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Wells Fargo Preview and Picks
by Matt Fargo - 04/29/2014
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. Seung-yul Noh 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 7,562-yard layout is tight so accuracy is of the utmost importance here. Five years ago, the course ranked 19th in difficulty (out of 51) and four years ago, it was the second-most difficult of all par-72s in non-majors. Three years ago it finished under par for the first time ever and it backed that up two years ago with a similar result. Last year though, it was back to normal as it was +1.04 over par, the second hardest par 72 of the non-Majors.
The last event before THE PLAYERS features just two players inside the top ten in the OWGR, Phil Mickelson and Justin Rose. There are still many big names present though with Rory McIlroy, Jim Furyk, Lee Westwood, Jimmy Walker and Rickie Fowler 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.
Lee Westwood (+1,600) has fallen off the radar the last couple years as his spotty play is keeping backers away. He has a short price this week but for good reason as he is playing his best right now with a T17 in Houston and a solo seventh at the Masters and then followed that up with a win at the Malaysian Open two weeks ago. His last two starts at Quail Hollow have resulted in a T5 in 2012 and a T4 last year.
We last used Jim Furyk (+2,500) at the Masters and while he didn't contend Sunday, he did finish T14 and then followed that up with a T7 at the Heritage. He has now finished in the top 20 in his last four starts and he should keep that going at Quail Hollow where he has had plenty of success. He won here in 2006 but it doesn't end there as he has four other top 25's including a pair of seventh place finishes in 2008 and 2010.
Rickie Fowler (+2,900) got off to a very slow start to the season with three missed cuts in his first six events but he was able to turn things around at the Accenture Match Play, finishing third. Since then, he has two other top six finishes, both coming in two of his last three starts. He missed the cut last week in New Orleans but remember he won here in 2012 which followed a T16 and a solo sixth the previous two years.
Webb Simpson (+4,000) has not been playing good but that is being taken into account with this number and I think it has great value. He has been off since the Masters so the rest is good for him. After missing the cut in his first two starts here, he finished T21 three years ago and solo fourth two years ago before a T32 last year and it certainly doesn't hurt being a member at Quail Hollow.
Kevin Na (+6,500) will be our big longshot this week. His season was cut short last year but he is making up for it this year as he has four top tens in the wrap around season which includes three top four finishes. He missed the cut at the Heritage in his last start but after his last missed cut prior to that, he finished solo second at the Valspar Championship. He was solo fifth here in 2011.
Recommended Tournament Win Five Pack at the Wells Fargo Championship - All for 1 Unit
Lee Westwood (+1,600)
Jim Furyk (+2,500)
Rickie Fowler (+2,900)
Webb Simpson (+4,000)
Kevin Na (+6,500)
2014 Record to date after 15 events: -22 Units
Sony Open in Hawaii -5 Units
Humana Challenge -5 Units
Farmers Insurance Open -5 Units
Waste Management Phoenix Open -5 Units
AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am +22 Units
Northern Trust Open -5 Units
WGC - Accenture Match Play +23 Units
Honda Classic -5 Units
WGC-Cadillac Championship -5 Units
Valspar Championship -5 Units
Arnold Palmer Invitational -5 Units
Valero Texas Open -5 Units
Shell Houston Open -5 Units
The Masters -7 Units
Zurich Classic -5 Units