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BlogWells Fargo Championship Preview and Picks

Wells Fargo Championship

May 2nd – 5th, 2019

Quail Hollow Club

Charlotte,, NC

Par: 71 / Yardage:

Purse: $7.9 million

with $1,422,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Jason Day

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 35 of the top 100 and 17 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings, with just three players from the top-ten, #2 Justin Rose, #4 Rory McIlroy and #10 Rickie Fowler. The other top 50 players are #13 Paul Casey, #14 Jason Day, #15 Tony Finau, #19 Patrick Reed, #20 Webb Simpson, #23 Phil Mickelson, #24 Gary Woodland, #28 Hideki Matsuyama, #29 Sergio Garcia, #34 Keegan Bradley, #40 Henrik Stenson, #47 J.B. Holmes, #48 Charles Howell III and #49 Kyle Stanley.

Last year 26 of the top-50 in the world rankings played at Charlotte.

The field includes 10 of the top 25 on the FedEx point standings for 2019.  Those players are #3 Rory McIlroy, #4 Paul Casey, #8 Gary Woodland, #9 Rickie Fowler, #10 Charles Howell III, #17 Phil Mickelson, #18 Justin Rose, #22 Keith Mitchell, #23 J.B. Holmes and #24 Sungjae Im.

The field includes 6 of it’s 15 past champions: Jason Day (2018), Brian Harman (2017), Rory McIlroy (2015 & ’10), J.B. Holmes (2014), Rickie Fowler (2012) and Lucas Glover (2011).

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the Wells Fargo Championship field is our performance chart listed by the average finish.  Another way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at the Wells Fargo Championship in the last five years or check out our sortable 8-year glance at the Wells Fargo Championship.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker in Las Vegas.

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the Wells Fargo Championship

