2014 Wells Fargo Championship leaderboard: Phil Mickelson making late charge at Quail Hollow

Richard Heathcote

Phil Mickelson has had an uncharacteristically lackluster start to the season, but he's making a move early at Wells Fargo and just one shot back of morning clubhouse leader Angel Cabrera.

The PGA Tour needs a rebound week after an underwhelming Zurich Classic, and the early leaderboard at the Wells Fargo Championship has some big names on the first page. The annual stop at Quail Hollow always draws a solid field, and this year's tourney marked the return to action for both Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy.

Mickelson has had an uncharacteristically poor first quarter of the year. He usually picks up a win, or least repeatedly contends during the pre-Masters set of tournaments but he was a total non-factor during that stretch this year. Injuries played a part, but he was also wild off the tee and unsharp around the green, including his first missed cut at Augusta since 1997. After a two-week break, the five-time major winner has come out firing on a redesigned and touched-up Quail Hollow that he called "perfect" on Wednesday.

Mickelson is 5-under through through his first 10 holes, going out with a bogey-free 32 and then adding a red number at the par-5 10th to start the back nine. He's just one shot off the early pace set by Angel Cabrera, who's in the house at 6-under. Mickelson has another par-5 ahead of him at the 15th, but also faces the teeth of the course and the tough "Green Mile" finishing stretch. Even before the Tom Fazio redesign, Mickelson called this one of the best tee-to-green courses he's ever played, if not the best. So it's a track that suits his eye, and maybe this is the week he finally pulls it together in advance of the season's "fifth major" next week and the all-important U.S. Open down the road in North Carolina.

McIlroy is also in the red at 3-under, settling in to an early T7 spot on the leaderboard. It's less of a surprise to see Rory right there, given his form so far in 2014. He's in a different place with his game, contending again after that ugly 2013 season. He's yet to convert a win following some weekend giveaways on both the Euro and PGA circuits. It will be a shock if the 2010 winner isn't in position here come this weekend. We may not get that ridiculous course record round of 62 on Sunday, which he fired to run away by four shots in his first PGA Tour win here in 2010, but even mediocre putting should keep Rory hanging around the top 10 by Sunday.

It's a little startling to see Cabrera at the top of a non-major leaderboard. El Pato has the uncanny ability to play in obscurity at these annual Tour events, and then pop up to contend or win majors. While he's got plenty of wins around the world, when it comes to the PGA Tour, he's got just two victories -- a U.S. Open and Masters. Cabrera rolled to the early lead in the morning wave, with the wind relatively down and scoring conditions a bit better than what the afternoon guys are getting. Mickelson, however, is closing in with eight more holes to play. Here's a snapshot of the leaderboard late in the day:

Place

Player

Score

Through

1

Angel Cabrera

-6

F

T2

Jonathan Byrd

-4

F

T2

Stewart Cink

-4

F

T2

Martin Flores

-4

12

T2

Phil Mickelson

-4

9

T2

Martin Laird

-4

8

T7

Shawn Stefani

-3

F

T7

Martin Kaymer

-3

F

T7

Vijay Singh

-3

F

T7

Kevin Na

-3

F

T7

Charles Howell III

-3

F

T7

Rory McIlroy

-3

F

T7

Hideki Matsuyama

-3

F

T7

Carl Pettersson

-3

11

T7

Webb Simpson

-3

10

T17

David Hearn

-2

F

T17

Scott Langley

-2

F

T17

Daniel Summerhays

-2

F

T17

J.B. Holmes

-2

F

T7

Brian Harman

-3

13

T17

Rory Sabbatini

-2

11

T17

Justin Rose

-2

9

T17

Jeff Overton

-2

8

T17

Billy Hurley III

-2

7

T17

Ben Martin

-2

5

T26

Jim Renner

-1

F

T26

Brice Garnett

-1

F

T26

John Merrick

-1

F

T26

Jonas Blixt

-1

F

T26

Gary Woodland

-1

F

T26

Brendon Todd

-1

F

T26

Danny Lee

-1

F

T26

Wes Roach

-1

F

T26

Will Wilcox

-1

F

T26

Bronson La'Cassie

-1

F

T26

Bud Cauley

-1

F

T26

Ted Potter, Jr.

