The PGA Tour returns back to normal play this week as we head to Quail Hollow for the Wells Fargo Championship. The course plays to long hitters as it’ll play about 7,600 yards this week. The Par 5’s on the course are the four easiest holes, so making sure that you’re carding birdies at worst should be the ideal play for the guys we target.
The Green Mile gets all of the attention this week as the closing three holes are the most difficult holes on the course. Finishing these three holes cumulatively at Par is the goal and if your guy is leading by only a shot heading to 16, it should make for quite the swings in scores come Sunday.
We’ve seen some longshots win here more recently (Hahn, Derek Ernst – 2013) as well as some longer shot players finishing runner-up (Watney, Wise, Castro, Rodgers) which gives even more merit to taking some shots on either in form value plays or those who have a game fit for success here.
If you’re leading 1AD leagues, your play is either Rory, Day or Rose (assuming you haven’t burned any of them yet), if you’re trailing I like Rose, Day, BHA, Phil in that order. Day’s health is a wild card right now and should keep people off of him until they can get confirmation that he’s 100% (which might not ever happen).
- The Course
- Quail Hollow Club
- Par 71
- 7,600 yards
- Bermuda greens
- Location: Charlotte, NC
- Corollary Courses/Performances:
- Past Champions:
- 2018: Jason Day -12 over Nick Watney & Aaron Wise
- 2017: Brian Harman -10 over Dustin Johnson & Pat Perez (Eagle Point Golf Club)
- 2016: James Hahn -9 in a playoff over Roberto Castro
- 2015: Rory McIlroy -21 over Patrick Rodgers & Webb Simpson
- 2014: JB Holmes -14 over Jim Furyk
KEY STATS TO TARGET
- Strong Emphasis – SG: APP, Par 5 Scoring, Birdies or Better, SG: OTT
- Important – Par 4 Scoring 450-500y, APP 200y+, Scrambling
THIS WEEK’S SUGGESTIONS
Rory McIlroy (DK $11,800)
- History: 16th – 4th – Win – 11th
- Form: DNP – DNP –
- Stats: 1st – SG: OTT, 12th – SG: APP, 52nd – SG: P, 1st – SG: T2G
- Analysis: The two-time winner at Quail Hollow is back in action this week and should be a popular play considering form and history. You don’t need me to tell you why he’s a good play this week. All you need to do is figure out if you’re willing to fade the hottest golfer on Tour in 2019 or not.
Phil Mickelson (DK $9,100)
- History: 5th – 4th – 4th – 11th
- Form: DNP – DNP – 18th – DNP
- Stats: 68th – SG: OTT, 55th – SG: APP, 117th – SG: P, 44th – SG: T2G
- Analysis: Phil has dominated this event over his career, but has yet to claim the honor of being called the Wells Fargo champion. From a course fit perspective, it makes sense as Lefty is known as someone who’s a long but inaccurate hitter off the tee, and a strong ball striker who can scramble. I’m going to have a tough time deciding what to do with Phil this week, but he’s definitely going to be in my player pool.
Justin Rose (DK $10,300): Rose pegs it at Quail Hollow for the first time since 2016 (where he finished solo 3rd). He also pegs it for the first time since missing the cut at The Masters, so it’ll be interesting to see where his ownership comes in as Quail Hollow is a strong course fit for the former World #1. Based on what we know about Rose and recency bias, I think he’ll make for an excellent GPP play this week.
Luke List (DK $8,000)
- History: 9th – 52nd – MC – DNP
- Form: 41st – DNP – MC – DNP
- Stats: 10th – SG: OTT, 33rd – SG: APP, 187th – SG: P, 14th – SG: T2G
- Analysis: A driver heavy course where driving accuracy isn’t important is exactly what List needs to get himself to the weekend. If he can find a groove with the putter (something he’s done from time to time on bermuda grass) he could give us another Top 10 finish. His ownership spiked at the Valero (20%), but he’s been someone who’s basically flown under 10% for most of the season so I don’t think we need to worry about him being a chalky play this week.
Byeong Hun An (DK $8,300): An comes in off two straight missed cuts now after missing the cut in the team event and missing at the RBC Heritage where he was massive chalk. The game is still there, and as far as course fit goes, he fits the bill as he’s elite off the tee and on approaches. Sadly, we know what we’re getting with the putter, but there’s always a chance that it shows up for more than 18 holes (hopefully of the 72 he plays this week).
Trey Mullinax (DK $7,500): A final round 77 out of the Mullinax/Stallings pairing last week might be a godsend for us this week as Trey has been lights out as of late and appears to be a strong course fit for Quail Hollow. He ranks 26th in the field in SG: OTT (over his last 24 rounds), 16th in SG: APP, 10th in ball striking, and his putting splits on bermuda aren’t as bad as they are on poa. He’s not someone I’d put a ton of exposure behind this week, but definitely someone I’ll plan on including in my player pool.
Jason Kokrak (DK $8,700)
- History: MC – MC – MC – MC
- Form: 16th – DNP – 7th – DNP
- Stats: 30th – SG: OTT, 4th – SG: APP, 56th – SG: P, 15th – SG: T2G
- Analysis: As far as course fit goes, I think Kokrak lines up as a strong play considering his off the tee and approach game and from a DK scoring perspective he’s been a Top 10 scorer over his last 24 rounds which also speaks to how well his all-around game is right now. His only made cut at this event came when it was held at Eagle Point (not listed above) so maybe his ownership comes in a bit lower than expected.
Webb Simpson (DK $9,700): 16th at Harbour Town, 5th at Augusta and 16th at the PLAYERS indicates his game is clicking and when you add in the “home course” narrative that we’ll undoubtedly hear all week you’ll have to assume Webb will be a chalky play.
Rory Sabbatini (DK $7,700): Sabbs has been on a low-key heater now for the better part of the last two months. He played well again last week during the team event following a T10 at the RBC Heritage and while I don’t think this is a great course fit for him, you’d have to give him a look unless he gets talked up quite a bit by the industry (I’m sure he will, in which case I’d be looking to fade).
CONTRARIAN CORE (GPP PLAYS)
Jason Day (DK $11,000): Defending champion who comes in with strong form following a T5 at The Masters, MC at Valspar (not a great course fit) and T8 at THE PLAYERS (former winner) means he’s going to be someone we target heavily even with the defending champion duties this week. There’s always a concern about his back issues (which even popped up mid-round at Augusta), but I think having leverage on the field here is a better way to play it with someone with his upside.
Rickie Fowler (DK $10,600): Fowler got his first PGA Tour win at Quail and is playing really well this year (winner at WMPO, runner-up at Honda). Fowler is going to be popular as he always is, so we’ll try to get some leverage on him as well as he too has a ton of upside in scoring and finishing place bonus points.
Jhonattan Vegas (DK $8,200): Vegas isn’t usually someone I’m willing to roster at core exposures, but his game as of late seems worth the risk. He’s 3rd in SG: OTT over his last 24 rounds, 13th in SG: T2G, and 12th in DK points and his putting splits favor bermuda grass greens. If he gets hot with the putter he’ll make for an excellent low owned, high upside play.
Keith Mitchell (DK $7,800): Killa-Keith is back in the core this week as we’re on a driver heavy course which features bermuda grass greens. He’s a winner this year (Honda) in a field that was somewhat top heavy such as the one this week and his DK scoring the last 24 rounds puts him in the Top 25 of the field.
Thanks for reading and good luck this week from the FGI team!
- Pari (@hitthehighdraw)