Betting on Golf: Wells Fargo Championship

Betting on Golf: Wells Fargo Championship

This article is part of our Betting on Golf series.

Wells Fargo Championship Betting Preview

Next up on the PGA schedule is this week's Wells Fargo Championship, which will be played at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte.

Except for in 2017, when the tournament was moved to Wilmington while Quail Hollow prepared to host the PGA Championship, this course has hosted this event every year since its inception in 2003. The major championship venue has no shortage of star power this week, as six of the top 10 players in the Official World Golf Ranking headline the field. The event was last played in 2019, when long shot Max Homa (300-1 odds) cruised to his first career PGA Tour victory, topping second-place finisher Joel Dahmen by three strokes.

The course is stretched out to nearly 7,600 yards, making it the fourth-longest course on Tour this season. It features a difficult finish similar to "The Snake Pit" at Copperhead last week, with Quail Hollow's "Green Mile" as equally a challenging three-hole closing stretch that features two long par-4s and the lengthy par-3 17th. Oh, and water is in play on each hole. Quail Hollow's length means driving distance will be of increased importance, and players will need to be sharp from tee to green in order to contend this week.

All odds via DraftKings Sportsbook as of 2:30 ET Tuesday.

Tee-to-Green Tacticians

The following five players, on a per-round basis, gained the most strokes from tee to green over their last five tournaments:

Thomas' ball striking is in superb form, as he gained more strokes from tee-to-green than anyone in the field over his last five tournaments. It's probably not much of a surprise, but he is tied for second in that category this season. Thomas' putter has been his Achilles' heel, though, as he lost 6.4 strokes on the greens last week despite his top-15 finish. He enters as the favorite for a second straight week, and this time around he carries only one digit in the first column with 9-1 odds. Another player whose weakest part of his game is putting is Finau, who comes in under the radar at 28-1. It's easy to forget that he went through an impressive stretch of four consecutive top-5 finishes earlier this year, and he provides great value in his first start since The Masters.

Quality at Quail Hollow

These golfers have the lowest score to par at Quail Hollow since 2015:

A two-time winner of this event, one of McIlroy's most impressive tournaments of his career was his seven-shot victory in 2015, when he set the scoring record at 21-under-par. After missing the cut in his last two stroke-play events, he's only the fifth choice on the board at 19-1 odds, but as evidence above, if there's a place for him to break out of his slump it's at Quail Hollow. Meanwhile, Reed (30-1 odds) has also had his share of success at the host course, having made all seven of his cuts and notching a runner-up finish in the 2017 PGA Championship held here. He will be rested after missing the cut at the Valspar Championship last week, where he gained over a stroke per-round from tee-to-green but struggled with the flat stick.

Outright Picks

Webb Simpson (20-1)

I'm going with the hometown angle here, as Simpson is a Charlotte resident and member at Quail Hollow. Not surprisingly, he's had his fair share of success here, with a pair of top-5s, including a runner-up finish in 2015. Simpson is certainly trending in the right direction with back-to-back top-12 results, and his all-around game will be useful this week. I like him over the guys that have lower odds than he does, as he comes in with fewer question marks.

Brian Harman (50-1)

Harman is one of the hottest golfers on Tour, with four consecutive top-15 results, highlighted by a T3 at TPC Sawgrass in March. Although he did win this event in 2017, it's important to note that tournament was played at nearby Eagle Point Golf Club. Still, he did still record a T13 result at Quail Hollow later that summer in a top-tier field. I like the value on Harman as the 17th choice on the board.

Talor Gooch (125-1)

As we saw in 2019, a long-shot winner is possible here. Gooch could be the guy this week, as the T13 he recorded in the 2018 Wells Fargo Championship was the best result in his rookie season. He's gaining strokes in every category during the current campaign, and that's already led to three top-5 results. After taking four weeks off in a row, Gooch's short game looked a little rusty last week, and he lost over five shots to the field. If he can clean that up, his ball-striking should get him in contention.

Top-10 Picks

Stewart Cink (6-1)

The oddsmakers seem to still be skeptical when it comes to Cink, but it's hard to argue with his results. He has won twice this year and is playing his best golf in over a decade. The wins certainly aren't a fluke, either, as he's posted five other top-20 results this season. Although he hasn't played at Quail Hollow much recently, he has managed four top-25 results in five appearances since 2011.

Matt Jones (8-1)

I'll ride with another recent winner, as the bullish oddsmakers are dangling a carrot here that I can't pass up. Jones recorded two top-10s in his past five starts on Tour and has one such result at Quail Hollow. The veteran is playing arguably the best golf of his career and his all-around game should suit him well this week.

Luke List (12-1)

List's length will be a nice advantage this week, as he ranks seventh in driving distance this season. His only top-10 this year came at Torrey Pines, another long course that prioritizes the same skills that will be key at Quail Hollow. List ranked third in SG: Tee-to-Green en route to a T9 finish at this event in 2018, and he's a great sleeper play if he can find some consistency with his putter.

Head-to-Head Matchups

Xander Schauffele (-110) over Bryson DeChambeau

Schauffele broke out of his mini-slump at Augusta and has had time to regroup after faltering late in the final round. Although DeChambeau will get a lot of love with distance being an important factor, Schauffele is no slouch there, sitting top-25 on Tour in driving distance. It's also important to note the number – he's the underdog and the more reliable player of the two.

Corey Conners (-125) over Will Zalatoris

Conners has legitimately looked like one of the best 10-to-15 golfers in the world since the start of the Florida Swing, with four top-10 results and a low finish of T21 since March. Zalatoris relies heavily on his approach play, which isn't as big of a factor this week, as it's a difficult course on which to consistently to hit irons within 25 feet.

Russell Henley (-110) over Emiliano Grillo

Neither player has had overwhelming success at Quail Hollow, so I'll go with Henley, who I view as the better golfer despite being a slight underdog. He's made 15-of-19 cuts since last August, making him a reliable head-to-head option, whereas Grillo has been more volatile. Henley also makes for a sneaky DFS option as a low-owned golfer at a below-average cost. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ryan Pohle
Ryan Pohle breaks down golf bets and covers college basketball for RotoWire.
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