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TPC Potomac @ Ferme Avenel
Par 70 – 7,160 yards
Greens – Bentgrass
**Click the image above to see a hole-by-hole breakdown from PGATour.com**
Welcome golf lovers. As you can see above, this season’s Wells Fargo Championship will look a little different as Quail Hollow will not be hosting the event for the first time since 2003 as they will be hosting the 2022 Presidents Cup. TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm will take his place for this season, which last hosted a PGA Tour event in 2018 with the Quick Loans National where Francesco Molinari won the trophy. Despite what its winning score of -21 says, the course doesn’t play that easily and it shows as only seven players achieved double digit scores under par and the course ranked 14th most difficult among non-major sites in 2018.
Looking a little closer at the course to help formulate a stats model on the sheet, we have a fairly demanding course off the tee with smaller than average fairways and thicker Kentucky Bluegrass rough and water in play on 10 of the 18 holes. Golfers will then approach very small bentgrass greens that run faster than the circuit average (indicated at 12.5 on the stimp). What this tells me is that you will need to be very precise from the start or have a great approach game from the raw or maybe both (lol). Molinari’s victory in 2018 was driven by his elite ball striking as he hit 75% fairways and 86% greens in good standing. With very small and very fast greens, I will also take into account that the course will probably reach a lower than average number of greens, which elevates the importance of scrambling / SG: around the green.
When I look at my best stats each week, there are rarely players who tick all the boxes, so I use those stats combined with course history (limited here and below in my model), current form and weather to find the players who tick the most boxes. That said, let’s get to the choices.
I’m not as keen on spending on McIlroy as I was on Rahm last week, so I’m going to ride with a slightly more balanced roster and that starts with Canadian Corey Conners. He’s still near the top of the list when we focus on ball-striking as he’s ranked 7th on the league since the start of the season. He also arrives in excellent form having made five straight cuts, including a T6 at the Masters and no finish worse than T35. All things considered, Conners is my favorite next-level game and I’ll be on display in every format.
Sticking with the balanced approach, we have terrific options in the 8-9K range on DraftKings but in the lead for me this week, Russell Henley is a great candidate for the course. Like Conners, it comes down to elite ball-striking as he ranks 6th both on the sheet (long-term trend) and on Fantasy National looking at the last 24 rounds. It was closer for me between Keegan and Henley but in the end I side with Henley because he’s a lot more accurate off the start and when he’s not he’s a lot more accurate in terms of closeness to the rough than Keegan. I will have exposure at Henley in all formats and the outright number around 30-1 doesn’t bother me.
Going down the chart in the middle price level on both sites, we have another great course suitable for Matt Kuchar. Not only does he thrive on those shorter precision/positioning-type courses, but he’s also coming in with elite short-term form after a T16 at Valspar, a T2 at Valero, and a T3 at RBC Heritage. This success has mainly come from his elite around the green (11.1 strokes won) and putting game (15.4 strokes won), but he is also accurate off the tee and ranks 12th in this area in the Par 4 over the last 24 rounds. All things considered, Kuchar is a staple in my lineups and I will have exposure in GPP as well.
World Golf Ranking (#114)
Vegas Odds (60/1)
I’ve played a ton of cash games over the last month or so, so the cut has been huge in my analysis (new tab added to sheet) and Joel Dahmen constantly pops up on the page. He played 14 events this season, making the cut in 12 of them (85.7%) and although he only had four Top 25s, two of them were Top 10s (Pebble Beach, Houston Open), so the advantage is there too. Dahmen is also a course adjuster being precise from the start, and also precise when approaching the rough when he misses the fairways (9th in prox rough), and he is 8th in this area in birdoe or better %. Put it all together, and he’s a player I’ll be exposed to in every format.