Crabcakes, Football, and Golf…That’s what Maryland does!
Course Review (TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm – Potomac, Maryland)
What was once a PGA tournament at Quail Hollow every year since 2003, the Wells Fargo Championship moved (this season) to Maryland. This course (TPC Potomac) has hosted eight other PGA events over time (most notably the Kemper Open and the Quicken Loans National. This is a low-scoring course, typically. Despite one 641 yard Par 5, three of the last seven winners here have shot -20 or better. However, rough weather is likely in-store!
The course is tight and long, even by PGA standards. It will favor the big drivers and clean ball strikers. Known as “The Beast of the Beltway”, it’s no coincidence the golfers with the best odds in this event are also some of the best drivers on tour.
Mexico Open Review & Wells Fargo Championship Preview
Last week was a real heartbreaker, but one we very nearly crushed. Brian Stuard failed to cash a T-20 bet (finishing 42nd). Abraham Ancer and Cameron Tringale also missed their marks, finishing 33rd and 42nd. Aaron Wise (T-10 at +350) and Tony Finau (T-10 at +300) were our hits on the week, as Cameron Champ (T-5 at +1000) finished one stroke from what would’ve been a massive cash for our card.
The Wells Fargo Open is a bit more star-studded than last week, but a number of high-profile players are still set to miss the event. We will pay attention to some of the bigger names this week, but we won’t ignore the players who have been quietly solid all season.
Metrics to track this week
GIRP, Driving Distance, accuracy, and Strokes Gained Off the Tee will be the primary focuses of the week. We are going deep into the bag this week in search of longer odds and the hopes of striking on two. Last week, we were a perfect 9/9 on picking players who made the cut. This is the week to loosen-up and go long.
- Strokes Gained: Off the Tee
- Driving Distance
- Recent Form
- Strokes Gained: Approach
Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook
Off the Tee – One Player to finish in the top 40
Jared Wolfe +350
Jared Wolfe is 34 years old and has no wins in his PGA Tour career. Wolfe has finished inside the Top 30 in two of his last five events. Known as a powerful driver, Jared Wolfe should have a bit of a leg-up in this competition. His notable finishes on the year are 28th at The Puerto Rico Open, 29th at the Valero Texas Open, and 33rd at the American Express Open.
Wolf will likely either sneak inside the Top 40 or he’s going to get cut (the ceiling just isn’t high). He’s 28th in Driving Distance and well outside the Top 100 in nearly every category except GIRP (83rd). There are better bets out there to T-40, but Wolfe gives us good value for a guy who should be driving the ball well on a long course.
Middle of the Fairway – Two Players to finish in the top 20
Kevin Chappell +700
Kevin Chappell is eerily similar to Jared Wolfe. He’s 35, a beast with his driver, and struggling to stay on the PGA Tour. Chappell has one PGA Tour victory (2016/2017 season) and has just two finishes this season inside the Top 20 (Corales Puntacana and Valero Texas Open). He is a hot play this week, with three finishes inside the Top 30 in his last three events.
Chappell is 14th in Driving Distance, 44th in GIRP, and 77th in Birdie Average. Everything else in the Strokes Gained categories has been a struggle for him this season. Chappell is a heat-check play this week and strictly that.
Ryan Armour +600
Ryan Armour is the contrarian Driver play. Unlike most of our selections this week, Armour is a pure accuracy driver (the best on Tour). He averages just 289 yards per drive, but he’s hitting them at a ridiculous 72.9% rate (contrary to our last pick at 49%). Armour has a finish of 15th at Corales Puntacana and a 36th place finish at the Zurich Classic. He’s only missed one cut in his last three events, so he’s playing decent golf at the moment.
The 46 year old “kid from Akron” has one career PGA victory (2015/2016 season), but his advanced numbers aren’t nearly as rough as our first two selections. Armour is 1st in Driving Accuracy, 38th in GIRP, 18th in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee, 70th in Strokes Gained: Approach, 59th in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green, and 82nd in Strokes Gained: Total.