Player Zurich Classic RBC Heritage Masters Valero Texas WGC Dell Match Play Corales Puntacan Valspar Champ. The Players Arnold Palmer Honda Classic WGC Mexico Puerto Rico Genesis Open
Rory McIlroy
(265.67 pts)
DNP DNP T21
(58)
DNP T9
(45)
DNP DNP Win
(66)
T6
(20)
DNP 2
(50)
DNP T4
(26.67)
Sergio Garcia
(213.33 pts)
2
(100)
DNP CUT
(-20)
DNP T5
(70)
DNP T54
(0)
T22
(14)
DNP T9
(15)
T6
(30)
DNP T37
(4.33)
Jason Kokrak
(199.5 pts)
T22
(28)
T16
(34)
DNP T7
(36.67)
DNP DNP T2
(66.67)
T47
(1.5)
T10
(13.33)
T9
(15)
DNP DNP T37
(4.33)
Webb Simpson
(194.5 pts)
DNP T16
(34)
T5
(140)
DNP T56
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T16
(17)
DNP T36
(4.67)
T39
(5.5)
DNP DNP
Rory Sabbatini
(180.17 pts)
T3
(90)
T10
(40)
DNP T36
(9.33)
DNP T39
(7.33)
T18
(21.33)
T35
(7.5)
DNP T36
(4.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Tony Finau
(178.17 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T5
(140)
T61
(0)
T40
(10)
DNP DNP T22
(14)
DNP DNP T25
(12.5)
DNP T15
(11.67)
Paul Casey
(161.33 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-20)
DNP T9
(45)
DNP Win
(88)
CUT
(-5)
DNP DNP T3
(45)
DNP T25
(8.33)
Kyoung-Hoon Lee
(160.33 pts)
T3
(90)
T48
(2)
DNP T14
(24)
DNP T26
(16)
WD
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T7
(18.33)
DNP T35
(5)
T25
(8.33)
Rickie Fowler
(157.17 pts)
DNP DNP T9
(90)
T17
(22)
DNP DNP DNP T47
(1.5)
T40
(3.33)
T2
(33.33)
T36
(7)
DNP DNP
Jason Day
(146.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T5
(140)
DNP T61
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T8
(25)
WD
(-1.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Sungjae Im
(134.67 pts)
T37
(13)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T20
(20)
DNP T7
(36.67)
T4
(53.33)
CUT
(-5)
T3
(30)
T51
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Henrik Stenson
(128.33 pts)
T18
(32)
DNP T36
(28)
DNP T9
(45)
DNP T24
(17.33)
CUT
(-5)
T17
(11)
DNP T54
(0)
DNP DNP
Seamus Power
(124.83 pts)
T5
(70)
T6
(60)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T44
(4)
CUT
(-6.67)
T35
(7.5)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T64
(0)
Hideki Matsuyama
(123.17 pts)
DNP DNP T32
(36)
DNP T24
(26)
DNP DNP T8
(25)
T33
(5.67)
DNP T19
(15.5)
DNP T9
(15)
Joel Dahmen
(113.67 pts)
T18
(32)
T16
(34)
DNP T69
(0)
DNP T12
(25.33)
T30
(13.33)
T12
(19)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Mackenzie Hughes
(110 pts)
T30
(20)
T63
(0)
DNP T42
(5.33)
DNP T2
(66.67)
T13
(24.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Scott Brown
(109.33 pts)
T5
(70)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T7
(36.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-5)
CUT
(-3.33)
T20
(10)
DNP T10
(13.33)
T37
(4.33)
Charles Howell III
(109.17 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
T32
(36)
DNP T24
(26)
DNP DNP T35
(7.5)
T15
(11.67)
DNP T14
(18)
DNP 6
(20)
J.T. Poston
(107.33 pts)
T22
(28)
T6
(60)
DNP T67
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T22
(14)
T66
(0)
T36
(4.67)
DNP DNP T28
(7.33)
Lucas Glover
(105.67 pts)
T18
(32)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T14
(24)
DNP DNP T13
(24.67)
CUT
(-5)
T10
(13.33)
T4
(26.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Peter Malnati
(103.67 pts)
T9
(45)
T16
(34)
DNP T23
(18)
DNP DNP T60
(0)
DNP DNP T36
(4.67)
DNP DNP T44
(2)
Cameron Tringale
(98.33 pts)
T5
(70)
DNP DNP T17
(22)
DNP T52
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T36
(4.67)
DNP T25
(8.33)
DNP
Curtis Luck
(96.33 pts)
T5
(70)
DNP DNP 80
(0)
DNP T52
(0)
T13
(24.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T25
(8.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Gary Woodland
(93.5 pts)
DNP DNP T32
(36)
DNP T17
(33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T30
(10)
DNP T36
(4.67)
T17
(16.5)
DNP DNP
David Hearn
(93 pts)
T5
(70)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T18
(21.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T25
(8.33)
DNP
Matt Jones
(92 pts)
T22
(28)
DNP DNP T30
(13.33)
DNP T18
(21.33)
T13
(24.67)
DNP DNP T36
(4.67)
DNP T55
(0)
DNP
Nick Taylor
(91.67 pts)
T9
(45)
T58
(0)
DNP T52
(0)
DNP DNP T24
(17.33)
T16
(17)
DNP T30
(6.67)
DNP DNP T33
(5.67)
Hank Lebioda
(91.33 pts)
T5
(70)
DNP DNP T17
(22)
DNP T61
(0)
T46
(2.67)
DNP DNP 70
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Matt Every
(91.33 pts)
T3
(90)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T16
(11.33)
DNP
Sam Burns
(88.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
9
(45)
DNP T23
(18)
DNP T12
(25.33)
T30
(13.33)
DNP T54
(0)
T73
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Aaron Wise
(86.5 pts)
DNP DNP 17
(66)
DNP T40
(10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-5)
T40
(3.33)
DNP T19
(15.5)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
J.B. Holmes
(84.67 pts)
T34
(16)
DNP T62
(0)
T71
(0)
T17
(33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-5)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(44)
Kelly Kraft
(82.83 pts)
T13
(37)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T5
(46.67)
T46
(2.67)
T47
(1.5)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T9
(15)
Scott Stallings
(82 pts)
T13
(37)
T48
(2)
DNP T23
(18)
DNP DNP T9
(30)
CUT
(-5)
T40
(3.33)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Roberto Castro
(81.67 pts)
T5
(70)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T68
(0)
DNP DNP T20
(10)
DNP T25
(8.33)
DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the Wells Fargo Championship

