Preview: 2021 Wells Fargo Championship

Thoughts on the big players, off the radar and out of left field.

Wells Fargo Championship

Quail Hollow Club

Charlotte, NC

  
Yards (per official scorecard):7,521
Par:71 (36-35)
Greens:G12 Champion Bermuda over-seeded with Poa trivialis; 6,578 square feet.
Stimpmeter:12′.
Rough:Bermuda (over-seeded with Rye) at two inches.
Bunkers/Water Hazards61/4; water in play on seven holes.
Architects:George Cobb (1961); Tom Fazio (2016).
Course Record:  61; Rory McIlroy (2015).
Tournament Record:21-under; Rory McIlroy (2015).
Purse:$8.1 million; $1.458 million and 500 FedExCup points (winner).

Notes:

  • Field of 156 (maximum).
  • Top 65 and ties play the weekend.
  • First event since 2019.

2020-2021 Season Winners

*- First-time winner

**- First-time winner AND rookie winner

EventWinner
Safeway OpenStewart Cink
120th United States OpenBryson DeChambeau
Corales Punta Cana ChampionshipHudson Swafford
Sanderson Farms ChampionshipSergio Garcia
Shriners Hospitals for ChildrenMartin Laird (playoff)
CJ CUP @ SHADOW CREEKJason Kokrak*
ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIPPatrick Cantlay
Bermuda ChampionshipBrian Gay
Vivint Houston OpenCarlos Oritz*
84th Masters TournamentDustin Johnson
The RSM ClassicRobert Streb
Mayakoba Golf ClassicViktor Hovland
Sentry TOCHarris English
Sony Open in HawaiiKevin Na
The American ExpressSi Woo Kim
Farmers Insurance OpenPatrick Reed
Waste Management Phoenix OpenBrooks Koepka
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-AmDaniel Berger
The Genesis InvitationalMax Homa
WGC – Championship at The ConcessionCollin Morikawa
Arnold Palmer InvitationalBryson DeChambeau (2)
THE PLAYERS ChampionshipJustin Thomas
The Honda ClassicMatt Jones
WGC- Match PlayBilly Horschel
Corales PuntacanaJoel Dahmen*
Valero Texas OpenJordan Spieth
85th Masters TournamentHideki Matsuyama
RBC HeritageStewart Cink (2)
Zurich Classic of New OrleansCameron Smith/Marc Leishman
Valspar ChampionshipSam Burns

Check out HORSES FOR COURSES for more details and angles for this week.

Previous Winners

(*Playoff)

YearWinnerScoreComment
2020COVID-19 No tournament
2019Max Homa-15Second lowest winning total; first TOUR win.
2018Jason Day-12First winner since 2011 to post all four rounds in the 60s.
2017Justin Thomas-8PGA Championship; first major at QHC; first major win for Thomas.
2016James Hahn-9*Playoff winner also has won at Riviera.
2015Rory McIlroy-21Won by seven; broke all the records, including his own course record.

Facts and Figures:

Lowest Rounds – 201963; Max Homa, Jason Dufner, both Round 2.
Defending Champion(s):n/a.
Multiple Champion(s) Entered:McIlroy (2015, 2010).
First Time – TOUR:Homa (2019), Derek Ernst (2013), Rickie Fowler (2012), McIlroy (2010) and Anthony Kim (2008).
First Time – EventMcIlroy, Ernst.
Oldest winner:Joey Sindelar, 46
Youngest winner:Rory McIlroy, 20.
Odd Fact:Changed greens three times in four years. Bent-Mini Verde- Champion.
Odd Fact II:Only defending champion to cash inside the top 20 is McIlroy (T4, 2016).

Quick Thoughts

Please read HORSES FOR COURSES for more details.

One of the top three biggest ballparks on TOUR behind Torrey South and Corales.

Difficult fairways and GIR to hit so not hard to believe those who do will do well and those who haven’t scrambled/putted their brains out.

Length pays here. Can hit it over the trouble and have green light specials. Nobody in recent memory bunted it around here.

It’s wet = longer and wider = ball strikers.

