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  • Writer's pictureNate (@WeKnowFantasy)

Out of the Rough: Wells Fargo Championship (2024)


With just a week until the second major of the season in the PGA Championship at Valhalla, the Tour faces its final tune-up in the form of the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Golf & Country Club.


What a perfect tuneup opportunity for the PGA Tour golfers as the hallowed grounds of Quail Hollow has, on its own, hosted both the PGA Championship and Presidents Cup in year’s past.


Quail Hollow also sits just 3.5 hours away from next week’s host, Valhalla.


This week serves as another Signature Event of the PGA Tour’s calendar with a $20 million purse on the line.


Lucky for us as bettors, Scottie Scheffler has opted to take the week off, making him the only eligible player to not be teeing it up this week.


The Field

As previously mentioned, bettors and PGA Tour professionals alike get to take a deep breath as Scheffler will not be teeing it up this week as he anxiously awaits the arrival of his first born child.


This week’s field consists of just 68 golfers with nearly every top player on the PGA Tour in attendance.


Wyndham Clark comes in as the defending champion using the then elevated event as his first victory of his PGA Tour career a year ago.


Clark did so in demanding fashion, besting runner-up Xander Schauffele by four strokes.


Max Homa (2021,2018) Jason Day (2017,) Rickie Fowler (2012,) and Rory McIlroy (2021, 2015 & 2010) round out the list of former winners of this event teeing it up this week.


The Course

Quail Hollow plays host to this year’s Wells Fargo Championship for the fifth time since 2016.


It was designed by George Cobb in 1959 and has seen a rich history over its 65 years. It has seen renovations from Tom Fazio in 1997, 2003 and 2016 to adapt to the increased length of Tour pros and continuing to be a quintessential fit for majors.


This track first hosted the PGA Tour’s Kemper Open in 1969 through 1979 prior to the event switching to the Congressional. From there, Quail Hollow has hosted the World Seniors Invitational before becoming the more stable host to the Wells Fargo Championship in 2023.


Quail Hollow most recently hosted the Presidents Cup in 2022 which saw the United States reign supreme over the international squad.


It last hosted a major in 2017 where Justin Thomas claimed the first Major title of his career. We’ll see Quail Hollow back on the Major next year as it is set to host the 2025 PGA Championship.


Like most major-quality courses, this week’s track rewards the longester players off the tee and requires a very well-rounded game from tee-to-green.


Quail Hollow is not necessarily a bomber’s paradise like we saw a week ago at TPC Craig Ranch, but it is an advantage to get off the tee with length. We have seen in recent outings that fairway finders are able to compete but the leaderboard is often littered with the longest drivers.


Distance off the tee is important, but so isn’t finding the fairway.


With the course set up for a non-major, with wider fairways and shorter roughs, it helps those who lack distance off the tee compete.


Long iron play too will be crucial as a large number of approach shots will be taken from 175-plus yards this week.


Golfers will be required to scramble for pars this week as a winning score has surpassed 12-under par just twice over the last seven years.


The greens this week are Bermuda and boy are they fast. Those competent with the flat stick on Bermuda greens will have a big advantage as three-putting can derail anyone’s round.


With the fast greens and long approach shots, getting the ball to stick will be tricky. Therefore those with competent around-the-green skill sets too will see an advantage this week.


In these low scoring affairs, taking advantage of the par fives are a must. That is where the majority of scoring will be done. 


In all, it takes a lot to claim victory at Quail Hollow.


The Weather

As of the time of writing this Thursday is calling for a 60-percent chance of precipitation with scattered thunderstorms. Friday calls for a 30-percent chance of precipitation with isolated thunderstorms. Saturday and Sunday look to be clear with just a ten and 20-percent chance respectively of precipitation. Highs will begin at 84-degrees on Thursday before quickly falling to 76-degrees on Friday and settling out at 73-degrees for both Saturday and Sunday. Winds will also be at the highest on Thursday at 15 miles-per-hour before falling to ten miles-per-hour on Friday and settling to nine miles-per-hour across the weekend. Luckily for us, as of now, the heart of the bad weather on Thursday is set to hit in the late afternoon and into the evening. 


Key Stats

  • Strokes Gained: Approach (SG: APP)

  • Driving Accuracy Percentage

  • Scrambling

  • Strokes Gained: Putting on Bermuda (SG: PUTT Bermuda)

  • Average Driving Distance

  • Greens in Regulation Percentage (GIR%)

  • Approach Shots from 175-plus Yards

  • Bogey Avoidance

  • Three-Putt Avoidance

  • Par 5 Performance

  • Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green (SG: ATG)