Player Zurich Classic RBC Heritage Masters Valero Texas WGC Dell Match Play Corales Puntacan Valspar Champ. The Players Arnold Palmer Honda Classic WGC Mexico Puerto Rico Genesis Open
Rod Pampling
(-43.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Tyler Duncan
(-36.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T59
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
T74
(0)
DNP T71
(0)
DNP T62
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
Chase Wright
(-33.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T51
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Adam Long
(-30 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-20)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T79
(0)
T10
(13.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Cameron Champ
(-29.17 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP WD
(-2.5)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Chris Kirk
(-28.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T56
(0)
T15
(11.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
John Senden
(-26.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T67
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T62
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
Jim Herman
(-26.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T61
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Anders Albertson
(-26.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T77
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Scott Langley
(-25.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
T61
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T67
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T37
(4.33)

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

So it looks like the Wells Fargo will be the odd event out due to the new schedule.  With the PGA Championship just two weeks away this event is experiencing a whiplash of marquee players not in the event.  The big one came with Tiger Woods deciding not to play.  A lot is being speculated that Tiger could possibly be injured or hurt, his management says that isn’t so.  Tiger did tell us that he was cutting back on his schedule, so I can understand him not playing.  We have to also be open to the possibility that Tiger would want to play the week before the PGA Championship and tee it up at the Byron Nelson next week.  That event is played on a new course that many players have fallen in love with so you never know.  Realistically I think Tiger just doesn’t want to play.  So that means he will only play a handful of events to end his season, probably after the PGA Championship he will play at Memorial, then the U.S. Open, British Open, WGC-FedEx and the three FedExCup playoff events.  So seven more for a total of just 13 starts, five less than the 18 he played last year.

So what happened to the field for this week?

Very surprised to see players like Justin Thomas, who just two years ago won the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow.  But he wasn’t the only big player, Tiger Woods has won at Quail Hollow and isn’t playing.  Surprised to see past champion Jim Furyk also take a pass.  Then there are players like Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Xander Schauffele and Matt Kuchar who have played at Quail Hollow and won’t this week.  What will it mean in the future for this event, will they be looking to get away from the PGA Championship and not be close to the Masters, not much left when there are only four weeks between the Masters and the PGA Championship.  This is one of the curses of having such a successful product like the PGA Tour, every tournament isn’t going to get great fields year after year.  Who knows what the future lies for Quail Hollow, the membership is getting more vocal about not only an event every year.  With the 2021 Presidents Cup being played there in 2021, plus a possible PGA Championship in 2025 or ’26 you may see some changes.  In 2017 when the PGA was held at Quail Hollow, the Wells Fargo moved to Eagle Point in a very strong market, Wilmington, North Carolina and it was such a big success maybe we see it rotate among Quail Hollow and Eagle Point.  Who knows maybe there is another great course in the area and we could see a three-course rota, that would be something that Quail Hollow membership would like.  But right now after seeing the low turnout of marquee names, look for Quail Hollow to show some annoyance in non-marquee players in the field.

Things you need to know about the Wells Fargo:

This is the 17th year of the Wells Fargo Championship, which has been played every year at the  Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina except for 2017. Eagle Point was a big success, but with the return to Quail Hollow past champions like Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler will be back into the field.

