This week's Wells Fargo Championship has an elite field, which creates a lot of fun opportunities for wagering on big names in either heads-up matchups or top-10 and top-20 bets. On a course the PGA Tour has gone to nearly every year for two decades, there should be enough historical context to identify some trends among the best players in the world.
However, we currently have a bit of a mid-major problem. That is, this is the only huge event between the Masters and the PGA Championship, and the data over the last few months is more inconsistent than it was leading into the Masters. When golfers like Rory McIlroy and Xander Schauffele take a ton of time off between starts, can you really trust what they did, say, at the beginning of March? And if not, can you rely on how they have played at a tournament historically? You see the confusion this can engender.
Regardless, I tried to find a few wagers within all of this that made sense and that I felt confident about going into Quail Hollow week. Here are a few.
Odds below provided via William Hill Sportsbook
1. Rory McIlroy to win (20-1) and Jason Day to win (50-1): I don't trust either golfer right now, but the numbers were too good to pass up. Day has been striking it quite well, and if you can get McIlroy at 20-1 literally anywhere within the known universe, it's a deal.
2. Justin Thomas top 10 (+110): Since March 1, nobody is hitting it better. Nobody hit it better last week at the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook Resort, and if he had made just four putts over 10 feet (instead of three), he would have finished in the top 10. Terrible odds, but I trust the game right now.
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3. Tony Finau over Joaquin Niemann and Will Zalatoris (+150): On paper, this is a place where Finau should thrive. In reality, he does not have a top 10 here. I worry about Niemann more than I do Zalatoris in this three-ball, especially coming off his top 10 last week at the Valspar.
4. Matt Wallace top 20 (+320): Of the players in the field this week, only five of them have been better from tee to green over the last two months. My big concern with him is that it's a huge ballpark, which does not necessarily suit his game as well as it does a lot of the other bigger names in the field. Still, it's a good number for a top 20.
5. Viktor Hovland over Rory McIlroy (-125): Hovland is my pick to win this week, and though it's a bit shocking to see him as a favorite over the four-time major winner, it's the right call. Hovland is coming off a T3 at the Valspar last week. McIlroy is coming off a missed cut at Augusta. I realize this contradicts my pick of McIlroy to win, but that's more of an odds play than anything. Hovland has defeated McIlroy in four of their five common stroke-play events this year.
6. Bryson DeChambeau over Xander Schauffele (-120): Though Schauffele has clipped DeChambeau in three of their five common events this year, this ballpark fits the Big Boy perfectly. He finished fourth in his last appearance here (2018) and is second to only Thomas in strokes gained from tee to green since March 1.
7. Shane Lowry top 20 (+250): Quietly playing tremendous golf. One of just 11 golfers in the field gaining 1.5 or more strokes from tee to green since March 1. T21 or better in three of his last five events (including the Masters and Players Championship).