Wells Fargo Championship PGA Preview and Picks
WELLS FARGO CHAMPIONSHIP PGA PREVIEW AND PICKS – We were so damn close last week with Akshay Bhatia giving us one helluva sweat for Sunday. Ultimately it wasn’t meant to be as he couldn’t keep up with the two elite players in the field. Jon Rahm and Finau did exactly what we’d feared would happen as they dueled down the stretch, but the outcome never felt seriously in doubt for Finau.
The defining characteristic of Quail Hollow is that it puts a tremendous amount of pressure on players off the tee. There are courses where shorter hitters can be competitive, but this isn’t one of them. This course is a brute as a par 71 measuring close to 7,600 yards.
We’re looking to target guys who have had success here in the past, as well as excellent drivers of the golf ball. Overall tee-to-green numbers are useful, but the emphasis should really be on long iron play from a handicapping perspective. How players navigate the lengthy par 4s could be the difference maker this week.
Our guest on the podcast, Clubhouse Picks, this week, Keith Flemming, gave us some of his picks to round out our on the podcast, so I’ve included them here. Be sure to check Keith out at Fantasy in Frames where he is the Director of DFS Content.
Odds courtesy of DraftKings, 4/26
THE DRIVER – (Rory, Spieth)
These are guys we’re looking at if you only like betting studs at the top of the leaderboard. We usually take a look at the top three or four guys on the odds board and choose the one we like the most.
Jordan Spieth (+1800)
Jordan seems to be something of the forgotten man when it comes to the upper-echelon of players this week. He’s added some distance to his drives which will be beneficial here, but it’s clear he likes this course after a dominant Presidents Cup performance that saw him play and win every match, going 5-0.
The iron game is at a high level and the short game remains incredible. I can’t buy into some of these shorter prices, but this is just long enough that I’m willing to snag it.
We haven’t seen many surprises at the designated events so far this season, aside from Kurt Kitayama at Bay Hill. My guess is we could very likely see a stacked leaderboard here as well. You can do worse than a three-time major winner who has regained the form that had eluded him for a couple of years. He’s poised to win a big one, and it could be here.
THE IRONS (Jason Day, Sam “Bermuda” Burns, Max Homa)
These are solid, reliable guys in the mid-range tier (think 30/1-80/1ish). They are reliable and you can count on a handful of guys in that range to be sniffing around in contention. These are who we have our eyes on this week. Some of them we didn’t mention, but should have on the show. Here’s who we like.
Jason Day (+2500)
Jason Day has been quite a bit of love this week from golf touts, and for good reason. Quail Hollow tends to be a place that guys stack good results up on if the course suits them.
This course certainly seems to suit Jason Day. Before some injuries and swing issues robbed him of his elite form, he was excellent at this track. He finished in the top-10 in 2017 when this course hosted the PGA Championship, and followed it up by winning this event in 2018.
Has it been a few years since those results? Sure. But he’s back to playing at an elite level ow that the swing issues are sorted and he’s finally healthy. This is a good time to back him.
THE WEDGE (Rickie Fowler, Cam Davis, “Cashmere” Keith Mitchell)
This is a guy that we are always finding a reason to bet on, but they never win. These guys likely won’t either, but here’s to hoping.
Cam Davis (+9000)
Cam Davis is a guy I was pretty high on to start the season, then a lingering injury derailed the early part of his season when he missed five straight cuts.
He seems to be healthy now, and since then he’s posted top-20s in three of his last four tournaments. The one outlier was a missed cut at the Valero Texas Open, but that was mostly one horrendous round on Thursday that did him in (he battled back with a very game 66 on Friday to flirt with making the cut).
He played pretty well here at the Presidents Cup when he went 2-3 against a very stout American team.
He’s a guy who profiles best on courses that require strength off the tee. He certainly fits the bill there, so I have to like him at a long price now that his game is rounding back into form.
THE PUTTER (Joel Dahmen Top-20, S.H. Kim, Emiliano Grillo)
These are guys who we bet on and then instantly regretted.
S.H. Kim (+20000)
S.H. Kim has already played 20 events this season as a rookie, which is more than anyone else. And I feel like I’ve bet on him for a lot of them. He played pretty well in Mexico last week notching a top-25 finish.
I guess I just regret this because I haven’t actually gotten any indication that he’s due for a win despite a lot of strong finishes this season. He feels like he’s good enough o finish in the top-20, but I never really get the sense that he could win.
Nonetheless, his profile has always been that of a bomber/putter and the iron game remains a work in progress. Strong stats off the tee can get you a really long way on this course, and we’ve seen guys like Derek Ernst come from the clouds to win on this course as a massive longshot.
The course fits, and I bet him every week. So, I did it again. I don’t love it, but here we are.
HYBRID (Davis Thompson, Chris Kirk, Joel Dahmen)
These are our wild card guys who could pop up and make us rich. They could also be out of the tournament by noon on Thursday. We’re just throwing darts here and hoping for something good at long odds.
Chris Kirk (+10000)
This is a feel good pick courtesy of Georgia Bulldog fan, and guest this week, Keith Flemming. Chris Kirk has been open about his struggles with alcoholism in the past, and credits his recent string of successes to his sobriety.
We all love a good comeback story at GodzillaWins and this is certainly that.
He already has a win this season at the Honda Classic (another brutish course), so it’s not impossible to seem him contending at another stiff test this week.
His stats off the tee don’t jump off the page, and that gives us some pause here from a handicapping perspective. Nevertheless, his short game remains elite and that’s never a bad thing to have in your back pocket at a course like this that will require players to be hitting a lot of long approaches (and subsequent missed greens).
There’s nothing wrong with taking one of the good guys out there on tour at triple-digit odds.