1 Rory McIlroy: He splashed onto the American golf stage here with his victory in 2010 and lost in a playoff to Rickie Fowler last year. Hes fallen out of the No. 1 spot in the world rankings and didnt do much at the Masters, but McIlroy may be ready to break out of his sluggish start. History suggests it could happen at Quail Hollow.
2 Course set-up: Officials took the dramatic step last week of re-sodding the eighth and 10th greens because of a lack of adequate grass cover. The new surfaces have already come in nicely and the rest of the course may be in its best condition ever.
3 Phil Mickelson: The left-hander has been off since his spectacular performance in a victory at Phoenix earlier this year. Hes changed drivers multiple times and his specialty club at Augusta didnt work magic. Hes threatened at Quail Hollow but still hasnt won.
4 The Green Mile: Check out the three-hole finishing stretch this year because it will look different next year. After the tournament, the 16th hole will be rebuilt into a dogleg left ending on the water and the 17th hole will be adjusted with a new tee and a redesigned green.
Also, the greens will be converted to Bermuda grass after the Wells Fargo Championship.
5 The Golf Boys: The four of them defending champion Fowler, Bubba Watson, Hunter Mahan and Ben Crane are in the field. Ask them to sing at your own risk. Ron Green Jr.
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