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Wells Fargo Championship 2023 betting preview

Wells Fargo Championship 2023 betting preview

The designated events are taking centre stage on the PGA Tour this year and the championship courses have been thrust into the limelight. Quail Hollow, venue for the US PGA Championship in 2017 that was won by Justin Thomas is the latest to enter the fray. Bryan Nicholson takes a look at where the value could be for the upcoming weekend.

Justin Thomas’ profile encapsulates what we are looking for on this treelined parklands track, laden with pine straw and incorporating large, elevated greens, with water-based obstacles on risk versus reward terrain. Thomas comes in at 25.020 [+2402] in a market led by Rory McIlroy 8.210 [+721] who loves the course and who owns a hattrick of wins here. Lots of Rory’s wins come on similar tracks – long and soft gets the job done for him, and towering approaches into elevated greens on this type of course give him a real advantage.

Wells Fargo Championship 2023 Betting Market and Favourites 

Rory leads the market with Jon Rahm taking a much-needed break. Max Homa 33.930 [+3293] has victory to his name here and he is going for a hattrick of sorts himself albeit his second Wells Fargo win last season was at a different course while preparation went underway at Quail Hollow for the 2022 Presidents Cup. The Presidents’ Cup could be a decent guide as to who may prosper this week - Homa went 4-0 while Spieth hit a 5-0 whitewash in his matches. Tom Kim was a breakout star for the international side.

The Wells Fargo Championship in 2023 brings with it a 20 million purse with 500 FedEx Cup points on offer as well for the winner. The market and the field is strong with eight guys under 25.0 in the outright market. You can see more on this in my upcoming article about the changing dynamics of the golf betting markets, as the game of golf at elite level evolves. Tony Finau 18.060 [+1706] has the perfect profile for this course and may be worth getting onside at around 20.000s in the betting following yet another win in Mexico. Big Tony has certainly put his” expected wins” reputation to bed in the last two years and silenced the critics by picking up a number of titles in 2023.


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The course - Wells Fargo Championship 2023

Max Homa, Keegan Bradley, Cam Young and Rory McIlroy are four of the very best “Total Drivers” of the ball on tour and took up 4 of the top 5 spots of the leaderboard last year. Strange coincidence perhaps as this edition wasn’t held at the typically long fairways of Quail Hollow but it is the theme that we are following this week and every time the Quail Hollow masterpiece rears its head. Homa and Rory are now double and triple champions respectively at Quail.

Wells Fargo Championship 2023: Course info - Quail Hollow, par 71, 7,538 yards

Quail Hollow favoured a player who loves to drawer the ball during 2010-20, but some recent renovations have made it more conducive to a nice fade from the tips and this has shown in later renewals with the likes of Justin Thomas thriving here. Total driving is key, and approach is king. Ripping it off the tee and propelling a shorter iron into some of the largest greens on tour is the concoction for success around the par 4s at Quail Hollow. Proximity to the hole is vital on surfaces averaging over 6,500 square feet. It’s a big hitting course at Quail Hollow and the premiums and key metrics for my course fit model are listed below.

The average winning score of the last five renewals at Quail Hollow is around -11. Bermuda is the grass of choice from tee to green – grass which Davis Riley loves, and he has the perfect profile here for Quail. Total driving and towering irons are the theme I always follow for the Wells Fargo Championship, and nothing has changed. Rough is often up here but the bigger hitters can get away with finding the spinach without dropping shots. The “Green Mile” awaits down the stretch and the last three holes at Quail are only rivalled by the "Bear trap" at PGA National for difficulty.

Premiums and Key Metrics for course fit at Quail Hollow

  •       Total Driving
  •       Scrambling
  •       Holing out 
  •       Approach
  •       Long irons
  •       Par 5 performance
  •       Lag Putting

Quail Hollow is aesthetically like Augusta and similarly features large, elevated greens and elevation changes throughout. Deep greenside bunkers and Pine straw also feature between the thick tree lined terrain.

Wells Fargo Championship 2023: Who might challenge the top players?

 There will be secondary theme of local connections at Quail this week. Course member Webb Simpson lives beside the track while several professionals live in Charlotte with many more being born or residing in the North or South Carolina region. Wake Forest or Clemson University grads often feature in this championship, so it may pay to keep an eye on the likes of Lucas Glover who has a self-confessed affinity with the course and has been playing well from tee to green of late. One of Ben Martin's 2020 swing coaches was a pro here at Quail for eight years and Martin has found somewhat of a resurgence of late. Martin is showing a progressive form rating of 8.66 on my model and secured a t11 finish last time the Wells Fargo Championship was at Quail Hollow in 2021.

Did someone say Total Driving and proximity to the hole? Patrick Rodgers 109.270 [+10893] falls under this profile and one of his best PGA Tour results to date was runner up to Rory McIlroy in the Wells Fargo Championship in 2015. Patrick Rodgers falls under the category of booming drives and towering approaches which he showed us here that year when chasing down Rory on the Sunday and if there is a course to back him on, this is it.

Long straight drives and close wedges / short irons are key to Patrick’s success. Rodgers now owns a progressive form rating of 9.33 on my model, closing with a -7 for a top 10 in Mexico last week. He has decent course pedigree here. He rates 8.65 for course fit on my models and also has a strong record at PC Deere Run.

Who is the best value bet?

Certainly, one of the form men on tour right now is the previously mentioned Davis Riley 130.000 [+12900]. Riley rates 8.93 on the progressive form model after his win with friend Nick Hardy at the Zurich classic. Now with pressure off and after taking a week away to celebrate, this is a man with the perfect course fit profile for Quail Hollow. He’s 25th in strokes gained approach and 12th in proximity and Davis hits it high with his short irons. His short game difficulties can be negated here albeit he likes the Bermuda grass for chipping. Davis was 8th in total driving last year and 4th in approaches inside 100 yards. He’s 34th in greens in regulation this season - this is a definitely a Davis Riley track so it’s interesting to see how he goes on his debut here.

Read more articles from Bryan Nicholson here. Plus, check out our latest odds and sign up with Pinnacle! Ready to make your golf plays at Pinnacle?

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Bryan Nicholson
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