Following the team format of The Zurich Classic, we get back to a normal cut event, with The 2019 Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club, in Charlotte, North Carolina. (par 71, 7,554 yards) Besides in 2017, when this course hosted The PGA Championship and The Wells Fargo was at Eagle Point, Quail Hollow has been the home of this event every year since 2003. Jason Day won here last season (-12), edging out Nick Watney and Aaron Wise by two strokes.
Quail Hollow always ranks as one of the toughest tracks on Tour, especially after the renovations that were done prior to The 2017 PGA Championship. A handful of the holes were extended and this is a track that requires distance off the tee. Last year, Day posted an average drive of 325.6 yards in his victory and three of the past five winners at Quail Hollow have led their fields in driving distance. As always, your approaches game is also crucial, with three of the past champs in Charlotte ranking T17 or better in GIR. Most of the holes at Quail Hollow present challenges and to climb the leaderboard, you must convert birdies or better on the three par fives. A year ago, Day ranked 2nd in scoring on these holes and each of the last five golfers to win at this lengthy course have been T12 or better in par five scoring.
The Bermuda greens at Quail Hollow are extremely fast, so fast that it almost levels out the field. Finally, as I always like to do with tougher tracks, I think bogey avoidance is a stat that we must look at. With The PGA Championship only two weeks away, many of the best players in the world are using The Wells Fargo as their final warm up before the season’s second major, bringing us a top heavy, but overall decent field this week. @Hunta512.
Rory McIlroy: (11,800)
McIlroy didn’t complete his career grand slam at The Masters, but still had a respectable showing at the year’s first major. (T21) He had produced six straight finishes of T6 or better heading into Augusta and McIlroy should get back on track with his 7th top ten of the season this weekend at Quail Hollow. For his career, he has made 8/9 cuts at this track, with a notable six top tens and wins in 2010 and 2015. His stats have just been incredible recently, ranking in the top three in all of the following over his last six starts: SGT2G, SG OTT, BS, DD, SGT, GIR, SG on P4s, SG on P5s, and BOB%.
In his last five events, McIlroy has gained an tremendous 11.8 strokes per start and his best putting splits come on Bermuda grass. He is the massive favorite to win (6/1 via Bovada, next best is Jason Day at 10/1) and an extremely tough fade.
Tony Finau: (9,300)
Finau is a core value at this price. His elite distance (15th in DD in L24 rounds) and par five scoring (5th in SG on P5s) set up perfectly for Quail Hollow, hence his 4/4 track record at the venue. (two top 25s) In his last start, Finau posted a T5 at The Masters in only his second try at Augusta and is now 11/12 for the season, with six top 25s.
He has been avoiding the big numbers (18th in bogeys avoided in L24 rounds) and I think Finau records his best career finish at Quail Hollow this weekend. (22/1 via Bovada)
Phil Mickelson: (9,100)
To keep it simple, Lefty loves Quail Hollow. He is 14/15 at this course with a whopping ten top ten finishes. Mickelson missed two cuts prior to The Masters, but looked just fine in the major, tallying a T18.
His distance has been up (13th in DD in L24 rounds) and he has been avoiding bogeys at a high rate. (10th in L24 rounds) He is always a threat in Charlotte (25/1 via Bovada) and this is the lowest Mickelson has been priced for a Wells Fargo Championship in five years.
Gary Woodland: (9,000)
Woodland is a nice high end spend at $9,000. He is one the best ball strikers in the world, that has made 23 of his last 25 cuts. In his last 24 rounds, Woodland ranks 5th in SGT2G, 2nd in SG OTT, 7th in BS, 14th in DD, 4th in BOB%, 4th in SG on P4s, and 16th in SG on P5s.
He is 7/8 at Quail Hollow, with four consecutive top 25s before missing the cut here last season. Woodland should redeem himself from this with at least a top 25 this weekend.
Jason Kokrak: (8,700)
Kokrak’s course resume is questionable (4/7), but as I have said multiple times this season, he is currently playing some of the best golf of his life. He just finished T16 at The RBC Hertiage two weeks ago and this was his 8th top 20 in his last ten starts. Furthermore, he has made 19 cuts in a row, not missing a weekend since The Open Championship last July.
