PGA Tour: Predictions, Odds and Top-10 Contenders for the Wells Fargo

Fred Altvater@@tolohgolfrContributor IIMay 1, 2012

PGA Tour: Predictions, Odds and Top-10 Contenders for the Wells Fargo

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    With the Players Championship just a week away, the Wells Fargo Championship has taken on the air of a mini-major. 

    Several of the top golfers in the world will hone their games on the 7,442-yard Quail Hollow Golf Club in Charlotte, North Carolina before heading to Jacksonville.

    The field will include 2007 winner Tiger Woods and 2010 champion Rory McIlroy.  

    If that isn’t enough to peak your interest, Phil Mickelson, Lee Westwood, Bill Haas, Webb Simpson, Nick Watney and Rickie Fowler will also tee it up on Thursday.

    Here is a listing of the top contenders and the odds provided by:

15/2 and World No. 2 Rory McIlroy

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    The best odds, 15/2, are on 2010 Wells Fargo champion and world No. 2, Rory McIlroy.

    He already has a win on the PGA Tour in 2012 at the Honda Classic and has been trading the No. 1 spot on the Official World Golf Rankings with Luke Donald. 

    We haven’t see Rory since his disappointing T-40 performance at the Masters. 

    In addition to his win at the Honda, Rory was runner-up at the WGC-Accenture Match Play and had a third-place finish at the WGC-Cadillac. 

    He has already won $2.4 million this year and is ranked sixth in the FedEx Cup.

9/1 Tiger Woods

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    Second on the betting line at 9/1 is Tiger Woods. 

    He has had a roller coaster ride this year on tour. 

    His 11 shot drubbing by Phil Mickelson at Pebble Beach and his untidy 75 on Friday at the Masters were definitely the low spots.

    He did shoot a 62 on Sunday at the Honda to finish runner-up to McIlroy and won a couple weeks later at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. 

    It was the seventh time Tiger has won in "Arnie's Kingdom."

    Tiger has had a few weeks to rest and recuperate at the manse in Jupiter Beach and should be ready to put on a good show in North Carolina.

12/1 Phil Mickelson

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    Phil Mickelson is posted at 12/1 and has had a great start to the 2012 season. 

    He collected the trophy and the big check for his flawless performance at Pebble Beach and followed that up with a second place at the Northern Trust at Riviera the next week.

    Phil was T-3 at the Masters and was in contention in the last round when a triple-bogey six on the par-three No. 4 proved to be too much to overcome.  

    He seems to be playing some of he best golf of his Hall of Fame career. 

    He has already won $2.5 million in 2012 and is ranked No. 3 in the FedEx Cup.

14/1 Lee Westwood

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    At 14/1, world No. 3 Lee Westwood again failed to deliver in a major, but he did post a T-3 at the Masters. 

    He also posted fourth-place finishes at the WGC-Accenture and at the Honda Classic. 

    Three top 10s in just five starts on the PGA Tour in 2012 has earned him $1.2 million and the 34th spot on the FedEx Cup standings.

    Lee did pick up another international trophy by winning the Asian Tour’s Indonesian Masters in Jakarta for the second straight year. 

    He has been one of the most consistent players in the world for several years and is always a factor wherever he tees it up.

20/1 Hunter Mahan

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    Hunter Mahan is a solid bet at 20/1 and has been on a tear this year. 

    He has two wins: the WGC-Accenture Match Play where he defeated Rory McIlroy in the final and the Shell Houston Open.

    He also added a T-6 at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines early in the year. 

    With two wins and three top 10s, he has earned over $3.0 million and is in first place in the FedEx Cup.

22/1 Jim Furyk

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    Veteran Jim Furyk won this event in 2006 and is posted at 22/1 to get another win at Quail Hollow. 

    He seems to have regained his consistent play after a less than average 2011.

    Furyk won the $10 million FedEx Cup in 2010 but only had four top 10s in 2011 and fell to 36th in the FedEx Cup rankings.

    He has had eight top-25 finishes in eight starts thus far in 2012 and could be a good pick this week.

33/1 Keegan Bradley

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    2011 PGA champion Keegan Bradley is rated as a 33/1 favorite to pick up his first win in 2012 at the Wells Fargo.

    Quail Hollow is an old-style hilly layout similar to Atlanta Athletic Club where Bradley won the PGA last year. It could be a good course for him.

    Keegan shocked the world last year when he won the first major tournament that he was eligible to play in and defeated Jason Dufner in a playoff for the win. 

    He has been playing solidly all year with a runner-up at Riviera and nine top-25 finishes in his 11 starts.

40/1 Bill Haas

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    This is basically a home game for 40/1 Bill Haas. 

    He attended Wake Forest, grew up in North Carolina and resides in Greenville. 

    The 2011 FedEx Cup Champion, Haas defeated Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson in a playoff to capture the Northern Trust at famed Riviera earlier this year. 

    Although he finished T-37 at the Masters, he was T-4 at the Torrey Pines. 

    He seems to perform well at classic-style golf courses, so he should feel right at home at Quail Hollow.

80/1 Wells Fargo Defending Champion Lucas Glover

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    Although this will be just his fourth start in 2012, Lucas Glover at 80/1 is the Wells Fargo defending champion. 

    Glover is another Carolina native. He attended Clemson and lives nearby in Greenville, South Carolina.

    An injury sustained in Hawaii at the beginning of the year forced him to sit out the early tournaments in 2012, but he is beginning to round into form. Quail Hollow could be a good course for him to get back into the winner's circle.

80/1 Long Shot Ben Curtis

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    If you like long shots, what about Ben Curtis at 80/1? 

    He collected his first win in six years at the Valero Texas Open and followed that up with a T-13 in New Orleans.

    Ben was runner-up here in 2008 to Anthony Kim. 

    He is making nearly every putt he looks at right now, and his tee-to-green game is solid.

    The Wells Fargo could be another top finish tournament for him.

2012 Wells Fargo Has a Deep Field

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    Here are a few other names to choose from if you are looking to lay down a few quid, bob or bucks this week:

    80/1 Gary Woodland

    40/1 Rickie Fowler

    80/1 Ben Crane

    50/1 Jason Day

    80/1 Geoff Ogilvy

    Choose wisely, my friends. The PGA Tour is an “equal opportunity employer” and is filled with several potential winners every week.