Rory McIlroy will look to kickstart his season for the umpteenth time when he returns to the scene of his maiden PGA Tour title this week.
The 23-year-old Ulsterman, who celebrates his 24th birthday on Saturday, claimed the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow three years ago thanks to a scintillating course-record 62.
He also finished second 12 months ago when losing out to Rickie Fowler in a playoff - the American also using this even to get his first Tour win.
Yet things haven’t always gone to plan for McIlroy round this ultra-exclusive North Carolina track as he missed the cut back in 2011 - something he’s been all too accustomed to in the first four months of this new season.
The World No.2 has chalked up just two top-ten finishes in seven starts this year and hasn’t played competitive golf since tying for 25th at the Masters three weeks ago, but the bookies have made him firm favourite this week at 8/1, with Tiger Woods taking a break ahead of the Players Championship.
But the field is strong here and if McIlroy wants to get back in the winner's circle, he will need to overcome the likes of home favourite Webb Simpson (16/1), Phil Mickelson, Lee Westwood (both 18/1), defending champion Fowler, Bubba Watson, Nick Watney and Sergio Garcia (all 25/1).
Wells Fargo Championship
Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, North Carolina
Thursday May 2 to Sunday May 5
Par-72; 7,442 yards
$6,700,000 (winner: $1,206,000)
Rickie Fowler (-14) defeated Rory McIlroy in playoff
Most wins: 1 (2012 Rickie Fowler; 2011 Lucas Glover; 2010 Rory McIlroy; 2009 Sean O’Hair; 2008 Anthony Kim; 2007 Tiger Woods; 2006 Jim Furyk; 2005 Vijay Singh; 2004 Joey Sindelar; 2003 David Toms)
Lowest score to par: -16 Anthony Kim (2008)
Did you know?
The event is known to have one of the tougher finishes on tour with 16, 17, and 18, commonly known as the Green Mile, often ranked among the PGA Tour's toughest holes.
McIlroy is far too short at 8/1 and with the strength in depth of this week’s field there is plenty of value to be had. Simpson at 20/1 and in-form DA Points out at 40s provide the temptation. Visit 888sport.com for more odds.
Thursday: Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Friday: Sky Sports 4 from 8pm
Saturday: Sky Sports 4 from 8pm
Sunday: Sky Sports 4 from 7.30pm
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