Rory McIlroy

McIlroy Heads the Betting at Happy Hunting Ground of Quail Hollow

The PGA Tour swings into Quail Hollow and some star names will be teeing it up at this week’s Wells Fargo Championship.

World number two Justin Thomas, Masters champion Patrick Reed, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson and a certain Tiger Woods feature on an all-star cast that is sure to draw in big numbers, both on the course and in front of the television.

Quail Hollow is one of the more popular venues on tour, and it played host to two tournaments last year – its regular slot with the Wells Fargo and the 2017 PGA Championship.

Thomas showed his liking for the venue by landing his maiden major with a two-shot victory from Louis Oosthuizen, Francesco Molinari and Reed in the PGA Championship. Rickie Fowler and Hideki Matsuyama were just a shot further adrift, and it’s fair to conclude that the cream tends to rise to the top at the North Carolina venue.

Picking which of the leading fancies to go with is no easy task, but you could do a lot worse than look at McIlroy. The layers are aware of the Irishman’s affinity for the course, as he is 188BET’s pre-tournament favourite at 8.50.

2018 could be a big year for McIlroy, as he has plenty of confidence in his game after breaking a lengthy drought with a win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

McIlroy did not complete the career Grand Slam at the Masters, coming home in a tie for fifth, but he still produced some good, if not exceptional, golf. With fitness worries now behind him, he looks well set to kick on as the season heads towards summer. And there’s no better place for him to get the second win of the year than at Quail Hollow.

McIlroy’s record at the course is exceptional. He has two wins to his name, and was only denied a third by some spellbinding golf from Fowler in 2012, and this big-hitter’s paradise sets up superbly for the world number seven. This column is not often keen on backing favourites in the golf market, but the Irishman is too tempting to overlook.

Many eyes will be drawn to Tiger, but this course does not set up well for his game as for all the improvement he has demonstrated this year, he is still uncomfortable off the tee. Yes he won at Quail Hollow in 2007, but at that time he could have won on any course – blindfolded.

It looks a matter of time before Woods gets back in the winner’s enclosure, but at 26.0 with 188BET he is too short to support this week.