Wells Fargo Championship Betting Preview

Wells Fargo Championship 2014

Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, North Carolina
7,442 yards, par 72

The Course
This course was designed by George Cobb and opened in 1962 and quickly established itself as a worthy host of big events. The course is a lengthy 7,442 yards so it will favour players who can hit it long. It has four par 5’s and four par 3’s so players with good par 5 and par 3 scoring stats will be worth looking at here. These tree lined fairways will require accurate drivers of the golf ball so be on the lookout for guys that have good driving distance and accuracy stats.

There are also some water hazards with some tricky bunkers, particularly on the par 3’s. The final three-hole stretch, known as the “Green Mile,” is considered one of the toughest finishes on the PGA TOUR. In these final holes there are two long par 4’s and a long, challenging par 3 with water in play. This final stretch of holes should offer a very exciting finish on Sunday.

Rory McIlroy 7/1
I know Rory is very short in the betting this week but it’s hard to see past his previous record here at Quail Hollow, not to mention his good current form. In his last three appearances in this tournament, Rory has a win in 2010, a second place finish in 2012 and a 10th place finish last year.

McIlroy has been showing some great form lately with three top 10’s in his last four starts. He played well at The Honda for most of the week only to fall at the final hurdle and lose to Russell Henley to finish second. He then played well in Houston finishing in a respectable T7th. Rory also had three good rounds in The Masters and If it weren’t for a poor second round 77, it could have been a different story.

McIlroy has the length off the tee to be able to handle this 7,442 yard beast ranking sixth in driving distance so far this season on the PGA Tour. He also ranks 21st in GIR, eighth in par breakers, 11th in par 4 scoring and 21st in par 5 scoring. He has a great previous record on this course and is clearly playing well enough to win for the second time here at Quail Hollow.

Lee Westwood 16/1
Westy is playing superb golf lately and completely dominated the field in Malaysia recently winning by a massive seven strokes leaving the likes of Louis Oosthuizen and Bernd Weisberger in his dust in a tie for second. He also played well at Augusta the week before finishing in solo seventh recording his fourth top 10 in five appearances at Augusta National.

Before The Masters, Westwood had a mixed bag of results so far on the PGA Tour but seems to be coming into some good form. He also played well at the Houston Open the week before the Masters finishing in a respectable T17th for the week. He also has a good record here at Quail Hollow finishing fourth here last year and fifth in 2012. He is clearly playing great golf at the moment and could be a big contender here this week.

Jimmy Walker 30/1
Walker has had a superb season so far with three victories already under his belt. His victories came at The Frys.com Open back in October, The Sony Open in January and The AT&T in Pebble Beach in February. Jimmy has been maintaining decent form and consistency over the last few tournaments and hasn’t finished worse than T25th in his last seven events.

He played well in Augusta shooting a final round 70 to finish on level par for the tournament. He had a poor third round of 76, which took him out of the running but overall he played well in his first visit to The Masters. Walker is another good ball striker hitting it an average of 300 yards off the tee ranking 17th in driving distance.

He also ranks 30th in GIR, third in strokes gained, second in par breakers and third in par 4 performance. In par 5 performance he ranks 10th and 21st in par 3 performance. Overall, Walker is a player bang in form at the moment and comes here off the back of a T8th at Augusta after taking two weeks off and should be right in the mix.

Jason Kokrak 50/1
Kokrak is having a good season so far with three top 15’s in his last five starts. He had a good week at The Valspar Championship finishing in a respectable T14th. He then played well the following week at The Arnold Palmer Invitational finishing in solo fourth on a total of 10 under par for the tournament. Most recently, Kokrak played well at The RBC Heritage at Hilton Head finishing in T12th.

He had a good opening two rounds last year shooting a 68 and 70 to get himself in contention going into the weekend. He then shot a third round 73 and a final round 80 to finish in T50 for the week. That being said, he comes into this week in much better form this year and has shown he can play well here.

This course should suit the big hitting Kokrak, who is one of the biggest hitters on tour tanking seventh in driving distance. He also ranks 24th in par breakers, 19th in par 4 performance, first in approaches from 275 yards and fourth in approaches from 200 yards, which should be a big help on these four par 5’s.

Brian Harman 80/1
Brian Harman is playing well lately putting in some great performances so far this season. He has four top 10’s so far and started the season well with a T7 at The Frys.com Open back in October. He then had a T10 at The McGladrey Classic a couple of weeks later and a super T3rd at The Northern Trust Open in February. Most recently, he played very well at The RBC Heritage finishing in T7th which included three 69’s and a 71 so his game appears to be in great shape at the moment.

Statswise Harman ranks 30th in strokes gained, 56th in par breakers, sixth in par 3 performance and 49th in par 4 scoring. He also ranks 21st in approaches from 225-250 yards and fourth in proximity to the hole. His game is in great shape and looks like he’s on an upward curve.

Ben Martin 80/1
Ben Martin is another player on the crest of a wave at the moment playing some good golf. He’s had a mixed season so far but started well finishing T16th at The Frys.com Open. Most recently, he played well in Puerto Rico finishing in solo third and followed that with a T3 at The RBC Heritage.

Martin also had a good week in New Orleans finishing T15th for the tournament. He had a superb start shooting the course record with an opening round of 62 and followed that with a 67 on Friday. He shot a disappointing 73, 75 over the weekend but showed good signs last week and looks to be on an upward curve. Martin ranks 27th in total driving, 21st in strokes gained putting and 12th in approaches from 275 yarrds. He is great value here this week and is well worth a punt at 80/1.

Final Selections
Rory McIlroy – 4pts win
Lee Westwood – 1.5pts ew/ 3pts total
Jimmy Walker – 1.5 pts ew/ 3 pts total
Jason Kokrak – 1pt ew/ 2 pts total
Brian Harman – 1pt ew/ 2 pts total
Ben Martin – 1 pt ew/ 2 pts total
Total staked = 16 pts

Good Luck and enjoy the golf,

DB

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