Edge of the Green – Two Players to finish in the top 10
Jhonattan Vegas +500
We always seem to miss on Vegas when we decide to pick him, but this event looks to feed to his strengths. Vegas is 37 now, but still one of the best drivers on Tour. This season, he’s had finishes of 27th (Valspar), 4th (Corales Puntacanta), and 18th (Valero Texas Open). All three of those came in his last three events. Now, Vegas has an opportunity to cash-in on a course well-suited for his style.
Vegas is 30th in Scoring Average, 58th in Birdie Average, 11th in Eagles per hole, 35th in GIRP, 3rd in Driving Distance, 11th in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee, 57th in Strokes Gained: Approach, 37th in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green, and 39th in Strokes Gained: Total. Vegas has some volatility to his finishes, but that could pay-off this week at five to one odds.
Keith Mitchell +400
Keith Mitchell has not played a stroke play, singles event since THE PLAYERS Championship on March 13th. Mitchell has dropped out of the Top 20 (now sits at 35th in the FedEx Cup), but our optimism for him has not dropped-off. The 30 year old Georgia Bulldog has four Top 10 finishes on the season and has an opportunity to push his way back into the Top 25 with a strong finish this week.
Mitchell is well-equipped to both set himself up well this week and get himself out of tough situations at this event with questionable weather inbound. Keith is 25th in Sand Save percentage, 12th in Scoring Average, 17th in Birdie Average, 27th in GIRP, 36th in Driving Distance, 2nd in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee, 54th in Strokes Gained: Around the Green, 23rd in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green, and 20th in Strokes Gained: Total.
Short Putt – Two Players to finish in the top 5
Keegan Bradley +600
Keegan Bradley is another solid ball striker who can really drive the ball far. He may be 35 with his best seasons behind him, but he’s still a Top 50 player on Tour. This season, Bradley has four Top 10 finishes and two Top 5 finishes. Two of those Top 10s have come in his last two events (8th at the Valero Texas Open and 4th at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans).
Ol Keegan is solid with the Irons and a big-hitter off the tee. He’s 42nd in Scoring Average, 41st in Birdie Average, 31st in Driving Distance, 29th in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee, 24th in Strokes Gained: Approach, 32nd in Strokes Gained: Around the Green, 10th in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green, and 29th in Strokes Gained: Total.
Cameron Young +600
Cameron Young, by the numbers, is similar to a prime version of Keegan Bradley. On the season, he’s 19th in the FedEx Cup Standings, logging finishes of 2nd (Sanderson Farms Championship), 2nd (the Genesis Invitational), and 3rd (RBC Heritage). The T-5 finish is realistic, especially for a man who is just 24 and freshly rested after a T-5 at RBC Heritage.
Cameron Young is 19th in Scoring Average, 6th in Birdie Average, 5th in Driving Distance, 3rd in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee, 52nd in Strokes Gained: Putting, 30th in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green, and 22nd in Strokes Gained: Total. Young has a good opportunity to break inside the Top 10 in the FedEx Cup and possibly notch his first win on Tour amongst a relatively weak field.
Hole in One – One Player to Win
Russell Henley +2000
Last week, the outright favorite won. That doesn’t happen often, or even somewhat frequently. On the rare occasions it happens, it’s happening to elite players who are typically on heaters. For that reason, we are opting to go away from this week’s favorite, Rory McIlroy. The trap with McIlroy being the favorite this week is for those not doing a lot of research. McIlroy has won this event three times, BUT that was at this event in North Carolina on a different course.
As we pivot-away from McIlroy this week, we focus on Russell Henley. Henley’s odds are off this week, based on his recent icy form. After shooting a putrid 75 in the second round of RBC Heritage, Henley was cut from the event. Prior to that, Henley finished 30th at The Masters and failed to survive the group stage of the WGC Dell Match Play. Despite the recent form, Henley has had a great season (28th in the FedEx Cup).
Henley is 5th in Scoring Average, 9th in Birdie Average, 28th in Eagles per hole, 9th in GIRP, 26th in Driving Accuracy, 1st in Strokes Gained: Approach, 23rd in Strokes Gained: Around the Green, 6th in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green, and 9th in Strokes Gained: Total. Our thought process is: Henley is strangely high on this list to win (much like Finau was a week ago, despite the atrocious season prior to last week).