Course information:
  • Quail Hollow Golf Club
  • Charlotte, N.C.
  • 7,600 yards     Par 35-36–71
  • Quail Hollow features a course rating of 75.0 and a slope rating from the back tees of 140. The tees, fairway, and rough are 419 bermudaGrass with Perennial Ryegrass.  The greens were changed after last years event and are Champion Ultradwarf Bermudagrass.
  • One of the big secrets to Quail Hollow is that the players love the course. Located in Charlotte, North Carolina it’s considered one of the most exclusive clubs in America and the players’ eyes one of the best challenges. For years it was considered a “U.S. Open-type” venue and the PGA of America was smart enough to hold it’s major on it.
  • Quail Hollow Club is located in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is a private member club, founded by James J. Harris on April 13, 1959. The club hosted the Kemper Open from 1969 through 1979, the PaineWebber World Seniors Invitational from 1983 through 1989, and has hosted the Wells Fargo Championship since it debuted in 2003.
  • The property was initially a dairy farm owned by former North Carolina Governor Cameron Morrison. In the late 1950s, a group of affluent men decided to create a private club patterned after the Peachtree Golf Club in Atlanta. George Cobb was recruited to design the course, and it opened in June 1961. To attract members, one of the founding members enlisted the help of a close friend, Arnold Palmer. Palmer liked the course so much; he was instrumental in bringing the Kemper Open to Quail Hollow. The event was played there from 1969-79, then abruptly moved to Washington, D.C. in 1980.
  • Palmer didn’t forget Quail Hollow. When he began playing the Champions Tour in 1980, he worked to bring the Paine Webber Invitational to Quail Hollow, where it was played between 1983-88.  Palmer tinkered with the course in the late ’80s, but a significant renovation was done by Tom Fazio in 1997.
  • Over the last 28 months, a lot of things have been done to the course in first getting it ready for the 2017 PGA Championship and now for the Wells Fargo and any other events that will be played on the course in the future.  Along with all of the greens being redone, thousands of trees were removed, a bit like what Oakmont Country Club did.  This reshaped the way the course plays and make the elements of wind come into effect more.
  • They also made significant changes in four holes.  The first and second holes were condensed into a single hole, a 540-yard par 4. The fifth hole was changed from a par 5 to a par 4. A new second hole was built, a par 3. The 11th was given extra bunkering.  The average green size is 6,500, which is about average and the course is dotted with 62 bunkers.  Water comes into play on six holes (7, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18).  Along with the changing of the greens course architect Tom Fazio made some changes four years ago to the 8th hole making it play straight and now is potentially a driveable par 4.  He also made a significant change to 16, adding 18 yards to the hole and bringing the lake more into play, making it a lot tougher.  He also changed 17, moving the tee to the right and adding 20 yards to the hole.

Let’s take a look at vital stats that are important for those playing at Quail Hollow.

Last year was the first year back at Quail Hollow after hosting the PGA Championship in 2017. This course has a lot of history in the last 16 years of hosting events in golf and it will continue hosting not only the Wells Fargo, but in 2021 the Presidents Cup and who knows, in future years it could hold another PGA Championship (maybe as early as 2025) and possibly a Ryder Cup down the road. One thing, for the PGA Championship the first five holes were altered with par being reduced from 72 to 71 with only a subtraction of 19 yards. For the PGA Championship, there were changes made to the course, first a new type of Ultradwarf Bermudagrass was planted. They also cut down several thousands of trees, so Quail Hollow is a lot sparser than before. They also have come up with four holes that will be totally different as the 1st and 2nd holes are now one long, 540 yard, par 4. The 5th hole was changed from a par 5 to a par 4 and a new second hole was built, it’s now a par 3. Also, major work was done to the 11th hole. The famous finish wasn’t touched, but the course is now a par 71 compared to it being a par 72. Even with the reduce par, the course only lost 19 yards and played at 7,554 yards. The one difference from last year’s Wells Fargo and when the 2017 PGA Championship was the dates, last year the course was played in the lush month of May compared to the PGA Championship in August when the course was bone dry and ran faster. Still, the character of the course is not changed, but yes it is harder at a par 71 than before.

So this week’s information is based on the most important stats for Quail Hollow, based on data from last years Wells Fargo Championship, and using data from all the players in the field with stats from 2019. What we do is take their rank for each stat and then add up the four categories.
The scoring average of the field at Quail Hollow last year was 72.12, so with par being 71 (for that week) which meant the average score was just a bit over par, making Quail Hollow the 5th hardest PGA Tour course to score on in 2018.

