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  • Writer's pictureTom Ford

Wells Fargo Championship preview and golf betting tips 2023

Gary Woodland

Wells Fargo Championship Golf Tips

Cameron Young 25/1- 2PTS Win

Jordan Speith 25/1- 2PTS Win

Sam Burns 33/1- 1PT EW 8 places

Tyrell Hatton 40/1- 1PT EW 8 places

Gary Woodland 75/1- 1PT EW 8 places

Another week, another favourite

Well here we are again, these low winnings odds just keep continuing as Tony Finau outdoes Rahm on a Sunday. Almost had to switch off to avoid watching a 12/1 shot beating a 5/1 shot, gone the days of a few years ago where you could really stick a pin on the books and you’d have a better chance. But all not is lost though, its good for us, who love our numbers and models, it’s becoming easier to predict and after a 3rd, 4th and 6th last week it really keeps the enthusiasm there.

Finau, was just consistently good all the way through last week, you could tell by the Friday he just had something extra on the field during the week and thanks to one bad round from Rahm, he found plenty to win by 3 shots. His approach and scrambling particularly obviously better than the rest of the field, I think I saw maybe 5 big par saves on Sunday afternoon from Tony, can’t compete with someone in the lead like that.

My personal picks from Brandon Wu and Emiliano Grillo in particular were exactly where I wanted them to be. If it wasn’t for those front two we would of definitely seen a win from Brandon after his T2 last year, becoming a good bet for this type of event now. And Grillo, just defies the odds all the time and for once it wasn’t his putting which let him down, it was the short game, I’m sure on the right course, in the right field and everything coming together like it did in stages last week, we are likely to see more PGA tour victories for Emiliano.

Quail Hollow returns…

So, bit short and sweet this week but I hope I can give you plenty to go on into what is now getting a bit strange with these ‘elevated’ events. We move onto a venue that a few of us should actually know quite a lot about; mainly due to its appearances from Presidents Cups and PGA championships. Quail hollow is a monster and is only getting bigger. It’s a proper classical tough hard golf course, lots of trees, lots of hazards, tight dog legs and they have the length of this course extended again to; 7,500 yards which for a par 71 is absolutely huge, I see only Bethpage black playing bigger on an PGA Tour event according to the numbers.

Bermuda grass returns and can be seen all over this course, the greens actually run a bit like an Augusta or Sony open, they are quick, hot, and a bit of rain doesn’t actually really effect them. Much like Augusta they have their own irrigation systems and can run the stimp to whatever they want as far as I’m aware. The rough this time around hasn’t been lengthened, I guess that gives the big hitters a bit more of an advantage, but with all of the other hazards in place and the length of this course, I’m not sure that’s going to make much of a difference to anyone. The course is actually ranked fifth for most difficult golf courses, so don’t expect much more than a low double digits winning score, maybe something like the -12, -13 wins this week.

Winners round Quail Hollow: 2021: Rory McIlroy (-10); 2019: Max Homa (-15); 2018: Jason Day (-12); 2017: Justin Thomas (-8); 2016: James Hahn (-9); 2015: Rory McIlroy (-21); 2014: J.B. Holmes (-14); 2013: Derek Ernst (-8); 2012: Rickie Fowler (-14); 2011: Lucas Glover (-15); 2010: Rory McIlroy (-15).

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What I’m looking at this week…

So, some trends and a dive into the course a bit more and the field of course, there are some select things that I’ve had to have a look at.

Concentrating on the main aspects first, I want to start with around the green. Now there has already been a lot of talk this week about this being a bombers course, which, yes it is to an extent but much like we had at places like Arnold Palmer and Torrey Pines, if you bomb it but still find the rough you are having very hard up and down. Basically, I would rather have any approach on the fairway at this course than being stuck in this Bermuda close to or around the greens. That being said, you don’t have to be the best on tour around the green this week, however if you are a longer hitter, you’ve certainly got to show you have the meatballs to save par and bogey and not plummet down the field. So be accurate, but also have a good enough short game.

That being said, generally for me this week, Strokes gained off the tee; is one of the most important factors. This will help weight our models, not just for the bombers, but also for those who are finding the fairway with their length off the tee. The fairways are 30 yards wide, so they are not as wide as you may think, so do expect some in form players like we seen at harbour town two weeks ago, make there way back to the top of the leaderboard.

Onto approach, now I’m certainly not saying you don’t want ball strikers in your line ups this week cause you do, but if you are focusing on a certain approach its certainly the longer approach you want to be focusing on. The areas that guys will be gaining on the rest of the field approach, will definitely be around the 175-225 yards kind of range. This also takes into consideration the tough long par 3’s which are prevalent at Quail Hollow. To sum this up so far, you are either gaining strokes on the field from a long way out or because you can scramble your way out of trouble. Therefore I am not putting an emphasis on good wedge players, I believe Quail Hollow is the type of place that evens it out.

