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Golf

Wells Fargo Championship Preview

The PGA Tour gets some of the big names back this week at Quail Hollow Golf & Country Club in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The PGA Tour gets some of the big names back this week at Quail Hollow Golf & Country Club in Charlotte, North Carolina. This was the site of the PGA Championship in 2017 where Justin Thomas took home the trophy.

Purse: $7,900,000

Champion: $1,422,000

TV Schedule

  • Thursday May 2nd: Golf Channel 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM CST
  • Friday May 3rd: Golf Channel 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM CST
  • Saturday May 4th: Golf Channel 12:00 PM – 1:45 PM CST
  • Saturday May 4th: NBC 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM CST
  • Saturday May 5th: Golf Channel 12:00 PM – 1:45 PM CST
  • Saturday May 5th: NBC 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM CST

Weather

Whose Teeing Off

Rory McIlroy (left) and Rickie Fowler (right)

The past few tournaments have been lackluster since The Masters in star power. We will get some of that back here. Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Paul Casey, Tony Finau, Hideki Matsuyama, and Henrik Stenson will be back among others. Jason Day, Patrick Reed, and Webb Simpson are all teeing off as well – they have been more involved with some tournaments lately. The notable absence is Tiger Woods, who usually plays here. With the AT&T Byron Nelson next week, we might not seen Tiger again until the PGA Championship.

Recent History

Jason Day After Winning the 2018 Wells Fargo Championship

Wells Fargo is one of the bigger non-major tournaments on tour so we get a lot of names that play here often which also gives us some good data look at. First, we’ll look at the past five years of winners and then go through who has good track record here.

The odd anomaly here is that the 2017 Wells Fargo Championship was played at Eagle Point Golf Club in Wilmington, North Carolina because Quail Hollow played host to the PGA Championship. So the 2017 numbers here are from that tournament, where they made some course changes to toughen the course up.

  • 2018: Jason Day (-12)
    • Runner Up: Nick Watney, Aaron Wise (-10)
  • 2017 (PGA Championship): Justin Thomas (-8)
    • Runner Up: Francesco Molinari, Louis Oosthuizen, Patrick Reed (-6)
  • 2016: James Hahn (-9)
    • Runner Up: Roberto Castro (playoff)
  • 2015: Rory McIlroy (-21)
    • Runner Up: Patrick Rodgers, Webb Simpson (-14)
  • 2014: J.B. Holmes (-14)
    • Runner Up: Jim Furyk (-13)
  • Rory McIlroy finished top 10 here from 2012 – 2016 including a win in 2015. He also won in 2010. The past two years here he finished T16 and T22.
  • Jason Day the last two years had is win and finished T9 in 2017.
  • Rickie Fowler won here in 2012. Past three years he’s gone T21, T5, T4.
  • Phil Mickelson is phenomenal here. He missed the cut in 2017 but he has Top 5 finishes in 2018, 2016, 2015, 2013, 2010, and 2009.
  • Patrick Reed finished top 10 here the past two years including T2 in 2017.
  • Although Nick Watney has three missed cuts since 2011, he also has three top 10’s. He didn’t play here in 2017 or 2016.
  • Justin Rose missed the cut in 2017 and didn’t play here in 2018. But in 2016 he finished T3 and T5 in 2014.
  • Paul Casey has played here the past three years, no missed cuts and finished T5 last year.
  • Sergio Garcia hasn’t fared well here, missed cut in 2017. Didn’t play in 2018, 2016, 2015, 2014. His best finish the past 10 years is T16 in 2013.
  • Tony Finau has played here four times and made the cut each time. Best finish was T16 in 2015.
  • Hideki Matsuyama missed the cut last year but made the cut the previous four years. He finished T5 in 2017.