  • Birdie or Better Percentage


DFS Suggestions

$10,000+

I’m starting my DFS lineups essentially the same way I start every week he plays in and that’s with Xander Schaffuele ($11,500.) Schauffele tops my stats-based model by a large margin. He is currently second on Tour in three-putt avoidance, third in bogey avoidance, fifth in scrambling, sixth in par five average scoring, 11th in birdie or better percentage, 12th in proximity to the hole from 175-plus yards, 27th in both SG: APP and SG: ATG, 34th in GIR%, 35th in driving accuracy, 43rd in average driving distance and 44th in SG: PUTT Bermuda. In other words, he’s top 44 in each of the 12 statistical categories I took into consideration this week. Outside of the rain-shortened AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, his worst finish on the entire season was T25th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Dating back to then he’s gone T2nd at THE PLAYERS Championship, T5th at the Valspar Championship, eighth at The Masters and T18th at the RBC Heritage. In 11 events he’s played, he’s been in the top 25 in ten of them, top ten in seven of them and top five in four. That’s a rate of placing top ten 64-percent of the time and top five 36-percent of the time. I want him in my lineups. He also placed second here a season ago and 14th in 2021.


$9,000-$9,900

Per my model, my favorite play in this price range is Sahith Theegala ($9,100.) Theegala placed second in his last outing to Scheffler at another Signature Event in the RBC Heritage. He also has six top 25’s on the season, five top tens and three top fives. He’s done very well at these Signature Events on this season. Along with his runner-up performance at the RBC Heritage he’s also gone T9th at THE PLAYERS Championship, T6th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and second at The Sentry Tournament of Championship. On the season Theegala is currently 18th on Tour in bogey avoidance, 19th in SG: PUTT Bermuda, 20th in both GIR% and par five average scoring, 27th in birdie or better percentage, 38th in SG: APP, 46th in proximity to the hole from 175-plus yards, 47th in scrambling, 51st in average driving distance, 62nd in three-putt avoidance, 78th in driving accuracy and 108th in SG: ATG. Also consider Max Homa ($9,400.) Forewarning, the ownership of Homa will be rather high with a fair price and being a two time event winner of the Wells Fargo Championship. However, I simply could not write this article without talking about him. Homa has been a bit up-and-down this season. He has some fantastic performances such as a T3rd at The Masters and T8th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. However, the trend suggests that after a big performance, he has a down week in his next event following. Luckily for us, his down event was the RBC Heritage and he’s primed for a big week at a course he may know better than anyone else in this field (outside of Rory McIlroy.) Homa won here in 2022 and 2018 but also placed eighth a season ago. He is currently 27th on Tour in scrambling, 33rd in bogey avoidance, 41st in SG: ATG, 44th in three-putt avoidance, 63rd in par-five average scoring, 64th in SG: APP, 70th in driving accuracy, 80th in birdie or better percentage, 85th in average driving distance and 93rd in GIR%. His downfalls this week are a 129th placement in proximity to the hole from 175-plus yards and 130th in SG: PUTT. We know Homa as a world-class putter and that stat does not do him justice. If we look back at some of his better performances this season he gained 5.465 strokes putting at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, 1.959 strokes at the Valero and 3.150 strokes at The Genesis. Once the putter is going, Homa will be in contention. On some of the fastest greens on Tour that he is also very knowledgeable of, this is Homa’s week. I’m also playing two units on Homa to win this week at +2500.


$8,000-$8,900

My first play in this price range is Si Woo Kim ($8,600.) Now, Kim doesn’t fit the typical mold of what we’re looking for here at Quail Hollow but what he does bring is consistency. It’s hard to ignore what Kim has done this season. He’s placed in the top 30 in each of his last six outings on the season, including a T13th at last week’s THE CJ CUP Byron Nelson that was true bomber’s paradise. He also has eight top 25’s on the season in 12 events played. Hard to pass that up when building a DFS lineup. He is currently fifth on tour in driving accuracy, seventh in bogey avoidance, 14th in par five average scoring, 17th in SG: APP, 18th in three-putt avoidance, 19th in birdie or better percentage, 22nd in scrambling, 24th in SG: ATG, 32nd in GIR% and 74th in proximity to the hole from 175-plus yards. Of course, he’s going to bring some redflags, including the aforementioned lack of distance off the tee as he ranks 146th in average driving distance and also 163rd in SG: PUTT Bermuda. The only promising thing about that is that Kim constantly loses strokes on the greens and still places rather well on any given week. In the event he has a spike putting week, he’ll skyrocket up the leaderboards. A bit of a safe floor play here. Also consider Matt Fitzpatrick ($8,700.) I absolutely love the value here. Fitzpatrick was the runner-up here in 2022 to Homa and also placed T35th a season ago. Since his missed cut at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Fitzpatrick has placed fifth at THE PLAYERS Championship, T10th at the Valero Texas Open, T22nd at The Masters and T28th at the RBC Heritage. He is currently sixth on Tour in par five average scoring, ninth in proximity to the hole from 175-plus yards, tenth in SG: PUTT Bermuda, 15th in birdie or better percentage, 25th in driving accuracy, 62nd in GIR%, 72nd in average driving distance, 75th in bogey avoidance, 78th in SG: APP, 88th in SG: ATG, 91st in three-putt avoidance and 92nd in scrambling. In other words, he’s above-average in each of the 12 statistical categories I took into consideration this week. I’m also playing a unit on him to win this week at +3300. 


