The Wells Fargo Championship (at Quail Hollow) has been a stable, entertaining PGA tournament since 2003. Since the Tournament’s inception, we’ve seen seven playoffs and a number of top tier golfers hoist the trophy. Vijay Singh, Rickie Fowler, Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk, and Jason Day highlight the most accomplished champions at Quail Hollow.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 6, 2021
The course itself is one favoring strong ball strikers, good drivers, and solid tee-to-green performers. The infamous “Green Mile” stretches from holes 16-18 and tends to be one of the more difficult stretches on the PGA Tour.
Overall, Quail Hollow is a long course (7,600 yards). Since most good ball-strikers aren’t also good putters, we won’t have a lot of consensus picks this week.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling, and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800 GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL) Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA) or 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN only) or 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA only) or 1-800-522-4700 (CO Only) *21+. NJ/IN/WV/PA/IA/CO only. In partnership with Meadows Racetrack and Casino. Offer not valid for users physically located in NH. Deposit bonus is in DK Dollars which have no cash value and must be used on DraftKings. Bonus requires 25x Play-Thru. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
A more conservative betting strategy
Last week, we put out five picks total. The strategy was high-risk, following our recent trends. We had a disappointing week, and I suppose it was due.
We probably should’ve just gone with Sam Burns like we did the previous week, but sometimes the obvious hot-player play is just maybe too obvious. Abraham Ancer was our only winner this week at +188. Unfortunately, he was our only top 20 pick.
Had we picked him in the top five, we’d have been another net positive on the week. Unfortunately, Ancer was our only conservative play this past week. On the season we are still in the net positive at +3.52.
This week, we are going with a less top-heavy, deeper, and more conservative set of picks. The aim this week is to cash on a sleeper making a deep run, similar to more of the strategies we used earlier this season. We are going with the players who fit three of the following five criteria this week:
- Good form of late
- Past success at this course
- Ball Striking ability
With that criteria in mind, we’ve landed on four players whose first or last name starts with a “V”. It’s purely coincidence, but I’m calling this “V-Weekend” with the hopes we can emerge victorious in Quail Hollow.
These betting picks come from the DraftKings Online Sportsbook.
Middle of the Fairway – Two players to finish in the top 30
Vaughn Taylor +400
Vaughn Taylor is the deepest Hail Mary we’ve thrown all season. Vaughn is a 45 year old PGA veteran with unimpressive metrics, but he’s been money on this course in the past.
He’s finished no worse than 42nd over his last four tournaments here. In the last Wells Fargo Championship, he finished 10th. Even though Vaughn is old and seemingly a long shot here, it’s worth noting his recent form.
Last week, Vaughn finished 6th at the Valspar Championship. I like his momentum and love his track record here.
Vincent Whaley +400
Vincent Whaley is even more of a Hail Mary than Vaughn Taylor. He’s four spots lower than Vaughn on the FedEx Cup rankings at 137. Despite the low ranking, Vincent Whaley has finished 36th or better in five straight tournaments.
Three of the last four tournament finishes have been inside the top-30. Even with Vincent’s lack of experience at Quail Hollow, he’s playing solid golf. Given his recent finishes, it’s realistic to consider him a coin-flip for Quail Hollow. I’ll happily take a coin flip with four to one odds.
Edge of the Green – One player to finish in the top 10
Harold Varner +650
We’ve heard all week this is Harold Varner’s home course and he’s playing the best golf of his life. That may be true, but it’s a tremendous amount of pressure for a guy to win a tournament, just because it’s his home course.
Let’s be realistic here. Varner is playing pretty good golf at the moment, finishing 2nd at RBC Heritage just a few weeks ago. Harold has six top-25 finishes on the season and is reportedly playing very well at his home course.
This season, he’s 53rd in driving distance, 48th in GIRP, 40th in ball striking, and 27th in tee-to-green.
Though the deeper stats say Varner shouldn’t overwhelmingly be considered among the favorites this week, we all know it’s wise to go with the guy who knows the course best. Remember that Maverick McNealy call early this season that paid off huge?
Varner to finish top 10 shouldn’t be an unrealistic expectation this week.
Eagle Opportunity – Two Players to finish in the top five
Viktor Hovland +400
Viktor Hovland cashed nicely for us earlier this season, and we got off the ship just in time before he sank for a little while. However, Viktor has rebounded nicely, finishing in the top-25 in each of his last three tournaments.
At the Valspar last week, Hovland finished 3rd. He shot a 65 in the final round last week, so I like the momentum. With Hovland, he seems to be much more streaky than other pros on tour. At one point this season, he finished top-5 in four of five consecutive tournaments.
He followed that up by finishing no better than 42nd over a three tournament stretch, and now he’s finished top-25 in each of his past three. Hovland is 5th in shots gained off the tee, 7th in tee-to-green, and 12th in shots gained: total.
Viktor is also 19th in ball striking, 2nd in birdie average, and 7th in scoring average. Hovland is in prime form and has very favorable metrics this week.
Bryson DeChambeau +300
Bryson DeChambeau is coming into Quail Hollow cold. He hasn’t played since The Masters, and he only finished 46th there. However, Bryson played here in 2018 and finished 4th. He’s the best driver on tour (distance, not accuracy), but the last four winners haven’t exactly been accurate either.
Over the last four tournaments at Quail Hollow, the winners have all been in the top-26 in the tournament in driving distance, yet only one, James Hahn, has been in the top-45 in driving accuracy (20th). DeChambeau is 37th in ball striking, 1st in tee-to-green, and 1st in shots gained: total.
The past performance is there, as are the advanced metrics. As long as Bryson has his head in the right place this week, we should be in for an incredible tournament from the heavy hitter.