After the first round of the 2012 Wells Fargo Championship was completed on Thursday, three players were tied atop the leaderboard in Webb Simpson, Ryan Moore, and Stewart Cink. What follows are the top three groups to watch at the event on Friday.
Steve Flesch, Rickie Fowler, and Ken Duke
Can Rickie Fowler finally pull through and win his first career PGA Tour event at this week's tournament? Fowler shot a great round of six under 66 to begin the event, and will be the main player to watch in this group. He isn't really known for having a great putter, so this will be the key area to watch for him on Friday; if he is making putts I could certainly see him on top of the leaderboard heading into the weekend.
Rory Sabbatini, Aaron Baddeley, and D.A. Points
All three players had solid rounds on Thursday, with Points leading the three with a score of six under 66 to tie Fowler for second place. Points has had a pretty solid year in 2012, with eight cuts made in 12 starts to go with five top 25 finishes. He is a solid striker of the golf ball who does not hit it a long ways, so if he gets into any sort of trouble off the tee it could spell problems for him on Friday. Of the three I think Baddeley will have the best day on Friday, as he is one of the best putters on Tour and looks to finally have his long game together this week.
Tiger Woods, Webb Simpson, and Geoff Ogilvy
Simpson came out on fire for his first round with a seven under 65, and the sky is really the limit for what he can do at this week's event. He has the local knowledge of living near the course and playing there often, and is having another great year overall. In other words, I wouldn't be surprised if he were to shoot another 65 and put a gap between himself and the rest of the field. Tiger on the other hand had a terrible day with the driver on Thursday, but was able to recover well with a one under 71. He should be able to shoot in the high 60s on Friday, but that may not be enough for him to stay near the leaders if the conditions are perfect once again.
Ryan Kekoufski is a scratch golfer who has both played and watched the sport for well over a decade. He covers sports for the Yahoo! Contributor Network, and currently resides in Virginia. Follow him on Twitter @RyanKekoufski.