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Wells Fargo Golf Championship
by Matt Fargo - 05/01/2013
The Wells Fargo Championship, formerly known as the Quail Hollow Championship, is the tour's next stop this week and the drama continues from Charlotte as this is the final tuneup prior to THE PLAYERS Championship next week. Billy Horschel is coming off his first PGA Tour win at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans last week but it will be tough this week for a first timer to win as the field is a packed one with many high profile players.
Quail Hollow is no easy track as the 7,492-yard layout is tight so accuracy is of the utmost importance here. Four years ago, the course ranked 19th in difficulty (out of 51) and three years ago, it was the second-most difficult of all par-72s in non-majors. Two years ago it finished under par for the first time ever and it backed that up last year with a similar result. The final three holes is dubbed the 'Green Mile' and this is where the tournament can be won or lost.
The last event before THE PLAYERS features just one player inside the top ten in the OWGR, Rory McIlroy. There are still many big names present though with Bubba Watson, Phil Mickelson Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood, Webb Simpson and Nick Watney teeing it up. This is slowly becoming one of the bigger stops on tour that is not a Major despite taking place the week before the 'fifth Major'. In 2017, Quail Hollow is hosting the PGA Championship which says something about this track.
The defending champion is Rickie Fowler (+2,000) who defeated Rory McIlroy and D.A. Points on the first playoff hole. That was his first victory on the PGA Tour and while he does not have one since then, he has been playing well with three tops tens and just one missed cut this season. Sundays have not been kind to him of late though and until he can put four consecutive consistent rounds together, we have to stay off.
Webb Simpson (+1,500) came close to a victory two weeks ago but lost in a playoff to Graeme McDowell in Hilton Head. He did miss two cuts previous to that but he still has three top tens overall as well as four other top 20's. After missing the cut in his first two starts here, he finished T21 two years ago and solo fourth last year and it certainly doesn't hurt being a member at Quail Hollow.
Bubba Watson (+2,200) had a great week in New Orleans despite an opening 73 as he posted a 65 on Friday and a 66 on Sunday to finish T15. He has missed only one cut this year and has finished outside T18 only twice in eight starts overall. He did not play here last year but does have a solid track record as he tied for second in 2009. He is ranked sixth in GIR which is a big stat for here.
Nick Watney (+2,500) has sniffed a victory only once this season which resulted in a T4 at the Farmers Insurance Open. Despite that, he has played very well with only one missed cut and four other top 20 finishes. He is coming off a T15 last week where he posted four 69's and he can carry that into Quail Hollow following an eighth place finish here a year ago.
Because of some big favorites this week, we are getting value as we go down the board and that is the case with Lucas Glover (+5,000). He has been somewhat inconsistent but he is coming off his second fourth place finish of the season last week in New Orleans. He is winless since 2011 as injuries took a toll but that last victory was right here when he took out Jonathan Byrd in a playoff.
Kyle Stanley (+8,000) will be the longshot pick this week and a big one at that. He has been all over the place this year but he plays well in bunches and after a solo third last week at the Zurich Classic, he can come back strong again here. Let's not forget his implosion, and subsequent solo second, at the Farmers last year only to come back and win the next week.
Recommended Tournament Win Five Pack at The Wells Fargo Championship (all for One Unit)
Webb Simpson (+1,500)
Bubba Watson (+2,200)
Nick Watney (+2,500)
Lucas Glover (+5,000)
Kyle Stanley (+8,000)
2012 Record to date after 36 events: +51.6 Units
2013 Record to date after 16 events: +15.6 Units
Hyundai Tournament of Champions -5 Units
Sony Open in Hawaii -5 Units
Humana Challenge - 5 Units
Farmer Insurance Open +3.5 Units
Waste Management Phoenix Open +19 Units
AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am -5 Units
Northern Trust Open -5 Units
WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship +25.66 units
The Honda Classic -5 Units
WGC-Cadillac Championship -5 Units
Tampa Bay Championship -5 Units
Arnold Palmer Invitational -1.5 Units
Shell Houston Open -5 Units
The Masters -8 Units
RBC Heritage +27 Units
Zurich Classic of New Orleans -5 Units