tied for eighth at Augusta. He hasn’t missed a top-25 since January at Torrey Pines, so he’s going to be a solid pick until his play dictates otherwise. Of note: Walker has improved his finish at Quail Hollow each of the last three seasons since missing the cut in 2010.
Westwood, Phil Mickelson, and Jim Furyk are all popular picks to be in the mix, but I’m giving Westwood the edge for improving over recent weeks, culminating in his win in Malaysia. It may not have been a full-strength PGA Tour field, but winning does good things for a player’s mind, and I expect Westwood to ride that momentum into Quail Hollow.
McIlroy’s been playing pretty great golf all year, and seems to be right on the verge of getting back to his winning ways. Quail Hollow could be his best chance yet, as he’s recorded top-ten finishes each of the last two years and is clearly comfortable with the course. McIlroy’s putting has been his only sore spot thus far, and if he can get that in line, I like his chances to win this week.
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