This article is part of our FanDuel PGA series.
Wells Fargo Championship
Course: Quail Hollow Club (7,521 yards, par 71)
Winner: $1,458,000 and 500 FedExCup points
Another unfortunate strike last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic was the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow. In recent years it has had one of the better fields in this part of the schedule, and a number of players will be using this week in Charlotte as their first get up to speed since the Masters a few weeks back. You can't talk about Quail Hollow without mentioning Rory McIlroy, who is the only man who has won this event twice since its inception in 2003. He shot a final-round 62 back in 2010 to win his first tournament in the United States and then a third-round 61 in 2015 helped propel the Northern Irishman to a seven-stroke victory and a record score of 21-under-par in 2015. Justin Thomas will also be in the field this week and he too has some good vibes with Quail Hollow. Back in 2017 he took home the PGA Championship for his first major championship victory. Other notables in the field include fellow top-five players Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele, and Bryson DeChambeau. Overall 10 of the top-15 players in the world will be teeing it up in Charlotte. World No. 39 Max Homa will be defending his title from 2019 this week and looking to add his second victory of the season after taking home the Genesis Invitational back in February. Next season the Wells Fargo will be played at TPC Potomac in Maryland, as Quail Hollow preps to hold the 2022 President's Cup. The only other time this championship has been hosted somewhere other than Quail Hollow was in 2017 when it was held at Eagle Point Golf Club to prep the course for the before mentioned PGA Championship. This event will likely be moved in the 2025 season as well as the PGA of America announced they would be coming back to host their championship at Quail Hollow in four year's time. Rain is in the forecast early in the week, which may soften the golf course, but there is not expected to be any precipitation fall during the four tournament rounds. Temperatures are expected to increase each of the four days with the only real threat of any significant wind coming on Sunday. It may make Quail Hollow's final three hole stretch daubed "The Green Mile" a little less intimidating for the best in the world this week.
2020 – None
2019 – Max Homa (-15)
2018 – Jason Day (-12)
2017 – Brian Harman (-10)
2016 – James Hahn (-9)
2015 – Rory McIlroy (-21)
2014 – J.B. Holmes (-14)
2013 – Derek Ernst (-8)
2012 – Rickie Fowler (-14)
2011 – Lucas Glover (-15)
Key Stats to Victory
- SG: Approach
- SG: Off-the-Tee
- SG: Putting
- Par-4 Scoring
Quail Hollow was renovated prior to the 2017 PGA Championship, which gave an already pretty intimidating course even more teeth. It's a big ballpark for sure and distance will be a big factor this week. At over 7,500 yards, this is the longest par 71 on the PGA Tour. The last time it was on the schedule in 2019, it ranked just behind Innisbrook for most difficult par 71's in non-majors. SG: Approach and proximity numbers will take precedent over GIR percentage, as many of the greens are very large and feature defined segments and tiers that will be important to find if you want realistic chances at birdies. There are fives holes that you can really get after at Quail Hollow. Those are the three par-5's and the short par-4's of holes No. 8 and 14. All of these holes are potentially reachable by the longer hitters to set up chances at getting back two strokes from par. Other than those five holes, it's hold on for dear life. There are five par-4's that will measure over 480 yards in length and the par-3's are extremely challenging as well. With dry conditions expected once the tournament begins, the bermuda greens should be reaching 13 on the Stimpmeter by the weekend. That will put emphasis on speed control with the putter, especially considering some of the potential for long lag putts. When Max Homa won here back in 2019 he led the field in SG: Putting as well. The rough is expected to be about 2-3 inches in length and the renovation brought many of the fairway bunkers back into play. All told, I think you're looking for players who are both long and accurate off the tee this week.
FanDuel Value Picks
Justin Thomas ($12,300)
He checks every box. Thomas has the distance, might be the best iron player on Tour, an underrated short game, and a putter that has been hot this season. He won the first tournament on the new layout in the 2017 PGA Championship and has finished top-15 in 10-of-13 starts this season. Thomas is first in scoring average, first in birdie average, fifth in SG: Total, and fifth in par-4 scoring average this season.
