Weekly Preview: Wells Fargo Championship

Weekly Preview: Wells Fargo Championship

This article is part of our Weekly Preview series.

Wells Fargo Championship

TPC Potomac
Potomac, MD

The PGA Tour heads to Maryland for this week's Wells Fargo Championship.

Before we get to that, let's take a quick look back at last week, when Jon Rahm won as the heavy favorite. I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I am certain few favorites have won this season, and not many heavy favorites won over the past few years. Though Rahm entered with minuscule odds, the likelihood of him winning a nondescript event was much less than the number suggested, so kudos to him for picking up a much-needed victory after struggling to find his best game for most of the year. If he was losing any steam leading up to the PGA Championship, he surely has it back now.

You may be wondering why this week's event is not at Quail Hollow like it usually is, and that's because that track will be used for the Presidents Cup this fall. Unfortunately we lose all that course history as a result. For this year, the tournament will be contested at TPC Potomac at Avenel, which may sound familiar to some, as it hosted the Quicken Loans National a couple times a few years ago.

Much like this past week, we'll have to use recent form as the primary metric. Unlike last week, at least we get a decent list of golfers to pick from.

All odds via golfodds.com as of 1:00 PM ET Wednesday.

LAST YEAR

Rory McIlroy

Wells Fargo Championship

TPC Potomac
Potomac, MD

The PGA Tour heads to Maryland for this week's Wells Fargo Championship.

Before we get to that, let's take a quick look back at last week, when Jon Rahm won as the heavy favorite. I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I am certain few favorites have won this season, and not many heavy favorites won over the past few years. Though Rahm entered with minuscule odds, the likelihood of him winning a nondescript event was much less than the number suggested, so kudos to him for picking up a much-needed victory after struggling to find his best game for most of the year. If he was losing any steam leading up to the PGA Championship, he surely has it back now.

You may be wondering why this week's event is not at Quail Hollow like it usually is, and that's because that track will be used for the Presidents Cup this fall. Unfortunately we lose all that course history as a result. For this year, the tournament will be contested at TPC Potomac at Avenel, which may sound familiar to some, as it hosted the Quicken Loans National a couple times a few years ago.

Much like this past week, we'll have to use recent form as the primary metric. Unlike last week, at least we get a decent list of golfers to pick from.

All odds via golfodds.com as of 1:00 PM ET Wednesday.

LAST YEAR

Rory McIlroy shot a final-round 68 on his way to a one-stroke victory over Abraham Ancer.

FAVORITES

Rory McIlroy (9-1)

For as much as McIlroy has struggled to win over the past few years, this actually makes sense – until you factor in that we are at a new course this year. There are no elite players in the field outside of McIlroy, so he's obviously going to be favored, but it feels like his track record is baked into these odds as well and that shouldn't be the case. He should be favored, but not by this much.

Corey Conners (20-1)

Conners was in quite a lull for most of the past year, but he's snapped out of it recently with strong showing at the Match Play event (3), Masters (T6), and RBC Heritage (T12). Conners was in lockstep with Scottie Scheffler as recently as a couple months ago, so that gives you an idea of where expectations were. Obviously Scheffler has broken away, but Conners has the talent to start to close that gap if he continues on this trajectory.

Tony Finau (25-1)

Finau nearly pulled off the victory last week but simply ran out of holes. Finau has also struggled for most of this season and only recently started to regain his form. The question is, how close is he? Considering that prior to this past week, he'd failed to crack the top-20 in his seven previous starts, I'd say there's still a little work to be done. Let's not forget that the T2 this past week is a little watered down as well because of the thin field.

THE NEXT TIER

Gary Woodland (30-1)

I like this play for a couple reasons. First. Woodland has shown some solid form over the past few months, but he hasn't quite had the results. He did post a pair of top-5s near the end of February and a top-10 this past month at the Valero, so we know he's close. Second, Woodland was a fairly popular pick this past week in Mexico, and he only managed a T24, which is not terrible, but obviously below expectations. I like getting guys the week after they were a popular play and failed to meet expectations.

