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The Wells Fargo Championship

What's up people! I am back writing blogs about golf. Was away doing some traveling across the pond and quite frankly last weeks tournament was so bad I didn't even feel like looking into it. If you're crazy enough to have bet John Rahm +400 to win, congrats to you. I don't think I'd ever bet someone at such short odds, but when he goes out and wins what else can you say? Last comment about the golf I missed; its so on brand for Xander to win the Zurich Classic. A partner tournament that doesn't count as a real PGA tour win. Xander loves racking those things up. But enough about the past, lets get into The Wells Fargo Championship that takes place this week!


Note: Normally The Wells Fargo Championship is played at Quail Hollow, but since president’s cup is there this year it is being played at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm.

Course Notes:

- Course name: TPC Potomac at Avenel Farms

- Location: Potomac, Maryland – Near Washington, DC.

- Par 70 – 2 par 5s, 12 par 4s, 4 par 3s

-Par 5 lengths 641 yards and 591 yards.

-3 of the 4 par 3s are 190 yards or longer

-8 of the par 4s are 450+ with two of them being nearly 500 yards.

-Drivable par 4 #14 at 299 yards. Will see some Eagles.

- Greens: Bentgrass for the first time ever (Augusta only course played with Bent this year)

- Green size: 4265 sq feet on average (Pretty small)

- Lengthened to 7160 yards.

- Holes with water in play: 10

- Rough is penal at about 3 inches.

- OB fescue surrounds many holes.

- Tricky Scottish style bunkers to avoid.

- Ranks top 3 in penal rough/hazards in tour.


Course/Event History:

- Haven’t seen this course since 2017 and 2018 on PGA tour when it hosted Tiger Woods Foundation’s Quick and Loans National.

- 2017 was won by Kyle Stanley @ -7, played as hardest non-major on tour that year.

- 2018 won by Francesco Molinari @ -21. He won by 8 shots. Course was way easier because of rain early in the week.

-Molinari’s performance is an outlier as the last 4 scores at PGA event held here have been (-21), (-7), (-8) and (-7).

- Course history from the traditional Wells Fargo Championship is pretty much irrelevant since it is being played at a different golf course this year. However quick shout out to Rory who has won the Wells Fargo Championship 3 times in 10 tries. He finished top 10 in 8 out of those 10 appearances as well.

Weather:

Wednesday – Some possible rain, which should make conditions easier.

Thursday – Perfect conditions. 76 degrees, no rain, little wind.

Friday – 72 degrees, 60% chance of rain, more wind.

Saturday – Cools down to about 68 degrees, 40% rain and similar wind to Friday.

Sunday – Cools all the way down to a high of 60. Shouldn’t rain, but will be more windy.


Field:

- Usually, a better field here because of Quail Hollow, but now most will use next week at the Byron Nelson as a tune up spot for PGA Championship at Southern Hills.

- 15 of top 50 playing.

- Some notable names: Rory, Ancer, Hatton, Fitz, Paul Casey, Webb, Finau, Corey Conners, Leishman, Henley.


Keys to victory:

- Accuracy > Distance off the tee

- Approach game – over 50% of approach shots will come from over 175 yards.

- Gaining strokes tee to green in general

- Conservative approach. Club down to hit fairways. Aim for center green on approach.

Outrights:

Corey Conners 20/1

- Has ranked top 16 in strokes gained Tee to green the last 4 years.

- Thing holding him back, putting, improving, top 100 for first time ever.

- Ranks 6th off the tee but doesn’t hit it far. Perfect for this place.

- Only 1 win on tour but is primed for a second.

- Strokes OTT and on APP are his two strong suits.


Matthew Fitzpatrick 22/1

- Short course is his specialty because he doesn’t hit it long, but very straight

- He is the definition of a conservative, patient player.

- Top 20 in 7 out of 11 events this year. Mr. Consistent.


Gary Woodland 36/1

- When you think tough event where you need to grind, you must think of Woodland. US Open Champion.

- While driving accuracy isn’t exactly a strength his long approach shots definitely are.

- Sneakily has 4 top 10s this year including Honda and API (Tough courses)


Cam Young 41/1

- Ranks #1 in this field in SG T2G over last 24 rounds.

- Bent grass is his best putting surface.

- Finished 3rd last time out at RBC Heritage.

- 3 top 3’s this year, with no win.

- Time to break through for the youngster who has been playing great.


Joel Dahmen 70/1

- Dahmen finds great success on the shorter courses.

- His driving accuracy is his biggest strength. After that comes approach.

- He wears a bucket hat.


Top 20:

Matt Fitzpatrick -110

- Reasoning explained above.

Marc Leishman -110

- Leishman is a ball striking machine. I like his chances to hit it close on approach and stay within the top 20.

Paul Casey +160

- When talking patient and conservative, you must think Casey. Guy loves to play it safe. I think his game sets up well here and I’d never bet him to win so top 20 makes perfect sense.


Full Tournament H2H:

Marc Leishman > Patrick Reed -125

- Simple strategy here...Find Patrick Reed and fade him. He hasn't had a top 20 since January.

Seamus Power > “Not a Killa” Keith Mitchell -130

- I think Power is a great fit for this place and Mitchell is not. Mitchell struggles to hit fairways and I think that will be his downfall this week.

Cameron Young > Webb Simpson -105

- Doubling down on Cam Young a little bit here because of the confidence I have in him. Webb has been less than impressive and hasn't even cracked the top 30 in this calendar year.



That's all I got for this tournament. As always, please follow along and reach out on twitter if you have any questions, comments, remarks. Also please follow along on our podcast twitter which I will have listed below. Smokin' Greens will be live tonight at 8:00 pm breaking it all down. Be sure to tune in!


Twitter: @bminus3 @Smokin_Greens

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