From year to year Quail Hollow is demanding and tough, you look at the list of winners who are some of golf’s best ball strikers like Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk, Vijay Singh, and Lucas Glover. Yes, some weird winners like Derek Ernst, Joey Sindelar, and James Hahn have won They are on the list, but most of the time you’re going to get a quality winner, someone that plays well in major championships and WGC events. So in looking at our four categories, they are all related to ball striking, except for the last category which I think will be very important and that is scrambling.
First is driving accuracy, the field at last year’s Wells Fargo hit a total of 52.34% of the fairways and was the 6th hardest fairway to hit on the PGA Tour. When the Wells Fargo was played at Quail Hollow in 2016 it was the 5th hardest as only 51.01% of the fairways were hit. Last years winner Jason Day hit 48.21% of the fairways and ranked T-49th.
The course is also long, so players have to hit drivers off the tee and you don’t see many players lay back with a 3 wood or long iron. Our second category is proximity to hole, this is the cousin to greens in regulation which Quail Hollow was the hardest to hit for the PGA Championship in 2017 and was 3rd at 42 feet, 9 inches. For Day he was a bit of an anomaly as he ranked T-69th in Greens in Regulation and 59th in Proximity to hole, as for Thomas at the 2017 PGA Championship, he was T-29th. Our third category is strokes gained tee to green, again this gives an overall look at a player from the tee to the green, last year Day was 9th while at the 2017 PGA Championship Thomas was 22nd. Our last category is scrambling, last year the course was the 12th hardest on the PGA Tour while Day was the 2nd best for the week.

So the secret is that this week a ball striker or a very good putter will rule and take the championship. I go more towards ball striking because the course usually in the past is important.

*Driving Accuracy: Important because the fairways are close to U.S. Open length and if you drive it into the rough, it’s tough.

*Proximity to hole: Hitting greens is important, last year Quail Hollow ranked 10th, but in proximity to hole, which tells how close players get to the hole, Quail Hollow ranked 3rd as the players averaged getting it 42 feet, 9 inches.

*Strokes Gained tee-to-green: You need to hit it long and straight along with hitting lots of greens. Last year the course was 43rd in driving distance and 6th in accuracy. So this is important to find a player that will do this

*Scrambling: The percent of time a player misses the green in regulation, but still makes par or better. Last year Quail Hollow was 12th on the PGA Tour showing how tough it is to scrambling at Quail Hollow.

Here are the 137 of 156 players from this year’s field with stats from 2019

Click any column title in the table header to sort columns.

Here is a link to the other 127 players with stats from this year’s Well Fargo Championship.

DraftKings tips

Of the 156 in the field, 121 have played at least once at Quail Hollow in the Wells Fargo since 2010 (In 2017 we used the stats for Quail Hollow in the PGA Championship):

  • Rory McIlroy is 68 under in 34 rounds playing 9 years
  • Phil Mickelson is 56 under in 34 rounds playing 9 years
  • Rickie Fowler is 41 under in 31 rounds playing 8 years
  • Webb Simpson is 28 under in 32 rounds playing 9 years
  • Jason Day is 24 under in 16 rounds playing 4 years
  • Justin Rose is 18 under in 14 rounds playing 4 years
  • Patrick Reed is 18 under in 24 rounds playing 6 years
  • Roberto Castro is 16 under in 16 rounds playing 4 years
  • John Senden is 15 under in 18 rounds playing 5 years
  • J.B. Holmes is 14 under in 28 rounds playing 8 years
  • Hideki Matsuyama is 13 under in 19 rounds playing 5 years
  • Pat Perez is 13 under in 24 rounds playing 7 years
  • Nick Watney is 12 under in 22 rounds playing 7 years
  • Lucas Glover is 11 under in 30 rounds playing 9 years
  • Aaron Wise is 10 under in 4 rounds playing 1 year
  • Robert Streb is 9 under in 22 rounds playing 6 years
  • Brendan Steele is 7 under in 24 rounds playing 7 years
  • Kevin Streelman is 6 under in 18 rounds playing 6 years
  • Rory Sabbatini is 6 under in 20 rounds playing 7 years
  • Tony Finau is 6 under in 16 rounds playing 4 years
  • Gary Woodland is 5 under in 26 rounds playing 7 years
  • Chesson Hadley is 4 under in 14 rounds playing 4 years
  • Shawn Stefani is 4 under in 18 rounds playing 5 years
  • Wes Roach is 4 under in 4 rounds playing 1 year
  • Joel Dahmen is 3 under in 4 rounds playing 1 year
  • Paul Casey is 3 under in 14 rounds playing 4 years

*Here are the ones with the best under par totals averaging it per years played (2 or more starts)

