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P.J. Murray 3rd May 2011 - 15:43

Youth isn't wasted on the young at the Wells Fargo

The Wells Fargo, formerly the Quail Hollow Championship takes place this week with a host of big names looking to land the title.

A feature of the Quail Hollow course is the 16th, 17th and 18th holes, dubbed the green mile. The 18th is one of the most difficult finishing holes in golf.

Phil Mickelson heads the betting at 11/1, but maybe the key talking point is the return of Rory McIlroy to the US since his Masters blow up.

The young Irishman secured victory here last year and after a rough few weeks this could be the course to help McIlroy ease back into winning ways. This will be his first foray as a defending champion and something which he should enjoy. On a side note, McIlroy turns 22 today and he will want to celebrate his birthday in style, there is no better way to do that then make his first ever title retention.

However Phil Mickelson has pretty much done everything bar win at the course. Finishing just behind McIlroy here last year and tied for third in 07 'lefty' has it in him to put in a big performance and take the win. But there could be one thing against him, his age. The last three winners of this tournament have all been relatively young; McIlroy (20), Sean O'Hair (26) and Anthony Kim (22) have been victorious here in recent years.

Therefore it is somewhat logical to believe that another up and comer and be in contention come Sunday. At 26 Bobby Gates is a 200/1 shot. The Florida native is currently competing in his first year on the PGA tour and has a certain affinity for the course. His form has been good on the pre-tournament pro-am competition and he could be set to make a big move this week.

Rickie Fowler is another kid to keep an eye on. The 35/1 shot finished sixth here last year in his debut season on the PGA tour. He will certainly be looking to claim his maiden win sooner rather than later.

Bubba Watson at 20/1 was a runner up here in 2009 and after his Tour win last week he will not be short of confidence. Watson is known more for his workmanlike ethic than his partying and he won't be suffering any sort of hangover from last week. But playing eight consecutive rounds can be tough and you can back him to finish Top 10 at 17/10.

Angel Cabrera is 9/2 for a Top 10 finish, the Argentinean finished third here last year after finishing 18th at the Masters. He placed 7th at this year's Masters, his second top 10 finishes in four starts in America.

It's difficult to pick a winner from such a competitive field, but with all his experience and having actually managed to win here Rory McIlroy seems like the best bet from the tough field.



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