Weekly Preview: Wells Fargo Championship

Weekly Preview: Wells Fargo Championship

This article is part of our Weekly Preview series.

Wells Fargo Championship

Quail Hollow Club
Charlotte, NC

The PGA Tour heads to Charlotte for the first edition of this event since 2019.

The list of PGA Tour winners increased by one last week, as Sam Burns added his name to the list. Quite honestly, not many people were surprised to see him in the winner's circle. It's never a given that a player with plenty of game will win a Tour event at some point during his career, but it looked pretty evident heading into this season that Burns would get one at some point. The fact he picked one up so early in the season might be a surprise, but he just missed at The Genesis Invitational in February, and at that point, it was clear he'd wind up on top once he managed his nerves. It's always interesting to see where a win takes a player like Burns. He has loads of talent, and now that he's shown that he can handle the pressure while holding the lead on Sunday, he could take off. Of course, he could rest on his laurels with a Tour card in hand for the next two years. If you've followed Burns at all over the past year, though, it's clear he won't be resting on anything.

As for this week, although the Tour has not stopped here in a couple years, it will be a familiar venue for many, as the Wells Fargo event has been held at Quail Hollow regularly

Wells Fargo Championship

Quail Hollow Club
Charlotte, NC

The PGA Tour heads to Charlotte for the first edition of this event since 2019.

The list of PGA Tour winners increased by one last week, as Sam Burns added his name to the list. Quite honestly, not many people were surprised to see him in the winner's circle. It's never a given that a player with plenty of game will win a Tour event at some point during his career, but it looked pretty evident heading into this season that Burns would get one at some point. The fact he picked one up so early in the season might be a surprise, but he just missed at The Genesis Invitational in February, and at that point, it was clear he'd wind up on top once he managed his nerves. It's always interesting to see where a win takes a player like Burns. He has loads of talent, and now that he's shown that he can handle the pressure while holding the lead on Sunday, he could take off. Of course, he could rest on his laurels with a Tour card in hand for the next two years. If you've followed Burns at all over the past year, though, it's clear he won't be resting on anything.

As for this week, although the Tour has not stopped here in a couple years, it will be a familiar venue for many, as the Wells Fargo event has been held at Quail Hollow regularly since 2003. The one year it wasn't – 2017 – the event was won by Brian Harman, so in addition to his win, you can toss out the rest of the results from that year as you do your research.

LAST YEAR

This tournament was not held last year, but in 2019 Max Homa shot a final-round 67 on his way to a three-stroke victory over Joel Dahmen.

FAVORITES

Justin Thomas (8-1)

Thomas takes the top spot for a second week in a row. Although he didn't contend this past week, he did strike the ball exceptionally well. If they were playing a "Closest to the Pin" contest, Thomas would have been the champion. As it is, though, putting also counts, and even the best players in the world can't win unless they are rolling it at least reasonably well. Thomas' track record here is good, but not great, so the way you perceive his odds depends on whether you think he will get it going with the flat stick this week. I have a feeling he will.

Jon Rahm (9-1)

While he has not won this season and has just one runner-up, Rahm has banked an impressive $3.5 million during the current campaign. Let that sink in. What he does have on his ledger are nine top-10s in 13 starts. That's an outrageous percentage. Unfortunately, if you've wagered on Rahm to win, you haven't made a dime. It's only a matter of time before he wins again, though, and if he keeps putting himself in contention, it will be sooner rather than later. Rahm has just one start at this event, but it came in 2017, so he's technically a first-timer. He did make the cut at the 2017 PGA Championship held at Quail Hollow, though.

Bryson DeChambeau (14-1)

I'm a little surprised to see odds this low on DeChambeau, but that could be a reflection of his dud at The Masters. Since his transformation last year, DeChambeau has run really hot and sometimes cold, and when we last saw him, he shot a 75 or worse in three of his four rounds. It's been a few weeks, though, so he should come out firing at Quail Hollow. He's definitely worth a look at this price, because when he's on top of his game you won't be able to get him at this number.

