With The Players Championship just a week away, a full field of 156 players will take to Quail Hollow Club this week with the hopes of becoming the latest winner of the Wells Fargo Championship. Here are some groups to keep an eye on during Thursday's first round in Charlotte, N.C. (all times EDT; click here for full-field tee times):
7:30 a.m. (10th tee): Sergio Garcia, Webb Simpson, Bill Haas
Simpson finished fourth here last year, one month before claiming the U.S. Open, and the North Carolina resident will return this week hoping for similar results. He'll play the first two rounds alongside Haas, who is tied for the PGA Tour lead in top-10 finishes with five, and Garcia, who tied for eighth at Augusta National in his most recent start.
7:40 a.m. (10th tee): Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler, Nick Watney
After winning a playoff in thrilling fashion for his maiden win last year, Fowler returns to an event as its defending champion for the first time. He finds himself grouped with Mickelson and Watney, two players with excellent track records in Charlotte – Mickelson has posted six top-10 finishes in nine starts at Quail Hollow, while Watney has been inside the top 25 six times since 2005.
12:55 p.m. (1st tee): Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson, Angel Cabrera
The lone player in this week's field inside the top 10 in the world rankings, McIlroy will hope to improve upon last year's runner-up finish to Fowler. His group for the first two days will be rounded out by a pair of former Masters champions: Watson, who has now notched four top-20 finishes around his tie for 50th at the Masters, and Cabrera, who is playing in the U.S. for the first time since his dramatic playoff loss to Adam Scott at Augusta National.
1:50 p.m. (1st tee): Zach Johnson, Lucas Glover, Lee Westwood
Westwood, one of the best players without a major, will play the first two rounds with two of the more surprising major winners of the last decade. Johnson is still in search of his first top-10 finish of 2013 but has a pair of strong finishes recently at Quail Hollow (T-6 2011, T-11 2009) upon which to build. Glover, a winner here in 2011 and runner-up in 2009, returns to Charlotte after leading in New Orleans through three rounds before falling back into a tie for fourth.