Wells Fargo Championship 2013: Top Golfers Ready to Claim Victory

Jesse Reed@@JesseReed78Correspondent IMay 3, 2013

CHARLOTTE, NC - MAY 02:  Phil Mickelson hits a tee shot on the 13th hole during the first round of the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club on May 2, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

After one round of action at the 2013 Wells Fargo Championship, the leaderboard is crowded with big names, including Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy.

Quail Hollow in North Carolina is proving to be an easy test thus far, as 52 golfers are within five strokes of the lead—which is set at five under par—and there are seven golfers sharing that lead.

Needless to say, it's going to take a continued hot streak to win this tournament, and there are a few golfers who stand out as candidates to rise above the fray and come away victorious. 

Here's a quick look at the leaderboard, courtesy of PGATour.com.

Place Golfer Total
T-1 Ryan Moore -5
T-1 Nick Watney -5
T-1 Robert Garrigus -5
T-1 Derek Ernst -5
T-1 Rory McIlroy -5
T-1 Daniel Summerhays -5
T-1 Nate Smith -5
T-8 Five Golfers -4

With so many elite players bunched so closely at the top, it will take four rounds of brilliance to pull out the victory. So far, the players have been treated to pristine conditions in the first round, but there's a bit of a storm rolling in that will bring wind and possibly rain on Sunday.

Here are three players that have the game and the mentality to keep playing well throughout the weekend.

Rory McIlroy (-5)

When this young Northern Irishman is on his game, there aren't many golfers in the world that can match him stroke for stroke. 

McIlroy has been up and down this season. He finished in second place at the Valero Open before struggling mightily at the Masters, but by all appearances his game is on its way back up. 

Posting seven birdies and two bogeys on Thursday, McIlroy displayed excellent ball-striking and made some clutch putts. Should he cut down on his mistakes, this young man will certainly be in the hunt for the trophy on Sunday.

Once Sunday rolls around, McIlroy's fourth-ranked final-round score average of 67.5 strokes will come in handy. 

Phil Mickelson (-4)

If anyone knows how to shoot low scores, it's Mickelson. 

Nobody scores more birdies per round than Mickelson, who has averaged nearly five per round in 2013. 

Despite the fact that Lefty has a win to his credit in 2013, it's been a bit of an off year thus far. A solid round of four-under par in the first round will help Mickelson's cause this week, though, and he looks ready to make up for his disastrous Masters showing.

If Mickelson can get hot with his putter, he could run away with this thing.

D.A. Points (-1)

At one point in the early part of this season, Points looked like he was ready to quit. 

In an eight-tournament stretch, Points missed the cut seven times—four times in a row, and then three times in a row. 

Since the Houston Open at the end of March, however, Points' season has suddenly taken a turn for the better. He won that tournament with a phenomenal score of 16 under par, defeating a loaded field that included Dustin Johnson, Mickelson and Lee Westwood.

Points struggled in the two tournaments following that one, but he regained his positive momentum last weekend with a second-place finish at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

Three bogeys marred Thursday's round, but if Points can cut out his mistakes and continue riding the hot streak that saved his season, he's a dark-horse candidate to win this weekend's tournament.

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78 


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