  • Rory McIlroy is 68 under playing 9 years (-2.00)
  • Phil Mickelson is 56 under playing 9 years (-1.65)
  • Jason Day is 24 under playing 4 years (-1.50)
  • Rickie Fowler is 41 under playing 8 years (-1.32)
  • Justin Rose is 18 under playing 4 years (-1.29)
  • Roberto Castro is 16 under playing 4 years (-1.00)
  • Webb Simpson is 28 under playing 9 years (-0.88)
  • John Senden is 15 under playing 5 years (-0.83)
  • Patrick Reed is 18 under playing 6 years (-0.75)
  • Hideki Matsuyama is 13 under playing 5 years (-0.68)
  • Nick Watney is 12 under playing 7 years (-0.55)
  • Pat Perez is 13 under playing 7 years (-0.54)
  • J.B. Holmes is 14 under playing 8 years (-0.50)
  • Robert Streb is 9 under playing 6 years (-0.41)
  • Tony Finau is 6 under playing 4 years (-0.38)
  • Lucas Glover is 11 under playing 9 years (-0.37)

Historical ParBreakers

Here is a look at those playing this week and who has made the most eagles and birdies:

So it makes sense that the top players on this list are guys that will make lot’s of points this week

DraftKings picks

*Here are the guys that cost the most on DraftKings this week:

  • Rory McIlroy – $11,800
  • Jason Day – $11,000
  • Rickie Fowler – $10,600
  • Justin Rose – $10,300
  • Hideki Matsuyama – $10,100
  • Sergio Garcia – $9,900
  • Webb Simpson – $9,700
  • Paul Casey – $9,500
  • Tony Finau – $9,300
  • Phil Mickelson – $9,100
  • Gary Woodland – $9,000

In the list above I have a lot of anxiety over several players that didn’t play well at the Masters.  A perfect example is Justin Rose, how did he miss the cut is a big mystery and does those effects linger to this week?  Of the bat, everyone will say that Rory McIlroy at $11,800 is the best player in the field.  He has all of the great moments at Quail Hollow and usually is your favorite, but after what happened to him at Augusta will he be able to bounce back?  I say yes, look for him to be as good as all of these events he played well in before the Masters.  One thing, McIlroy may have shown us with his lost to Tiger in the Match Play a bit of the future, who knows if Rory was a bit tired at the Masters.  Trying to make excuses for a player who should win week in and week out.  Jason Day at $11,000 also scares me.  Yes, he played well at the Masters, but he tired over the weekend and didn’t play well.  Still, think until we get resolved his back issue, he is a ticking time bomb that can go off at any time.  So I won’t be choosing Jason for now.  Rickie Fowler at $10,600 seems like a great choice.  He seems to have success at Quail Hollow and plays well on it, so he is a good choice.  The same with Hideki Matsuyama at $10,100, his season has been quiet and I think he could surprise us all with a win this week.  Have no idea how Sergio Garcia missed the cut at the Masters, he seemed to play well leading up to the week and I thought he would play tough, but he didn’t.  The same this week, think that Garcia at $9,900 will play well on this course and do well, guess we will see.  Webb Simpson at $9,700 is a great pick and has had his moment in this event.  He can sleep in his own bed this week and play well.  Paul Casey is $9,500 and that is a bit high.  He hasn’t played well and has spent time working on his game but I just don’t think so, best to pass on him.  Tony Finau at $9,300 is also a bit high, but he will do well so it’s money well spent.  Now we get to my sleeper pick of the week, Phil Mickelson at $9,100.  Look for him to do well, he likes the course and has had numerous chances of winning and I think this week he will get it done.  Also, think Gary Woodland at $9,000 is a goodbye, look for him to do well.