Statistically, he checks all the boxes for this week (4th in SGT2G, 1st in SG APP, 3rd in GIR, 17th in SG OTT, 35th in DD, 3rd in BS, 8th in BOB%, 1st in bogeys avoided in L24 rounds) and while this price may seem high, Kokrak is an excellent value that I feel comfortable with in all formats.
Lucas Glover: (8,500)
When Glover has made the cut this year, he has shined on the weekend. In the nine cuts he has made, out 12, he has finished no worse than T17. He missed the cut at The RBC Heritage in his last start, but before this, he had made five of his previous six and Glover has a plethora of experience and success at Quail Hollow. He has competed at the course 15 times, made the cut in 11 and has five top tens, including a win in 2011 and a runner up in 2009.
Not only has his ball striking been great (9th in SGT2G, 6th in SG APP, 7th in GIR, 13th in BS in L24 rounds), but Glover has also been keeping the large numbers off his scorecard. (9th in bogey avoidance in L24 rounds) He hasn’t missed back to back cuts in a nearly a year and Glover should bounce back from his showing at Heritage, with a top 30 this weekend.
Charles Howell III: (8,400)
CH3 missed the cut at The Heritage, but we need to put this in the past, because this is a very reasonable cost for the steady cut maker. Before that rare MC, Howell had made a noteworthy 53 of his last 60 cuts. Plus, he has finished inside the top 20 in half of his starts this season and is 12/16 at Quail Hollow.
His recent form is rating out well (18th in SGT2G, 14th in GIR, 28th in SG OTT, 14th in DD, and 26th in BS in L24 rounds) and Howell may get overlooked with that MC sitting in his game log.
Byeong-Hun An: (8,300)
An let me down at The RBC Heritage (MC), but I think we have to go right back to well this week. Before this MC, he had made 21 of his previous 22 cuts and has generated six top 30s this season. His tee to green has been impressive (3rd in SGT2G, 11th in SG APP, 5th in SG OTT) and An has been awesome with his driver in his last 24 rounds. (5th in SG OTT and 17th in DD)
He has teed it up at Quail Hollow the past three seasons and only missed the cut in his debut in 2016. This is a really nice price for An and hopefully many will still be bitter about the MC at The Heritage.
Keith Mitchell: (7,800)
Mitchell is a pure bomber that fits this course perfectly. He finished T34 here a year ago, in his Quail Hollow debut, and should one up this performance this weekend.
He has made five of his last six cuts and not only has his off the tee game been strong (6th in SG OTT and 11th in DD in L24 rounds), but Mitchell has been scoring well (10th in BOB%), particularly on par fives. (9th in SG on P5s in L24 rounds)
Trey Mullinax: (7,500)
Mullinax is one of the longest players on Tour (5th in DD in L24 rounds) and has had success on tracks of this length. One of the most impressive finishes of his young career came at an extremely long Erin Hills (7,735 yards) in The 2017 U.S. Open (T9) and if we compare all of these players last 24 rounds on courses that play over 7,400 yards long, Mullinax ranks 17th in total strokes gained and 3rd in SG on par fives.
In his most recent start, he finished T16 at The RBC Heritage and has now made nine of his last 11 cuts, including four top 25s. I doubt many people will be on him (5-8% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs), especially considering he missed the cut in his Quail Hollow debut last season, but Mullinax is absolutely worth a look at this price.
Harold Varner III: (7,000)
It gets ugly fast down in this price range and Varner is easily one of my favorite choices of all the players under $7,500. He is 2/3 at Wells Fargo Championships and has made two of his past three cuts, with a T23 at The Texas Open being the most notable.
His driver will always be his best weapon (14th in SG OTT and 25th in DD in L24 rounds) and if HV3 can avoid the blow up holes (113th in bogeys avoided in L24 rounds), he should find himself inside the cutline on Friday.
Peter Malnati: (6,700)
Malanti is one of the only players under $7,000 this week that has shown any consistency as of late. He has made five cuts in a row and is six for his last seven, with a T23 at The Texas Open and a T16 at The Heritage being his last two finishes.
In these past two, Malnati has gained positive strokes off the tee in each and 5.7 strokes overall per event. He failed to make the cut at Quail Hollow in his first two attempts at the famous course, but had a respectable showing here last season. (T34) Considering the options around him, I think Malnati is the best sub $7,000 gamble of the week.
*Please note that some of these rankings are from Fantasynational.com