-1

11

T26

Ryan Moore

-1

9

T26

Retief Goosen

-1

9

T26

Padraig Harrington

-1

8

T26

John Peterson

-1

7

T26

Troy Merritt

-1

6

T26

Frank Lickliter II

-1

6

T26

Robert Streb

-1

6

T45

Brian Stuard

E

F

T45

Stephen Ames

E

F

T45

Chad Collins

E

F

T45

Josh Teater

E

F

T45

Ricky Barnes

E

F

T45

Mark Wilson

E

F

T45

Kevin Streelman

E

F

T45

D.A. Points

E

F

T45

Mike Weir

E

F

T45

Hunter Mahan

E

F

T45

Sang-Moon Bae

E

F

T45

Harrison Frazar

E

F

T45

Spencer Levin

E

12

T45

Tommy Gainey

E

11

T45

Woody Austin

E

11

T45

Geoff Ogilvy

E

11

T45

Jim Furyk

E

10

T45

Zach Johnson

E

10

T45

Scott Brown

E

10

T45

Lee Westwood

E

9

T45

Brendan Steele

E

8

T45

Joe Ogilvie

E

8

T45

Chris Stroud

E

7

T45

William McGirt

E

7

T72

Tim Wilkinson

1

7

T45

Kevin Kisner

E

7

T45

Kevin Tway

E

5

T45

Dustin Bray

E

6

T72

Jason Bohn

1

F

T72

John Rollins

1

F

T72

Kevin Chappell

1

F

T72

Robert Allenby

1

F

T72

Y.E. Yang

1

F

T72

Charlie Wi

1

F

T72

Camilo Villegas

1

F

T72

Robert Karlsson

1

F

T72

Nicholas Thompson

1

F

T72

Pat Perez

1

F

T72

Morgan Hoffmann

1

F

T72

Lee Williams

1

F

T72

Kevin Foley

1

F

T97

Michael Putnam

2

14

T72

Roberto Castro

1

13

T72

Michael Thompson

1

11

T72

Brian Gay

1

11

T72

Ernie Els

1

10

T72

Derek Ernst

1

9

T72

Justin Hicks

1

7

T72

Nicolas Colsaerts

1

7

T72

Ben Kohles

1

6

T72

Harold Varner, III

1

6

T72

Andrew Svoboda

1

6

T72

Kelly Mitchum

1

6

T97

Gonzalo Fdez-Castano

2

F

T97

Kyle Stanley

2

F

T97

Jhonattan Vegas

2

F

T97

Jimmy Walker

2

F

T97

Rickie Fowler

2

F

T97

Matt Jones

2

F

T97

Charlie Beljan

2

F

T97

Jason Gore

2

F

T97

Brian Davis

2

F

T97

Scott Gardiner

2

F

T97

Cameron Tringale

2

13

T97

Johnson Wagner

2

11

T97

George McNeill

2

11

T97

Chris Kirk

2

9

T97

K.J. Choi

2

9

T97

Brendon de Jonge

2

7

T134

Jamie Lovemark

4

7

T97

Fielding Brewbaker

2

6

T97

Rod Perry

2

6

T97

Peter Malnati

2

5

T117

James Driscoll

3

F

T117

Scott McCarron

3

F

T117

Lucas Glover

3

F

T117

Bill Haas

3

F

T117

Chesson Hadley

3

F

T117

Davis Love III

3

F

T117

Nick Watney

3

F

T117

Jamie Donaldson

3

F

T117

Sean O'Hair

3

14

T117

Greg Chalmers

3

13

T134

Stuart Appleby

4

11

T117

Scott Stallings

3

10

T117

J.J. Henry

3

8

T117

Andres Romero

3

8

T117

Thorbjorn Olesen

3

8

T117

Tyrone van Aswegen

3

6

T134

James Hahn

4

F

T134

Seung-yul Noh

4

F

T134

Darren Clarke

4

F

T134

Jim Herman

4

F

T134

Hunter Green

4

F

T134

Bo Van Pelt

4

14

T117

Steve Marino

3

14

T117

Richard Lee

3

14

T134

Jason Kokrak

4

13

T134

Peter Hanson

4

13

T134

Ben Crane

4

12

T134

Will MacKenzie

4

12

T134

D.H. Lee

4

12

T134

Russell Henley

4

9

T148

Heath Slocum

5

F

T148

Hudson Swafford

5

F

T148

Andrew Loupe

5

F

T148

Paul Goydos

5

14

T148

David Lingmerth

5

13

T148

Ben Curtis

5

11

T148

Trevor Immelman

5

8

155

Troy Matteson

7

F

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