*Players in that $7,500 to $8,900 price range, which ones are worth the money?:

Quail Hollow is a really hard course and a lot of players that are doing well in 2019 have terrible records at Quail Hollow, the type in which they can’t seem to make the cut.  So we have to week out a lot of folks like Henrik Stenson, Patrick Reed, and Jason Kokrak.  Now the first one we find acceptable is Lucas Glover at $8,500, he has a good track record at Quail Hollow and has been pretty consistent in 2019.  Again his problem as always the putter so your betting on him have an above average putting week because track record wise he makes a lot of birdies at Quail Hollow.  Charles Howell III at $8,400 is a good choice at playing steadily in 2019 and making cuts at Quail Hollow.  The only problem, he makes lots of birdies on par 5s at Quail Hollow but struggles on the Par 3s and 4s. Now Aaron Wise at $8,100 is a good gamble, played well at Quail Hollow last year and has been ok for this year.  I do like Luke List at $8,000, he has done well the last two years at Quail Hollow and he has been ok in 2019.  The only thing that I worry about, he missed the cut at Honda and Valero, both hard courses like Quail Hollow.  Past champion J.B. Holmes at $7,900 is a good choice, does well at Quail Hollow and had a good year.  Now one reliable player is Zach Johnson at $7,900, played solid in 2019 and has made the cut in his last nine Quail Hollow starts including five top-25 finishes.  Two low price guys that will do well this week are Joel Dahmen and Roberto Castro at $7,600.  Both are not very well know, make cuts at Quail Hollow and have had solid numbers for 2019, don’t worry about taking them.

*Are there any “Bargains” out there?

Russell Henley at $7,300 sticks out, he has been solid in 2019 and is ok at Quail Hollow, nothing to write and cheer about but something that is ok.  I also like Sam Burns at $7,200, he played well at Heritage and did make the cut last year at Quail Hollow, he should make the cut and give you some points.  Brendan Steele at $7,200 is also a good choice, good numbers at Quail Hollow and had some good moments in 2019 even though it’s not been a stellar year for him.  Still the important element, he will make the cut this week.  Adam Hadwin at $7,200 is also another good choice for this week.  Again not many bargains under $7,500 so pick a lot of middle-tier players this week.

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at the Wells Fargo Championship:

The key stat for the winner:

Hit it long and straight, avoid the 130 of bunkers and putt well making all your putts inside of ten feet.

Here are some more key stats to look for this week:

  • Since the course will play at more than 7,554 yards, the “experts” will say bombers hold an advantage. But as you will see the length is not the only strength you need to play well at Quail Hollow. Four of the 14 Wells Fargo winners (James Hahn, Jim Furyk, David Toms, and Joey Sindelar) do not have the reputation as long hitters even though the 2005 winner Vijay Singh, Tiger Woods, Anthony Kim, Sean O’Hair, Rory McIlroy, Derek Ernst, and J.B. Holmes do hit it long.  So it’s a 50/50 proposition on if longer hitters have an advantage.  Remember this, if players like Dustin Johnson, Patrick Rodgers, Jon Rahm, and Brooks Koepka thought they had a chance of playing well they would be in the event this week and they aren’t.
  • Quail Hollow joins Pebble Beach, Torrey Pines, Riviera and Bethpage that have held a major championship and PGA Tour events.  The course will play a bit easier than it did for the PGA Championship, mostly because of weather conditions and course setup.  Still the fairways will be tight with three-inch plus rough and fast undulating greens.  The course always ranks as one of the toughest courses the pros play year in and year out.
  • Since the greens have some roll in them, it will also be tough to not only hit the green but get it close. Sharp iron play will also help along with the imagination when you do get in trouble. But as we have seen in the history of Quail Hollow, the winners are diverse as Jason Day last year, Justin Thomas winning the PGA Championship, along with Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods.  One thing that is interesting of the 14 different winners at Quail Hollow (including Justin Thomas at PGA), eight of them (Day in 2018, Thomas 2017, McIlroy 2015 & ’10, Glover 2011, Woods 2007, Furyk 2006, Singh 2005 and Toms in 2003) have won a major championship.
  • Scrambling will be at a premium, look for good chippers like Phil Mickelson or a Rory McIlroy to have a great advantage here. On this year’s scrambling list, Webb Simpson, Hideki Matsuyama or Lucas Glover are in the top-ten for 2019 so these are folks to watch this week.
  • Putting is always a key to winning, but this year good putters should have a field day this week. Green speeds were lowered in 2008, and Anthony Kim was 2nd in total putts.  But it popped up in 2009 as Sean O’Hair was T47th, the worst of any champion.  In 2010 McIlroy was T38th in this category while in 2011 Glover was 3rd.  In 2012 Fowler was T40th while in 2013 Derek Ernst was T34th. J.B. Holmes was T4th in total putts in 2014 while in 2015 Rory McIlroy was T-13th in putts and James Hahn in 2016 was T-14th.  In 2017 Justin Thomas was 6th in total putting, 4th in Strokes gained-putting and 2nd in putting average at the PGA Championship.  Last year Jason Day was first in total putting.
  • One of the keys to mastering Quail Hollow is playing well on the final four holes. Showing the difficulty of this stretch dubbed the “The Green Mile,” holes 16, 17 and 18 have been in the top-70 of the PGA Tour’s hardest holes.  Throw in the par 5, 15th it’s a challenging stretch in which the last five champions have excelled on.  How good, last year Jason Day was 3 under on the mile and 5 under on the last 4 holes.  At the PGA Championship in 2017 Justin Thomas was 1 under on the last four holes.  In 2016 James Hahn played the stretch in 1 over, the same total as Rory McIlroy played it in 2015.  J.B. Holmes played the stretch in 3 under, in 2013 Derek Ernst was four under, in 2012 Rickie Fowler was 3 under, in 2011 Lucas Glover was 1 under and in 2010 Rory McIlroy was 3 under.
  • Last but not least we have to look at the weather this week.  Look for bright skies through Friday with some cloudy skies on Saturday with a 40% chance of rain.  Sunday will be good again. The good news, temperatures will be mild around 80 each day with low humidity and winds will be below 10 mph each day.
  • Need for patients.  This is one of those courses that par is your friend, so don’t look for low scoring.

