Wells Fargo Championship preview: Rory McIlroy looks to repeat in Charlotte – Sporting News

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The Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, N.C., has long been considered one of the top events outside the majors and Players Championship, and that honor is in full force this week as seven of the world’s top 14 players are set to compete.

Rory McIlroy headlines the field after winning by seven shots over Patrick Rodgers and Webb Simpson last year. But last season’s Wells Fargo was McIlroy’s last win on the PGA Tour (he did win the European Tour Championship) as he struggled with injury and a few late collapses.

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McIlroy has won this event twice. He also finished runner-up to Rickie Fowler in 2012, so course history is on his side.

Fowler is back in the field this year after skipping the event in 2015. Fowler has only finished outside the top 20 twice in 10 worldwide starts this year.

FedEx Cup leader Adam Scott is also in the field for the first time since disappointing at the Masters. Scott has missed the cut here in his last three attempts, but two of those occasions came during career slumps.

Here are this week’s top players:

Rory McIlroy (world ranking: 3) — In a lot of ways, McIlroy looks like a shadow of his former self on the golf course. Sure, he’s more physically imposing that anyone else on tour, but he just doesn’t look to be as into the game as he once did. McIlroy’s jovial, bouncy nature has all but disappeared. Fantasy advice: His track record here is impeccable, but he is almost $2,000 more than the next guy on DraftKings. We’re still playing him though.

Rickie Fowler (5) — Fowler has been solid since finishing runner-up in Phoenix, posting three top 10s in six starts. The 2012 Wells Fargo winner will contend again if he can make some putts. McIlroy posted 21 under last year; don’t expect this course to allow that to happen again. Fantasy advice: Fowler looks like a pretty safe bet to make the cut. He’s a good play because he should make a lot of birdies.

Adam Scott (7) — Despite taking a copious amount of heat for announcing he plans on skipping the Olympics this summer, we understand the decision because it falls right in between two majors and the FedEx Cup playoffs. Scott has two wins and a runner-up already this year. He’s a threat when focused. Fantasy advice: He might be a little hard to trust after struggling at Augusta, but this course should suit his eye better than past results indicate.

Justin Rose (10) — Rose probably isn’t feeling too bad about missing the cut last week having watched all the delays everyone went through in New Orleans. He should be refreshed and ready to take on a course he finished solo fifth on in 2014. Fantasy advice: Rose has been a bit more enigmatic that expected this season. He should be a lock for at least a top 20, but play at your own risk.

Phil Mickelson (20) — Many are down on Mickelson because he enters the week on the heels of two straight missed cuts, including a bad one at Augusta. However, Lefty is third in all-time earnings here despite never winning. This could be the perfect course to get him back on track. Fantasy advice: He’s reasonably priced and loves this course. Mickelson seems like a solid No. 2 player in a fantasy lineup this week.

Others to watch:

Hideki Matsuyama, Patrick Reed, Henrik Stenson, J.B Holmes, Webb Simpson


Bill Haas, Charles Howell III, Harold Varner III, Byeong-Hun An, Emiliano Grillo

Wells Fargo Championship preview: Rory McIlroy looks to repeat in Charlotte – Sporting News