The Wells Fargo Championship is being held this weekend at Quail Hollow Club in North Carolina. There are a few of the top players in the world still around following The Players, but the depth of the field won’t look like last weekend again until the U.S. Open rolls around. You’ll need to adjust your thinking on some prices over the next fews – good luck.
Hideki Matsuyama ($10,600) – Putting him at the top of the list does not mean I think Rory and Stenson are bad choices – just expensive. Of course it would be nice to have them, but it would be nice to have Matsuyama too, especially at a savings. He’s only been outside of the top-25 once since January, and a 5 at Augusta followed up by a T17 last weekend, including rounds of 67 and 69, show that he is playing well right now, important for someone who can be a streaky player.
Phil Mickleson ($10,400) – He has played here eleven times and made eleven cuts, including nine top-15 finishes (five of those inside the top 5). Plus, no matter what else is going on with him, he destroys par-5’s. Always has. Right now, he is fourth on Tour in Par 5 birdie-or-better percentage, so maybe it’s not surprising he plays well on this course.
Bill Haas ($9,700) – He’s finished 4th in this tournament twice before, and has a long history with the course. His father Jay, is a member here, and once upon a time (2005), Bill, his Dad, and his Dad’s brother, Jerry, were all in the field here. Bill has been playing this course since he was a kid, and all that experience can only help you feel even better about a guy coming off a T12 at the Masters and a T4 at the Players in the last few weeks.
Patrick Reed ($9,100) – He’s played here twice before, finishing 32nd both times, but that experience can’t hurt. He’s inside the top-25 in “Strokes Gained, Putting” and Par-5 scoring, both of the two stats I mentioned as important in my PGA Breakdown article this week, and he is coming off Top-25 performances at Augusta and TPC Sawgrass, so his bogey avoidance game has got to be sharp right now.
Adam Scott ($8,600) – It’s cheaper than you expected, right? Well, he has barely been inside the top-40 in each of his last three appearances, but he is only averaging just about double-digits in holes under par for the season. To me, it’s clear his game would need to show remarkable improvement for him to win this weekend, but he is very likely to make the cut and provide you with some value down the stretch, a status his price finally reflects.
Justin Thomas ($8,600) – He is just on fire, huh? I love watching these kids start to play well, and then just keep doing it. It’s not too long before you know it’s not a fluke, before you know the guy can play. Thomas is my pick to win this weekend, with the all-around game to succeed on a course as varied as Quail Hollow. He is second in par-5 scoring and inside the top-50 in bogey avoidance, he is a solid putter, and he has finished in the top-25 in each of his last three tournaments. It’s time to start trusting him.
Daniel Berger ($8,500) – If not for Thomas, there would be a lot more buzz about a guy like this, a rookie with six top-25 finishes so far on the season. He missed the cut at the Players, but at the Zurich Classic, his last appearance prior to that, he finished T6 after shooting four rounds in the sixties, including an opening 66.
Charles Howell III ($8,400) – He’s played a ton of tournaments here, and has finished in the top-20 each of the last two years. He hasn’t been playing well enough lately for me to think about him in a GPP lineup, but if you’re looking for someone to make the cut for you, he’s a very dependable choice at this price level.
Ryan Moore ($8,000) – This was cheap for me, making Moore a no-brainer in my lineups. He has finished T5, T6 and T18 here in the last three years, and it is not as if he is playing poorly right now. Like Berger, he missed the cut at the Players by shooting even par over the first two rounds, and prior to that he ended the Masters T12 despite a 74 on Thursday. Anyone who can make up for a 74 at Augusta by firing a 66 the following day has got the mindset to bounce back from a missed cut with no problem, as far as I am concerned.
Russell Knox ($7,800) – He’s been in the top-20 in two of his last three, and in the third, the Zurich Classic, he still netted you 75 fantasy points behind 16 birdies. In fact, he has only scored fewer than 70 fantasy points in one tournament in which he made the cut, showing that he knows how to take advantage of scoring opportunities, even in an off round.
Morgan Hoffman ($7,100) – He missed the cut last weekend, but was inside the top-30 in each of the four prior, and he has the ability to dominate par-5’s, a skill that could easily translate into success on this course.
Pat Perez ($7,100) – Perez is easy to overlook, on paper, and impossible to miss in real life. But even if you would normally dismiss him out of hand for your fantasy lineups, he has forced his way into the conversation for inexpensive options with his recent play: T17, T26, T11 and T20 in his last four, including a -6 last weekend.