Wells Fargo Championship Predictions
Dates: May 14-17, 2015
Course: Quail Hollow GC - Charlotte, NC
TV: The Golf Channel/CBS
by Evergreen, PGA Handicapper, Predictem.com
The youth movement is certainly on when it comes to the PGA Tour. Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler have won the two biggest tournaments of this season and Rory McIlroy remains the top ranked player in the world despite what is a mini-slump for him. Many tournaments have a tendency for giving young players a boost and that can easily be said for this weeks stop, the Wells Fargo Championship.
The Wells Fargo Championship has just 12 editions in the books but several Tour stars have gotten their first taste of victory here. Anthony Kim won his first PGA event here in 2008 and McIlroy notched his first win in 2010. Rickie Fowler hoisted the trophy in 2012 after a playoff win over Rory and Derek Ernst kept the youth movement going with a win in 2013. J.B. Holmes is your defending champ and while he had won previously on Tour, he hadnt done so since brain surgery just two years prior. Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk and Vijay Singh are also prior champs here so there is no shortage of noteworthy golf an event that is barely a teenager.
The Wells Fargo stop, formerly Wachovia, may be new to the rotation but Quail Hollow Golf Club is not. The private club has previously hosted the Kemper Open and PaineWebber Invitational and will host the 2017 PGA Championship and 2021 Presidents Cup. Quail Hollow will measure 7,562 yards for the championship and play at par-72. The natural landscape around the Charlotte layout adds difficulty as players must navigate plenty of trouble from tee-to-green and there will be few straight-forward shots. The course can be scored on as McIlroy and Brendon de Jonge proved by shooting course record 62s in recent years but success typically comes from those that can utilize a variety of different skills throughout the week. Look for a mid-teens under par total to win and a playoff is a good bet as extra holes have been necessary in half of all Wells Fargo Championships.
Each week, we take a look at the online betting sites and highlight the players that we think are the best bets to win. We make a few picks to win the event outright and breakdown a couple of head to head matches that you can find at any golf sportsbook. Find the most weekly golf betting options at the web’s best sportsbook: (best priced odds too!) 5Dimes. Here are our picks to win the 2015 Wells Fargo Championship.
Jim Furyk (18 to 1 odds to win)
While the young guns have been commanding all of the attention, Furyk has been holding down the veteran fort by winning the RBC Heritage and finishing in the top-10 two of the last three weeks. He has moved to #5 in the OWGR and has two top-10s at Quail Hollow in his last five starts, including a runner-up finish last year. You know you are getting a top notch ballstriker when you bet Furyk but he has been very precise with the approach game so far, leading the Tour in proximity to the hole and it is usually easier to make birdies the closer you get. Furyk is still a master at limiting mistakes and turns the 145thranked birdie average into the 13thbest scoring mark. He gets the most out of his rounds and he is bringing some nice value for a former champ on a hotstreak.
Kevin Kisner (33 to 1)
It seems that a breakout is just around the corner for Kisner after two playoff losses in the last three weeks. He has moved to 21stin the FedEx ranks and has missed just one cut since February. Kevin was T6 here last year and has the cut of a guy that should do well at Quail Hollow. There arent a lot of wow-factor stats on his sheet but he is a respectable 41stin total driving and is a top-20 scrambler. His putting is average at best but it seems like he is feeling it based on his recent results and the greens at the Wells Fargo arent the problem that they used to be. I think Kisner needs some more experience and confidence to routinely compete in big events but he seems a good play in many of these second-tier stops where every single top-25 player isnt guarding the door.
Hunter Mahan (50 to 1)
Mahan has always been a bit of a puzzle to me as his stat sheet is literally one of the most complete on Tour yet he just cant seem to contend regularly. Still, he has the goods to win, it just becomes a matter of picking out the right event to get your money on him. I see Quail Hollow as a good course for him as he can use his skill off the tee to set him up and finish things off with an above average putter. Mahan is 6thin total driving, 19thin ballstriking and inside the top-100 in every relevant scoring category so he just needs to put it all together. There is plenty of experience for him to rely on and he could be trending in the right direction after consecutive top-10 at the Masters and WGC Match Play.
Rory Sabbatini (66 to 1)
I normally like to go a bit deeper for the longshots but Sabbs stuck out after watching him navigate his way to a T6 at the PLAYERS last week. Rory oddly has missed seven cuts already this year but has just as many top-25 finishes and has been T6 at the Sony as well. He finished 8thhere in 2014 and solo 3rdin 2011 so he has been close at Quail Hollow. Sabbatini brings the 26thbest scoring average and is no worse than 50thin key stats like total driving, greens in regulation, birdie average and scrambling. He will need a bit better performance on the greens than he has put in so far if he hopes to win but all the rest is there and that is a necessity this week on a tough track.
Head to Head Matches
Picks to win based on final score after all four rounds. Check with your favorite online betting site for single round matches and a variety of prop bets.
Adam Scott v. Phil Mickelson (pick to win: Scott)
Ive done so much Phil-bashing lately that I almost want to do the opposite this week but I do not think Quail Hollow is the course to get me behind Lefty. Mickelson is outside the top-125 in fairways and greens hit which is a terrible combination on a course that requires accuracy in both. Scott owns solid advantages there and while Phil has been the better putter in 2015, he just loses too much on paper in terms of ballstriking. Neither player is exactly in form right now but Id rather have a player like Scott who needs to fix fewer things in order to get back in the mix. I doubt Phil is done but he isnt bet-worthy right now.
Charles Howell III v. Nick Watney (pick to win: Howell III)
CHIII is pulling some of the best smoke-and-mirrors work right now as he is seeing good results despite hitting just about half of the fairways. Howell is one of the longer players on Tour and makes up for the wildness by recovering to hit the 38thmost greens. Watney is a bit more consistent off the tee but goes the opposite way and gets no GIR bump, hitting just the 94thmost entering the week. Both players check in at nearly the same scoring average but Watney is making more birdies to get there so Howell has really done great work in limiting the damage from a sometimes crooked driver. Basically, Howell has been judicious around the real trouble and lets it go when the conditions are right. The trouble is obvious at Quail Hollow so I expect Charlie to rein it in and get around better than his counterpart this week.
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Good luck and good golf!