The Wells Fargo Championship has been a mainstay on tour since 2003 and has been held at Quail Hollow every year except one (2017) since its inception. Quail Hollow is a classic tree-lined course that gets included in the conversation of “best venue on tour” every season. It went through some massive renovations for the 2017 PGA Championship and was changed from a par 72 to a very long par 71. It has played as one of the 10 toughest venues on tour in the two years since those changes and has remained a driver-heavy course, which tends to favor players with good off-tee games who can get hot on and around the greens. With that in mind, digging into the data and Awesemo PGA DFS projections and ownership – like always – is the best way to go about making our daily fantasy golf picks for DraftKings and FanDuel lineups.
In terms of comparisons, the venue will play similarly to last week’s venue (Copperhead), which was also a longer par 71 where bogey avoidance became almost as important as birdie opportunities. Riviera, another driver-heavy, tree-lined par 71, is also a good comparison, and it’s no coincidence that the defending champion, Max Homa, has found his first two wins on tour at both venues.
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Quail Hollow Stats and Info
- Par 71, 7,554 yards featuring Champion Bermudagrass on the greens; played as the eighth-toughest venue in 2019 and sixth toughest in 2018.
- A very driver-heavy course where average driving distance for the week will often be 10 to 15% higher than tour average; the recent changes seem to have emphasized driver more as well.
- Greens and fairways are hard to hit, as greens in regulation tend to be 3 to 5% lower than average, and driving accuracy tends to be even further off the norm.
The greens at Quail Hollow are Champion Bermudagrass, and are relatively new, having been replaced during renovations in 2017 for the PGA Championship. Here is a more general look at some of the best and worst Bermudagrass putters in the field, relative to their strokes gained on other surfaces. Use caution with these in your fantasy golf picks; they aren’t the be-all, end-all, but they make for a nice tiebreaker.
Negative Bermudagrass Putting Splits, Last 50 Rounds
1. Jon Rahm: +6 strokes on Bermudagrass, +17 strokes on all other surfaces
2. Maverick McNealy: +8 on Bermudagrass, +30 on all other surfaces
3. Bryson DeChambeau: +21 on Bermudagrass, +37 on all other surfaces
*+ equals total strokes gained | – equals strokes lost
Positive Bermudagrass Putting Splits, Last 50 Rounds
1. Bubba Watson: +8 on Bermudagrass, -18 on all other surfaces
2. Sungjae Im: +32 on Bermudagrass, -6 on all other surfaces
3. Michael Thompson: +20 on Bermudagrass, -2 on all other surfaces
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Daily Fantasy Golf Picks for DraftKings & FanDuel
Jon Rahm: Grades: A+ | Values: B, A
Rahm is only the third-most expensive player on the slate, and that fact alone makes him a target here. He has the best value score of anyone above $9,500 on DraftKings this week, and he carries the highest pure points projection and win percentage of any player on the slate in the Awesemo model. Rahm ranked first in strokes gained tee to green and second in strokes gained off the tee over the last 50 rounds. His last outing was a fifth-place finish at the Masters, which he achieved just a week after the birth of his first child. He comes to Quail Hollow with a little more prep time and will be competing on the venue for the second time in his career after finishing 58th here in 2017 at the PGA Championship.
Despite the poor effort at that major, Rahm’s first ever PGA Championship start, Quail should play well to his strengths off the tee long-term. He has already won on classic-style setups like Muirfield Village and Torrey Pines. Rahm’s ownership shouldn’t get too out of control here given the quality at the top, and his overall form over the last six months has been otherworldly, gaining him seven top-10 in his last nine starts. He should be viewed as the top daily fantasy golf pick here in DFS this week.
- Hasn’t missed a cut in 20 PGA starts; has produced 80 or more DraftKings points in nine of his last 10 starts.
- Ranks first in strokes gained tee to green over the last 50 rounds of play and second in bogies avoided over that same span.
Projected PGA DFS ownership: DraftKings: 19.6%
Shane Lowry: Grades: B | Values: A, B
Lowry has risen up the model this week, ranking very well among the mid-tier targets. He is coming off two very strong starts, landing a career-best 21st at the Masters and ninth at the RBC Heritage. Despite the solid play, his price has remained cheap here at just $8,200 on DraftKings, and he rates out with the second-best points projection of anyone under $8,500 this week.
Lowry has gained over one stroke both on his approaches and around the greens in three straight starts, and he is 10th in strokes gained tee to green and third in strokes gained around the green over the last 24 rounds. He won at Firestone early in his career and challenged at longer, tougher venues like Oakmont, so he should set up well for the challenge at Quail Hollow. Lowry will be playing the venue for the fourth time, having made the cut in each of his last three visits. With his form potentially the best it has been since he won the Open in 2019, Lowry rates as a great value regardless of format this week.
- Gained over a stroke off the tee and on his approaches the last two times he visited Quail Hollow; hasn’t missed the cut here in three prior appearances.
- Has landed two top-10s in his last two starts and landed 36 birdies and an eagle in his last two starts alone.
Projected PGA DFS ownership: DraftKings: 15.9%
Low-Owned PGA DFS GPP Flier
Watson comes into this week off a trio of strong performances, including an eighth at the team event (with Scottie Scheffler) and a 13th last week at the Valspar. Watson’s season started to turn around at the Masters, though, where he finished 26th. He still projects great in long-term form, as he’s 11th in strokes gained tee to green and seventh in strokes gained off the tee. Watson has still been smashing most weeks off the tee, which should help him more than usual at this week’s driver-heavy venue. However, he has recently started putting better as well and comes in having gained multiple strokes putting in two of his last three solo starts on tour.
While he has never won at Quail Hollow — and hasn’t played this event since 2013 — the venue has favored terrific drivers of the golf ball (see Rory McIlroy), and Watson does have a runner-up finish here from 2009. With a win needed to both up his OWGR ranking and give him a shot at a Ryder Cup berth, Watson is undoubtedly hungry for a win and looking increasingly like he has the form to grab one soon. He sets up as a solid, low-sentiment daily fantasy golf pick here in DraftKings and FanDuel GPPs at well under 10% projected ownership.
Projected PGA DFS ownership: DraftKings: 5.1%
DraftKings Top Three Under Five
I am targeting three players here that I ultimately think will end up under (or close) to 5% ownership in bigger DraftKings GPPs. We’re searching for boom/bust players here with an almost 100% focus on upside.
Wyndham Clark ($6,800)
Clark gained strokes in multiple categories last week at the Valspar and could have very well finished inside the top 25 if his putter — normally his best club — had cooperated. He has handled tough courses well in his short time on tour, and as a long hitter who can get hot on the greens, he sets up well for the test this week.
Jhonattan Vegas ($7,000)
Vegas is another big hitter who really sets up well for Quail Hollow. He ranks 11th in strokes gained off the tee over the last 50 rounds, has made the cut here in three of his last four visits and finished eighth at this event in 2019. Coming off a decent week at the Valspar, any improvement with his putter could see him pop.
Adam Schenk ($6,800)
Schenk comes striking the ball extremely well. He has gained 4.8 and 6.4 strokes on his approaches in his last two events and finished a solid 18th last week on another tough par 71. Schenk generally handles tough courses well and was 13th at Quail in 2019. Given the form, the sub-$7,000 price on DraftKings this week is hard to beat.
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