20 birdies total for the week is something so par is a decent score.

Course annually ranks inside the top 10 in difficulty so bogeys will be made.

Only three players in 2019 were 10-under or better.

Only three players in 2018 were 10-under or better.

Justin Thomas 8-under was the best at the PGA Championship.

Puts McIlroy’s 21-under into perspective as that is the best by SIX SHOTS.

Rough is manageable at 2 inches of ryegrass.

Greens will run 12 plus because the poa trivialis will green them up and keep them smooth. Poa annua is bumpy later in the day, not trivialis. Different strains, man.

Cannot fake it around here. It will catch up with you over 72 holes. Similar to Torrey, Riviera and Innisbrook, it’s hard and requires all shots.

Green Mile to finish is the hardest 3 hole stretch on TOUR. Only good news is they moved the tee on No. 17 up 30 odd yards this year. Better make a birdie on Par-5 No. 15 before finishing up! They should because it’s usually the easiest hole on the course.

Not many low ones or a plethora of mid 60s either so a proper round can move it up the leaderboard quickly. I like that.

Good Luck!

Last Week at Valspar Championship

Justin Thomas (+900): I dig he loves Florida. Tough track to bust rust. More interested next week, if he plays, at Quail Hollow, site of his PGA win. T21. Led the field in all ball-striking things. Around last in putting.

Dustin Johnson (+1300): Went close here with Casey in 2019 as he played from the final group. He loves Riviera and this reminds me of Riviera. I’ll remind you his last top 10 was at Riviera. So top 10 scratch. T48, never involved. First L.

Patrick Reed (+2000): Lightly raced so when he’s in the field, he has my attention. I’ve wrote all week he’s owed one here. Across the board for me (win, top 10, top 20). MC and three more tickets torn up.

Corey Conners (+2000): Worse start in his last five is T14 on a course where he’s picked up his only TOUR win (Valero). Heavy top 20 plus a top 10. And the hits just keep coming! T21 was a killer. Add two more losing tickets.

Viktor Hovland (+2000): T5 at Riviera gives me hope but I don’t like him as much as the other two at this same number above. T3 after 65 Sunday.

Paul Casey (+2200): Looking to join a hyper-elite club with three straight at one place. I like that he’s won two different ways here but I’ll let history happen without my money haha. Best bet I made this week!!! T21.

Scottie Scheffler (+2800): Doesn’t hate Florida, like Hovland; first trip, like Hovland. Like vets more. T29, solid.

Louis Oosthuizen (+3000): This goes only two ways for me: Big or Bust. Too many experiences for bust and his last three here are all T16 or better. Buying across the aboard. No win ticket but top 10 and top 20 stops some of the bleeding!

Abraham Ancer (+3000): T18 book it. Top 20. Solo fifth. Bravo.

Sungjae Im (+3000): Ben An funk still on him? I’ll let you. T29

Russell Henley (+3000): T9 and T3 last two stroke play and a past top 10 here. Add another top 10 and top 20. There is not another golfer I force more than Henley. MC. Two more losers.

Jason Kokrak (+3000): Yeah, I’m riding this. Across the board. Another top 25, T13 but two out of three the wrong way.

Justin Rose (+3300): One of these weeks he’s going to bring it for all 72 holes. Skinny win ticket, just in case. Wrongo! MC.

33-1 or worse

Joaquin Niemann (+3500): Only player between 35 and 49 at the book I use. Weird. Cut making machine but not top 10 since January. Pass. T8, figures.

Charley Hoffman (+5000): With three of his last seven in the top 10 and five of seven in the top 25, I think I shall. T18 so splitsville.

Cameron Tringale (+5000): Trending nicely. Top 20. T3 easy one!

Emiliano Grillo (+5000): Last two top 10s and five of seven top 25. Interesting that he’s added this to his schedule for the first time since 2015 (MC; 0-1). Pass. MC, smaaht.

Lucas Glover (+7000): T4 at Valero highlights six straight. This will be his 18th start at Valspar. Skinny across the board. Skinny loss as he imploded Saturday for 77.