Tyrrell Hatton (30-1)

Hatton seems to be in the mix almost every week, but there's always a turning point where he becomes a non-factor. Hatton has made the cut in all seven of his starts on the PGA Tour this season, and he's often played well on the weekend, but not quite good enough to finish in style. With that said, he's been there before, he'll get his game to a point where he's finishing well, but it's just a matter of when. I think that point comes sooner rather than later.

Cameron Young (40-1)

I think this is the first time I've had Young listed in this section, which would come as a surprise, as he's currently T19 in the FedExCup Standings. Young has not only been consistent this season, he's flashed some nice upside as well. He posted runner-ups at the Sanderson Farms and Genesis events earlier this season and he's coming off a T3 at the RBC Heritage two weeks ago. Your time to get longer odds on Young might be coming to an end soon.

LONG SHOTS

Si Woo Kim (50-1)

Kim has only missed one cut this season and while made cuts don't equate to wins, he's giving himself a chance every week to get hot and pull off a victory. Though his results are fairly consistent, Kim runs pretty hot and cold, so it only takes a moment before he's running hot once again.

Adam Long (80-1)

Long started his career as a 30-year-old rookie on the PGA Tour in 2018 and in his rookie season, he picked up his first victory. He's yet to find win number two, but he's been close on a couple occasions. He struggled early this year, but he's started to show some better form recently. Long is generally good for three rounds each week, so if or when he happens to avoid that blow-up round, he's going to be in the hunt for win number two.

ONE-AND-DONE LEAGUES

Highly-owned Pick: Rory McIlroy - I mentioned above that this pick isn't quite what it seems, but then again, there aren't a ton of great options to consider, so I can't argue with taking McIlroy in this spot. The downside of course is that almost everyone in your league will be on him.

Moderately-owned Pick: Tony Finau - Finau appears to be on his way back, so what better time to take him then when he's going against a lighter field. There are plenty of good players in the field, but there's definitely a lack of elite ones. This looks like a good spot for Finau to pick up another win.

Lightly-owned Pick: Cameron Young - Young has managed to slide under the radar for the most part this season, but if he keeps up his play, he won't be a sleeper much longer. Considering we are on a new course, it might be wise to let everyone else play the favorites while picking up some ground with someone like Young.

Buyer Beware: Abraham Ancer - If you take a quick glance at the track record here, you'll see that Ancer was runner-up this past year and his odds are just 25-1, so he looks like a goof play. However, that runner-up was on a different course and his recent form has been awful. Aside from his recent withdrawals, Ancer just hasn't been himself since the Match Play event.

Last Week: Cameron Tringale - T33 - $36,541

Season Total: $6,082,016

This Week: Cameron Young - I think I've talked myself into this pick. I started with McIlroy, but the new course and his roster percentage led me another direction. I've already used Finau and Conners, so it really came down to Young, Woodland and Hatton. While I like all three, I've got a feeling about Young, so I'll go with my gut.

FANDUEL PICKS

Upper Range: Corey Conners ($11,700)
Middle Range: Cameron Young ($10,100)
Lower Range: Nate Lashley ($8,800)

SURVIVOR LEAGUES

Last Week: Cameron Tringale - T33

Streak: 3

This Week: Cameron Young - I'm going to use a little strategy here and hope I get lucky fading McIlroy. My guess is that most OAD and Survivor players will ignore the fact that we are on a new course and simply take McIlroy because of his name and his status as the heavy favorite. But with a new course, we have no idea how he'll respond. I'm sure he'll be fine, but what if? If he falters, that will open the door for a big move in all formats.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Greg Vara
Vara is the lead golf writer at RotoWire. He was named the FSWA Golf Writer of the Year in 2005 and 2013. He also picks college football games against the spread in his "College Capper" article.
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