THE NEXT TIER

Viktor Hovland (18-1)

Hovland has been one of the most consistent golfers on the PGA Tour since he joined, and recently he's been adding a bunch of high-end finishes. He went through a bit of a lull prior to last week's event, but a solid final-round 65 led to a top-3 finish, and he's primed to build on that result. Hovland is a first-timer here, but that's often been the case for him over the past two seasons, and it hasn't slowed him down at all.

Abraham Ancer (33-1)

Ancer missed the cut at The Genesis Invitational in February, but he has followed that up with six consecutive finishes of 26th or better. His best showing during that stretch came this past week at the Valspar Championship, where he posted a solo-5th result. Ancer has just one start at this event and he missed the cut, but it could have simply been a bad week and is not necessarily a predictor for this week.

Max Homa (35-1)

Homa is an interesting play at this number. I expected his odds to be lower, but I'm not going to complain. Homa is undoubtedly a better golfer now than he was when he won this event two years ago, but he's in the unenviable spot of being the defending champion. Actually, that is an enviable position, because it means you won the previous edition, but it's tough to succeed in that spot. Homa is playing really well this season, though, and he looks to be ready to defend his crown.

LONG SHOTS

Emiliano Grillo (50-1)

This is the "one week later" theory in play. After a T6 and a runner-up in his previous two starts, Grillo got out hot at the Valspar Championship, but he ultimately went on to miss the cut. Perhaps his rough Friday round was just an off day and his game is actually still at a high level. Whatever the case, at these odds he's worth a look, particularly with his most recent start here resulting in a top-10.

Stewart Cink (70-1)

How much gas does Cink have left in the tank? He continues to surprise, but you'd have to think another win this year is out of the question, right? That's the thing about guys who keep surprising – you never know when they're going to do it again. Cink has played this event 13 times and made the cut nine, so he's obviously comfortable on this track. Could that result in another win? At 70-1 and with two wins under his belt this season, he's certainly worth considering.

ONE-AND-DONE LEAGUES

Highly-owned Pick: Justin Thomas - With three majors yet to be played, there are going to be plenty of OAD players saving Thomas for later in the season. However, anyone who watched Thomas this past week might feel the need to jump on him right now. Though he's a valuable piece to save, I can't argue with using him in this spot.

Moderately-owned Pick: Max Homa - He may be a bit down the odds chart, but he's going to draw plenty of attention in OAD leagues because he's the defending champ and won earlier in the season. Again, I can't argue with this pick, as Homa appears to have found another level to his game and should be able to handle the pressure that comes with defending a title.

Lightly-owned Pick: Emiliano Grillo - Grillo caught a lot of attention over the past few weeks, but his missed cut this past week might scare some players away. For those that are bold or need to make up ground, though, Grillo looks like the perfect pick. There are a lot of big names in the field, so Grillo shouldn't be overly popular.

Buyer Beware: Patrick Cantlay - This is a tough week to find a legitimate golfer to fade, as all the favorites carry some level of appeal. Cantlay looks a little sketchy, though, as his form is still in question. He did post a T11 in his most recent start, but that was at the Zurich Classic, and his partner that week, Xander Schauffele, is pretty good. Prior to that, Cantlay missed the cut at the RBC Heritage and at the Masters.

Last Week: Louis Oosthuizen - T8 - $201,825

Season Total: $3,580,963

This Week: Emiliano Grillo - I'm in a tough spot this week and part of me feels like I'm making a mistake, but guys I wanted to take like Hovland and Ancer have already been used and others like JT, Rahm and DeChambeau, I'd rather save. That leaves Grillo, who is a little off the beaten path but seems plenty capable of a high finish.

FANDUEL PICKS

Upper Range: Justin Thomas ($12,300)
Middle Range: Abraham Ancer ($10,600)
Lower Range: Erik van Rooyen ($8,500)

SURVIVOR LEAGUES

Last Week: Justin Rose - MC

Streak: 0

This Week: Patrick Reed - Reed is a player that I just couldn't find room for above. He's a perfect 7-for-7 making the weekend here, so he's obviously a good choice for this format. He has just one top-10 however, so he's not a great pick in OAD leagues.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Greg Vara
Vara is the lead golf writer at RotoWire. He was named the FSWA Golf Writer of the Year in 2005 and 2013. He also picks college football games against the spread in his "College Capper" article.
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