Charles Howell III (+9000): Five top 10s here are tied for the most. Add one more and a top 20. T39. Add to my pile of garbage this week.

$2 Long Shots

Brandt Snedeker (+12500): Another nice one in the Zurich followed a T6 at a demanding Valero. T11

Peter Uihlein (+12500): I mean, it’s hot, right? T57

Matthew NeSmith (+15000): Highlight that tee to green game. T21

Rory Sabbatini (+15000): Vets this week; last two best two. MC

JB Holmes (+27500): Time for him to randomly show up and contend. 68th.

Cut Makers:

DJ Trahan – MC, Chase Koepka – T63, Luke Donald – T54, Sung Kang – MC

This Week – Wells Fargo Championship

Jon Rahm (+1100): Let’s get it out of the way immediately: He’s never played this event on this course. He was T58 at 2017 PGA Championship. I don’t think it matters where he tees it up but this is his rust buster after the Masters. I prefer him in rhythm.

Justin Thomas (+1100): No top 10 before his win at THE PLAYERS and no top 10s before it in full field events in 2021. Weird. His ball-striking last week was better than great but he missed everything on the greens. Memories of the first major championship will come flowing back this week as well . T21, MC, T7 in three previous trips suggests another top 20 this week.

Bryson DeChambeau (+1400): Another lush, green track that will allow him to bomb away should have him excited. Don’t forget about his usually excellent short game and putting as well. Last time he was here he played his final 54 holes 12-under for solo fourth.

Rory McIlroy (+1600): The horse for the course has had three weeks as well to sort it after the run of MC-T28-MC. Softest landing spot possible. I’d expect a very strong start if he’s figured anything out. I like him more for FRL.

Xander Schauffele (+1800): Full bag and plays difficult courses well. No luck here, yet, with MC PGA and T72 in 2018.

Viktor Hovland (+1800): Turned on the class last Sunday at Valspar to hit the podium. New courses don’t bother him and neither to big ones. Across the board, win, top 10, top 20.

Webb Simpson (+2200): Wrong home game. Yeah, lives on No. 7, got it. Also says he never plays THIS course when he’s at home. And doesn’t play it very often either. I believe THIS week is the social week and Wyndham is the business trip.

Will Zalatoris (+2800): We’ll see if he’s human this week. He got engaged on his two week break and he was T42 at RBC his last time out. Was he distracted because he was gonna pop the question? Is he no longer distracted since SHE SAID YES??? I mean, he KNEW she was gonna say yes anyhow, right? Life changing shit. I’ll sit back and observe.

Tony Finau (+2800): Not top 10s in four starts but four paydays.

Patrick Reed (+3000): OAD last week left me for dead. I’d expect a very solid bounce back performance. He’s never MC in six tries and was T2 at the PGA Championship. Top 10, Top 20.

33-1 or worse

Patrick Cantlay (+3300): He’s MC on his own ball in his last three events. You know when the last time that happened? Well, the last time he MC more than 3 times IN A YEAR was 2013. I’ll wait for bentgrass or poa.

Joaquin Niemann (+3300): It was his PUTTER last week that did the damage as he struggled tee-to-green but cashed T8. Another week on Champion Bermuda surely won’t make him upset. Top 10. Top 20.

Max Homa (+3500): It’s great that he’s won since his last visit but he’s still the star of the show this week as the last champion. Besides McIlroy, defending champs don’t fare well here so I’ll let history run its course.

Corey Conners (+3500): Wash, rinse, repeat. T21 last week cost me a few but his vein of form is outstanding. Try again Top 10, Top 20.

Abraham Ancer (+5000): Yes please.

Jason Day (+6600): Skinny across the board.

Lucas Glover (+9000): Top 10, Top 20

$2 Long Shots

Matthew NeSmith (+14000)

Phil Mickelson (+17500)

Vaughn Taylor (+25000)

Seamus Power (+30000)

Chesson Hadley (+35000)

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out through Twitter (@mikeglasscott) or email me: mikeglasscott@gmail.com.

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