Who to watch for at the Wells Fargo Championship

Best Bets:

Rory McIlroy

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T16 T4 Win T8 T10 T2 CUT Win

Has the best record at Quail Hollow, still the best player on Tour right now even with his weak finish in the Masters. Looking to do better this week.

Rickie Fowler

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T21 T4 T38 T73 Win T16 6

Has a good record at Quail Hollow, he has been floating under the radar all year and have to think he is ready to win again this week.

Webb Simpson

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T21 CUT CUT T2 T38 T32 4 T21 CUT CUT

Lives near Quail Hollow, his game is very suited for this week and he has done well in past years.

Best of the rest:

Phil Mickelson

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T5 T18 T4 T4 T11 3 T26 T9 2 T5 T12 T3

This is one of those events that he hasn’t won but has come close many times. Plays well at Quail Hollow, have to think it will continue this week.

Hideki Matsuyama

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T76 T11 T20 T38

He has really gone under the radar screen this year, has had a great year despite being wild off the tee, look for that to get better this week as he contends.

Sergio Garcia

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T16 T28 CUT T34 T14

Played well last week in the Zurich, has had a solid year other than missing the cut at the Masters.

Tony Finau

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T21 T28 T16

Solid player whose game has gotten better this year and should be reckoned with this week.

Paul Casey

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T5 T12 T41 CUT CUT

Has been good at Quail Hollow, a bit puzzled over missing the cut at the Masters, look for him to bounce back this week.

Solid contenders

Justin Rose

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
3 5 T28 CUT CUT

We are still stunned that he missed the Masters and a bit hesitant in endorsing him, but he is too good of a player to have another poor performance on a great course.

Gary Woodland

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
CUT T24 T4 T18 T61 T68 73

Course is good for him and he should do well this week.

Zach Johnson

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T18 T14 T65 T69 T6 T51 T11 T25 84

Watch him this week has five top-25 finishes at Quail Hollow and has been solid in 2019.

Luke List

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T9 T52 CUT T16

Done well the last two years at Quail Hollow.

Long shots that could come through:

Aaron Wise

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T2

Played well last year on this course had a solid 2019.

Joel Dahmen

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T16 CUT

Has played well at Quail Hollow, a very good longshot pick.

Roberto Castro

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
CUT 2 T8 T65 T32

Like Dahmen a very good longshot pick for this week.

Still hasn’t solved the problem with his back:

Jason Day

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
Win T9 T22

The defending champion has a great record at Quail Hollow but I am still worried about the back, it’s a ticking time bomb ready to go off at any time.

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