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Wells Fargo Championship Preview: DeepDiveGolf’s Tournament Analysis, Weather, And Advice

For most punters, it’s fair to say it has been a polarizing season on the PGA Tour so far. Mixed in between a number of extremely short-priced Scottie Scheffler victories, whose four wins all came at less than $7.50, there have been a number of long-shot winners. In fact, an outstanding 8 of the first 13 tournaments this year were won by a golfer paying triple figures come tournament start. Just five victories have come at less than 80/1 this year that weren’t Scheffler. Fortunately for us, we managed to hit Matthieu Pavon at 125/1, which has helped to keep our head above water. Also fortunately for this week’s Wells Fargo Championship preview, we picked Wyndham Clark successfully here at 75/1 for his debut PGA Tour victory.

In case you were wondering, those five winners under 80/1 in 2024 (who weren’t Scottie Scheffler) are as follows. They were Wyndham Clark at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am (60/1), Jake Knapp at the Mexico Open (40/1), Stephan Jaeger at the Houston Open (50/1), Akshay Bhatia at the Texas Open (50/1), and Billy Horschel at the Corales Puntacana (20/1).

Finally, perhaps the largest stroke of fortune in hopefully finding some value this week is that Scottie Scheffler is not playing. With the withdrawal of Ludvig Aberg from a course that should’ve really suited him also has to assist. Which, of course, probably means Rory McIlroy wins this week.

A short tangent into the history books

The host course this week, Quail Hollow Club, provides many advantages for our Wells Fargo Championship preview this week. Firstly, this tournament has been hosted at this venue on 18 prior occasions. The golf course also hosted the Kemper Open on 11 occasions, if you wish to deep-dive back to the 1970s. This provides a wealth of data to delve into. Secondly, the course does exactly what it says on the tin.

Initially, the mention of those 1970s tournaments may seem pretty inert. Until you find out that Tom Weiskopf won the event 3 times in that 11 year span. He was regarded as one of the longest drivers of the golf ball at the time, along with one of the most consistent ball-strikers of his era.

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Quail Hollow Course Analysis

Not much has changed some 50 years later. That helps our preview of the Wells Fargo Championship. The golf course is a mammoth 7,558 yard par 71. Pound-for-pound, that makes it the longest PGA Tour venue of the regular stops for the year. It should come as no surprise, then, that driving distance is a real asset at this golf course.

That translates as far as the approach shots. A whopping 75% of all approach shots will occur from over 150 yards. If there is a flaw in Rory McIlroy’s game, it is perhaps his wedges. Therefore, it should be no surprise that he has won three times, finished runner-up twice, and an additional four Top 10s to boot on a course where he really ends up with a short-iron in hand. That’s a remarkable rate of 2/3rds of his appearances resulting in a Top 10 here.

Quail Hollow plays host to our Wells Fargo Championship Preview

Given those metrics, and particularly weighing in the approach data, ball speed is an interesting statistic to consider this week.

Since 2007, only two winners at Quail Hollow have ranked worse than 31st in ball speed for the PGA Tour season. Those were James Hahn (2016, ranked 83/207 at tournament start) and Rickie Fowler (2012, ranked 46/187 at tournament start). Last year’s champion Wyndham Clark finished 3rd in that ranking for both the 2022 and 2023 seasons.

As a matter of curiosity, here are the current players ranked 31st or better for the season in ball speed that are in this week’s field:

4th Wyndham Clark
5th Rory McIlroy
7th Gary Woodland
9th Tony Finau
10th Xander Schauffele
11th Jake Knapp
16th Nick Dunlap
17th Cameron Young
26th Byeong-Hun An
30th Taylor Pendrith

Sam Burns, ranking 32nd, is the bubble boy.

Quail Hollow Course Comps

Alongside the wealth of data to delve into for our Wells Fargo Championship preview, we also have the added benefit of a course with some of the stickiest course history on the PGA Tour. Only Augusta National, Riviera, TPC Scottsdale, and Bay Hill hold stronger correlations.

What does that mean? Well, that this golf course prefers a particular type of player, and it’s repeatable. Further, arriving in a lack of form is less of a hinderance than at other venues if you have played well at Quail Hollow before.

If you weren’t following these pages back at the 2023 US Open, we went one further on Wyndham Clark and also successfully tipped him at 80/1. Part of the reason was we suspected Los Angeles Country Club would play quite similar to Quail Hollow.

We weren’t disappointed. The tournament produced a leaderboard near identical to a Wells Fargo Championship.

Alongside Clark, we also selected Rickie Fowler who was first round leader, tied with Clark for the lead entering the final round, and finished 5th. Plus Xander Schauffele, who was also FRL, 6th entering the final round, and finished 10th.

Fowler has the 3rd best strokes gained total of all recorded rounds at Quail Hollow, including his maiden PGA Tour win. Xander ranks in the top 15 for SG of those who have played the course at least 4 times. Rory McIlroy finished runner-up. Fleetwood finished 5th at both courses in 2023, with English finishing 3rd at Quail Hollow and 8th at LACC.

Another to consider is Bay Hill, a long driving golf course where ball-striking is at a premium. And, finally, the Valspar Championship which requires a large number of approach shots over 200+ yards and shares the same bermuda greens overseeded with poa annua.

Wells Fargo Championship Weather Preview

As we have mentioned previously at these signature field events, the reduction in size to just 69 players does limit any weather edge that can be gained. Whereas in a larger field tournament there is more dispersion in tee-times, here all golfers will be out on the golf course within 2 hours of each other. As such, there is less opportunity for any particular tee-time to gain an advantage by being on the golf course at a certain time.

Thursday looks a windy day, with prevailing winds reaching 15-20mph and gusts over 30mph. There is a small chance of thunderstorms, but likely insufficient to result in play not completing that day. Friday morning should provide calmer winds in the morning, but quickly increasing from 1pm onwards to similar levels seen on Thursday. Given the first tee-times are at 11am local, there may be a minor advantage for those going out first on Friday morning.

All models point to Saturday and Sunday being calm, with scoring likely to be best on these days.

Wells Fargo Championship Preview Golf Betting Tips

If you would like to read my golf betting tips for the Wells Fargo Championshipyou can preview these in the WinDaily Premium Discord here.

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Thank you for reading our preview and tournament analysis of the Wells Fargo Championship. I look forward to welcoming you into the WinDaily family and celebrating many, many wins with you in 2024!

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