Weekly Preview - Wells Fargo ChampionshipGreg Vara RotoWire.com Golf Writer
It used to be that back in the NBA's heyday, the 1980s, a team had to pay its dues to become the champ. While that's not exactly the case anymore in the NBA, it is somewhat the case on the PGA TOUR. Case in point, Jason Dufner, who came painfully close to earning his first victory on the PGA TOUR last season not once but twice, losing in a playoff each time. He's not the only one to break through this season after having paid his dues; Bubba Watson paid his dues at more than one major before breaking through at the Masters. It's not just the act of paying your dues, however, it's the experience that it brings. The experience of feeling what it's like to be in the lead, the experience of losing a lead and even the experience of being just out of the mix. All of these experiences make the man a better player in the end, that is unless he cracks before he ever gets that first victory. Luckily for Dufner, he didn't crack. He hung tough and failed to waver when the pressure was on at the Zurich Classic last weekend. Dufner's paid his dues, now it's his time to shine, and trust me, he will.
This week: Wells Fargo Championship
Players to Consider:
Mickelson has accomplished everything here outside of winning. He's finished runner-up, third, fifth-place twice, seventh and ninth. A top-10 is almost guaranteed, but can he find his first win at Quail Hollow? I wouldn't bet against him.
Glover's win here last year was no fluke. Prior to his victory last year, Glover had a runner-up and another top-5 on his resume at Quail Hollow. Is he in top form now? No, but it might not matter as he has a feel for this course.
It's been a pretty quiet year for McIlroy; well, compared to last year anyway. Anyhow, it's about time for McIlroy to remind everyone why we thought he was the next Tiger. A win this week leading into the Players would accomplish that.
Fowler showed some signs of life last week in New Orleans and enters this event with a pretty solid track record at Quail Hollow. Fowler finished T16 here last year and solo sixth the year prior.
Cink hasn't resembled the player who won the British Open a few years ago, but if he's to snap out of this funk it could be this week at Quail Hollow where he's recorded three top-10s in his past five tries.
Players to Avoid:
Ogilvy tops the "Avoid List" for the second consecutive week. Last week, he could only manage a T45, so I'm not all that concerned about his placement here again. Ogilvy's track record here is decent, but his game is still too far off.
Levin started the 2012 on fire, but he's since cooled. He hasn't recorded a top-25 since mid-February, and his history here is weak. Levin has yet to make a cut at Quail Hollow in two tries.
Crane has only played here four times and has yet to find success. His best finish was a T60 in 2003. Crane has appeared here only once in the last five years, so you have to wonder if this course just doesn't suit his eye.
His track record here isn't the issue. Cabrera finished third here in 2010, but he withdrew from the Zurich Classic after one round last week, posting a 75 before withdrawing.
Day has really struggled to back up his outstanding 2011 season, and there's really no sign that he's going to snap out of his funk anytime soon. Perhaps the time off after the Masters will help; we'll have to wait and see.