Xander Schauffele ($11,700)
Much like Thomas, Schauffele has had everything working this season. He's bombing it out there these days and ranks top-15 in SG: Around, SG: Putting, SG: Tee-to-Green, and par-4 birdie percentage. Schauffele has finished outside the top-20 just twice in 13 starts this season. He has to be sick of the fact that he hasn't won since the 2019 Tournament of Champions.
Viktor Hovland ($11,500)
The ball-striking ace is coming off a T3 last week at Innisbrook, which was his fifth top-five finish of the season. Hovland's driving is really what excites me most for Quail Hollow, as he ranks fifth in SG: Off-the-Tee and ninth in total driving. The Oklahoma State product is also seventh in SG: Tee-to-Green, second in birdie average, and fourth in par-4 birdie percentage.
Will Zalatoris ($10,700)
This might be the best value in the field. Quail Hollow sets up so well for Zalatoris. He can fly it over a number of the bunkers out there and will have the ability to attack all of the reachable holes if he chooses. Zalatrois is fourth in SG: Approach, 18th in GIR percentage, eighth in SG: Tee-to-Green, and 10th in scoring average. No other player is closer to getting their maiden victory than the nearby Wake Forest product.
Longer Shots with Value
Emiliano Grillo ($9,600)
Grillo was a hot pick last week for the Valspar coming off finishes of T6 and T2 in his prior two starts. The 28-year-old was among the lead contingent after a five-under 66 in round one, but a second-round five-over 76 led to a missed cut by one stroke. Don't let one bad round keep you from this extremely talented ball-striker who is firing on all cylinders right now. Grillo ninth in SG: Off-the-Tee, first in proximity to the hole, third in GIR percentage, and 14th in par-4 scoring average. He also finished top-10 here back in 2018.
Brendan Steele ($9,300)
Through 10 starts in 2021, Steele has yet to miss a single cut. He in strong form right now with T4 and a T3 in two of his last three starts. Steele has long been a very solid ball striker and is back to form this season, ranking 44th in SG: Tee-to-Green, 24th in total driving, and 19th in proximity to the hole. If the putter starts heating up look out. The 38-year-old is 6-for-7 in his career at Quail Hollow in the WFC with a T9 in 2015 and a T14 in 2016.
Aaron Wise ($8,700)
Wise is having a really good ball-striking season, but a absolutely horrendous year with the putter. The former Oregon Duck ranks 44th in SG: Off-the-Tee, 39th in SG: Tee-to-Green and seventh in GIR percentage, but is 210th in SG: Putting and 215th in putts per round. The good news is that Wise seems to love the setup and greens and Quail Hollow. He has finished second and T18 in two attempts here and is gaining 2.63 strokes per round on the field.
James Hahn ($8,500)
Hahn loves himself some Quail Hollow as well. He won in a playoff back in 2016 here and was T13 in the 2017 PGA Championship. Hahn has had a mixed bag this season but does has five top-15's, which is more than just about anyone else in this price range. He ranks top-20 in both SG: Putting and GIR percentage, and sits fourth in par-4 scoring and 14th in par-4 birdie percentage.
Strategy Tips This Week
Based on a Standard $60K Salary Cap
Last week I though most of the value was in the $9,000-$10,500 range, but this week it feels like that range is lacking a bit. The field this week is very top-heavy with absolute studs that have games that should fit very well at Quail Hollow. Luckily, I actually think there are quite a few solid options under $9,000 that should give you the ability to take a pair of players over $11,500. Along with Wise and Hahn, Cameron Davis ($8,800), Matthew NeSmith ($8,800), Kyle Stanley ($8,400), and Wyndham Clark ($8,100) are other players under that $9,000 threshold that I think are intriguing plays this week.