Having been one of the casualties of last year’s lockdown, the tour is finally back at Quail Hollow for the first time since Max Homa won here in 2019.
Two-time FedExCup champion Rory McIlroy returns to action for the first time since a poor showing at the Masters – the Wells Fargo Championship’s only two-time winner.
Meanwhile, other big names such as Justin Thomas and Bryson DeChambeau are also heading to North Carolina, along with Phil Mickelson, who will tee it up at the Wells Fargo for the 17th time in 18 editions.
Course: Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina
Length: 7554 yards (Par 71)
Greens: Bermuda overseeded with Poa
Architect: George Cobb
The par 71 course is usually one of the tougher tests on tour with a winning score in the low teens being the norm.
It is one of a few courses where off the tee is as important as approach and while distance is important here there is also a lot of shorter but good drivers who has performed well here over the years.
It is the course on tour with most approaches from over 200 yards and the greens are somewhat large and fast Bermuda with some poa overseed.
The stats from previous years also indicates that you can manage without a stellar around the green game here.
Here are some of the things I will be looking at/for:
- Strokes gained off the tee
- Good drives
- Strokes gained approach
- Proximity 200+ yards
- Par 5 scoring
- Bermuda putting
Wagered: +35.61 units
Wagered: 204 units
Won: 407.42 units
Result: +203.42 units
Waste Management: Brooks Koepka 41-1, Genesis Invitational: Max Homa 56-1, The Players Championship: Justin Thomas 19-1, Valero Texas Open: Jordan Spieth 11-1
From a stats perspective, Bryson should be the favourite this week ranking 1st both off the tee and in proximity from over 200 yards and 2nd in par 5 scoring over the past 24 rounds.
His course form at Quail Hollow is also trending in the right direction with MC-33-4 the three times he has teed it up here.
The lacklustre Masters performance doesn’t worry me as he just doesn’t seem to be able to figure Augusta out just yet.
His two most reasoned starts prior to Augusta saw him winning at API and coming 3rd at the Players gaining massively in all four major categories both places.
At a course where Rory has won twice and has the course record, it is not surprising that Hovland seems to set up perfect for it as well, because while McIlroy seems to be in the wilderness at the moment, Viktor’s game seems to very closely mirror the Northern Irishman’s when he was at the top of the golf world a few years ago.
The Norwegian ranks 1st in par 5 scoring, 4th both off the tee and on approach and 5th in proximity from over 200 yards over the last 24 rounds.
After rattling off three straight top 5s in February Viktor saw a slight drop with a disastrous weekend at API and a missed cut at the Players before starting to get it back on track at the Masters with a respectable T21.
Last week he was back to his best gaining strokes in all four major categories on his way to a 3rd place finish, so I struggle to find a better spot for the world number 11 to pick up his third PGA tour victory.
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