$7,000-$7,900

It’s about time I get back on the Akshay Bhatia ($7,500) wagon. Bhatia is currently sixth on Tour in SG: APP, 19th in driving accuracy, 25th in proximity to the hole from 175-plus yards, 28th in bogey avoidance, 30th in both SG: PUTT Bermuda and birdie or better percentage, 31st in scrambling, 33rd in par five average scoring, 48th in GIR%, 92nd in average driving distance, 102nd in SG: ATG and 105th in three-putt avoidance. Since his run of three straight missed cuts between the WM Phoenix Open and THE PLAYERS Championship earlier this season, Bhatia has gone on to win the Valero Texas Open as well as place T11th at the Texas Children’s Houston Open, T17th at the Valspar Championship, T18th at the RBC Heritage and T35 at The Masters. He did make the cut here a season ago as well. Also consider Tom Hoge ($7,200.) Hoge is currently second on Tour in SG: APP, fourth in proximity to the hole from 175-plus yards, seventh in birdie or better percentage, ninth in bogey avoidance, 20th in par five average scoring, 21st in GIR%, 30th in scrambling, 44th in three-putt avoidance, 66th in SG: PUTT Bermuda and 107th in driving accuracy. His downfalls this week include a 138th placement in average driving distance and 150th in SG: ATG. In 14 events on the season, Hoge has placed in the top 25 in seven of them as well as two top tens. That’s two top tens just so happened to come at Signature Events in The Genesis and the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. He also has finishes such as a T12th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and T18th at the RBC Heritage, also Signature Events, this season. 


$6,900-

In a field of just 68 golfers, finding value in this price range is tough. However, I believe my two suggestions can do just that. First up we have Matthieu Pavon ($6,500.) Pavon had a great start to his 2024 season. He won the Farmers Insurance Open, placed third at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and T7th at the Sony Open in Hawaii. He’s since come back to earth but let’s not forget that he recently placed T12th in his debut at The Masters. He is currently 13th on Tour in driving accuracy, 14th in SG: APP, 25th in birdie or better percentage, 29th in proximity to the hole from 175-plus yards, 38th in bogey avoidance, 49th in GIR%, 68th in scrambling, 83rd in three-putt avoidance, 88th in SG: PUTT Bermuda, 93rd in average driving distance and 111th in par five average scoring. His downfall comes around-the-green as he ranks 157th in SG: ATG. Also consider Kurt Kitayama ($6,800.) Kitayama has been a model of consistency this season. He’s missed just one cut in 11 events played this year. In those ten made cuts he has placed top 35 in six of them including a T8th at the WM Phoenix Open and a T19th at THE PLAYERS Championship. He did miss the cut here a season ago but did place T15th in 2022. Kitayama is currently 29th on Tour in scrambling, 32nd in three-putt avoidance, 33rd in both proximity to the hole from 175-plus yards and bogey avoidance, 34th in SG: APP, 40th in average driving distance, 54th in driving accuracy, 73rd in par five average scoring, 84th in GIR%, 111th in birdie or better percentage and 125th in SG: ATG. His downfall comes on the greens of course as he ranks 160th in SG: PUTT Bermuda. He does have the ability to spike with his putter however. He gained 4.48 strokes putting at the WM Phoenix Open this season and 1.711 strokes at THE PLAYERS Championship. I’m also playing a unit on him at +11000.


Betting Card

  • Max Homa (+2500) - 2u

  • Matt Fitzpatrick (+3300) - 1u

  • Stephan Jaeger (+6600) - 1u

  • Kurt Kitayama (+11000) - 1u


Stephan Jaeger (+6600)

Jaeger has quietly been one of the better golfers on Tour this season. He notched his first career victory at the Texas Children’s Houston Open back in March. He also placed T3rd at the Farmers Insurance Open and Mexico Open at Vidanta. Recently he’s gone T18th at the RBC Heritage and T20th at last week’s THE CJ CUP Byron Nelson. Over the last two seasons at the Wells Fargo Championship Jaeger placed T27th last year and T6th in 2022. He is currently seventh on Tour in SG: ATG, 18th in birdie or better percentage, 20th in average driving distance, 26th in scrambling, 31st in par five average scoring, 48th in bogey avoidance, 73rd in GIR%, 82nd in SG: PUTT Bermuda, 89th in SG: APP, 95th in driving accuracy, 100th in proximity to the hole from 175-plus yards and 122nd in three-putt avoidance.

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Hugh Woolnough
Hugh Woolnough
May 07

Minor point of correction…Homa’s only won once on this course…his win in 2022 was on a different course

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