Let’s finish this part on what I believe to be the most important impact to winning the Wells Fargo this year. And evidently its on the greens. Firstly, I believe there will be a big pull on those that putt best on this surface, putting will be very important generally of course, but we see an average at Quail Hollow of the winner being around 2nd or 3rd for Strokes gained putting, if you compare that to approach (around 20th in the field), putting is just stand out for me.

I also want to go with guys that are putting well recently rather than those who just putt well on Bermuda in patches, that is just my take though rather than anything else. The POA overseed on the greens does level that out a little, so just strong putters will definitely come into my model quite strongly. Another important factor with the greens which I did touch on earlier, will be them being very hard and fast. There is the potential for some rain on Saturday but throughout most of the week we are seeing the sun out and some warmer temperatures. There are a certain select group of players that can actually hold their ball on the faster surface and are just truer putters on these quick surfaces, I am actually very thankful the world no1 is not here this week.

How I’ve made up the model this week;

SG Tee to green

Birdie or Better Par 4 %

Par 3 performance

Driving Distance

Distance to Apex

Approach 175 - 200

Bogey Avoidance

SG Around the green

SG Putting

Bermuda Positive

Top 25 players in the model and my thoughts on each:

1 Patrick Cantlay 12/1

2 Sungjae Im 25/1

3 Xander Schauffele 16/1

4 Tony Finau 14/1

5 Collin Morikawa 20/1

6 Rickie Fowler 35/1

7 Jordan Spieth 22/1

8 Viktor Hovland 20/1

9 Max Homa 20/1

10 Jason Day 25/1

11 Tyrrell Hatton 35/1

12 Corey Conners 55/1

13 Rory McIlroy 8/1

14 Justin Thomas 22/1

15 Matt Kuchar 75/1

16 Sam Burns 33/1

17 Cameron Young 22/1

18 Matthew Fitzpatrick 22/1

19 Tom Kim 35/1

20 Tommy Fleetwood 45/1

21 Sahith Theegala 45/1

22 Gary Woodland 90/1

23 Chris Kirk 80/1

24 Hayden Buckley 125/1

25 Brian Harman 50/1

Plenty to go on this week then but fairly simple for me in terms of my card, I’m sure these names will be printed elsewhere and I hope this gives you the gut feeling I have. The model actually does bring up a few surprises considering how strong the field is, plenty to have a longer look at.

I will be posting my card to twitter @fordysgolfpicks and will be returning to the Waggle Duff Golf show next week with @waggleduff. Feel free to interact and look out for @danny_speck’s previews and selections along with @Nelsonsgolftips for the DP World Tour

If you want to play my new weekly fantasy competition, look out for my updates on my twitter and my site

Cameron Young – 25/1 2pt Win

This won’t be unusual for you to see this, but smashed it long and straight, could not be more in the right place for him to win his first PGA tour event. Quail Hollow is made for him and there is nothing more I need to add really.

Jordan Speith - 25/1 2pt win

As I said two weeks ago, at this price, playing as well as he has been, he will be on every card until he wins. If he beat Fitz in a playoff at RBC he would of surely been around 14/1 here, it’s an auto click. His putting excites me more and more, you know if Jordan has made the cut he always has a chance of shooting two low ones. You will not see many bogeys from Jordan especially with his short game, puts the ball in the fairway this week and will not be far away.

Sam Burns - 33/1 1pt Ew (8 Places)

Sam, I didn’t think would be on my card for a very long time, but his recent form, particularly with the putter has been nothing short of phenomenal. His performance at the matchplay to put away young was eye catching, and he just seems to be hitting 5th gear again. Hits it as long as someone like Hovland but has a better short game, and 20th in the field for SG Off the tee ain’t bad either.

Tyrell Hatton – 40/1 1pt E/W (8 Places)

So, imagine you didn’t already see the name above and just the price and then I told you think player was inside the top 10 for, SG Total, SG Off the Tee and SG Approach, yes he really is becoming a stud, just a few putts from winning multiple times I believe, not forgetting he already has 4 top 10’s this year.

Gary Woodland – 75/1 1pt E/W (8 Places)

You don’t always know what you are going to get with Gary, but he comes here with 6 cuts made in a row and a good top 10 at the Genesis, which we know has similar type of hard and fast greens. Scrambles well and is best on tour from 200+ yards in this field, so was an obvious click at this huge price.

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