The Course

Quail Hollow is a 7,560 yard Par 72 course designed by George W. Cobb in 1961. There has been three re-designs done in 1997, 2003, and 2012. There were also re-designs done in 2017 to three holes to make the course longer for the PGA Championship. The course is lined by trees on every single hole, fast Bermuda greens and most are protected by bunkers. There is water on some holes here, but there isn’t much. Take a look at the scorecard below and stats from the 2018 Wells Fargo championship.

Scorecard & Stats Courtesy of ESPN

Quail Hollow features one of the hardest three finishing holes in golf, known as the Green Mile, mainly because of the length. We’ll feature those holes below. Before that though, you can see this course is LONG. The Par 3 6th hole is 249 yards, hole 17 is a 223 yard Par 2. There are two Par 5’s over 575 yards, and three Par 4’s over 500 yards. Long, accurate drives will be important, as will GIR and scrambling. Many guys are going to have to scramble just to save par even with decent shots and hitting fairways.

Hole #16: 506 Yard Par 4

A long dogleg right Par 4. This hole was 80 yard shorter but was extended that distance and moved the green which turned a straightway par 4 into the dogleg right it is today. The green sits by water and is protected by a sand trap on the right. This second shot for the players is a tough one.

Hole #17: 223 Yard Par 3

Long Par 3 where the shot is over water mostly the whole way. The green is protected by a sand trap on the front and the water to the left and back. This is a small green to hit, I expect to see a lot of shots to the right just off the green.

Hole #18: 494 Yard Par 4

Another long Par 4 to finish off this course. The players will have a bunker to the right to deal will off of the tee along with a shot uphill to the green where they have to avoid the sand traps on the right, and a creek which runs up the left side from where the fairway starts all the way to the back side of the green. One of the tough finishing holes in golf.

Picks

One & Done: No thinking here. Tony Finau.

Betting Winner: J.B. Holmes (+8000), Phil Mickelson (+3000), Tony Finau (+2000)

JB Is a previous winner here in 2014, so not too long ago. Phil obviously has the amazing track record, I think you can bet him top 5 and top 10 also, those odds will be below. Finau, played very well at the Masters, his driving and scrambling stats are good enough to win here, I like him at +2000. He’s made every cut here also.

Top 5: Tony Finau (+400), Phil Mickelson (+550), JB Holmes (+1400), Kevin Streelman (+1600), Keegan Bradley (+1000)

I like both Streelman and Bradley’s driving and scrambling stats here also. Both guys are fairly accurate and still drive the ball long enough. Streelman has finished T6 in his last two tournaments. Although he’s missed the cut the previous two times here, 2013 – 2015 he finished T6, T14, T9.

Top 10: Tony Finau (+225), Phil Mickelson (+275), JB Holmes (+700), Kevin Streelman (+800), Keegan Bradley (+550), Nick Watney (+1000)

Watney’s last five starts here: three top 10s and two missed cuts. Why not throw some money on him to sneak into the top 10 again.

Daily Fantasy:

  • Phil Mickelson
  • Rickie Fowler
  • J.B. Holmes
  • Keven Streelman
  • Luke List
  • Harris English

One & Done History:

  1. Waste Management Open: Matt Kuchar – $293,467 (T4)
  2. Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Shane Lowry – $0.00 (Missed Cut)
  3. Genesis Open: Hideki Matsuyama – $177,600 (T9)
  4. WGC-Mexico: Jon Rahm –$65,000 (T45)
  5. The Honda Classic: Sergio Garcia – $183,700 (T9)
  6. Arnold Palmer Invitational: Rickie Fowler – $35,000 (T40)
  7. The Players: Jason Day –$350,000 (T8)
  8. The Valspar Championship: Webb Simpson – $0 (Missed Cut)
  9. WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Brooks Koepka – $53,000 (T53)
  10. Valero Texas Open: Bud Cauley – $0 (Missed Cut)
  11. The Masters: Paul Casey – $0 (Missed Cut)
  12. RBC Heritage: Xander Schauffele – $15,559
  13. Zurich Classic: Patrick Reed –$0 (Missed Cut)
  14. Wells Fargo Championship: Tony Finau –
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