Pat Mayo and Geoff Fienberg preview the course and run through the odds while making their 2022 Wells Fargo Championship Picks. The guys give their fantasy golf picks, provide their one and done strategy for the event from TPC Potomac.
2022 Wells Fargo Championship: Field
156 Players | Top 65 & Ties Make the Cut
First Tee Time: Thursday, May 4
Defending Champion: Francesco Molinari
After hitting the nadir of field strength south of the border, the 2022 Wells Fargo Championship is playing host to the prime pre-PGA Championship tune up. Three-time Wells Fargo Championship winner, but not at this course, Rory McIlroy headlines the field. Rory will be joined by Paul Casey, Matt Fitzpatrick, Marc Leishman, Corey Conners, Russell Henley, Tyrrell Hatton, Tony Finau, Gary Woodland, Abraham Ancer and Webb Simpson.
Sergio Garcia, Max Homa, Brian Harman, Troy Merritt, Seamus Power, Cameron Young, Sepp Straka, Jhonny Vegas, Luke List, Joel Dahmen, Jason Day, Keith Mitchell, Keegan Bradley, Patrick Reed and Si WOOOOOO Kim comprise a solid second tier.
Erik van Rooyen and Mito Pereira were initially in the field but have already withdrawn.
Jacob Bridgeman, Eugenio Chacarra and Brandon Matthews are playing. I’m still working to find out whether or not these are flesh in blood humans or some sort of create-a-player marketing tie-in with PGA 2K23. Howard University professor Gregory Odom Jr. is in the field. As is Larkin Gross, who chose to take his PGA TOUR headshot like this...
2022 Wells Fargo Championship: Key Stats
- Strokes Gained: Approach
- Strokes Gained: Off The Tee + Fairways Gained
- Par 4s Gained: 450-500 Yards
- Strokes Gained Putting 5-15 Feet
Mayo’s Key Stats powered by FantasyNational.com
2022 Wells Fargo Championship: Course
- Course: TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm
- Par: 70
- Yardage: 7,160
- Greens: Bentgrass
2022 Wells Fargo Championship: Past Winners
From TPC Potomac for Quicken Loans
- 2018: Francesco Molinari -21
- 2017: Kyle Stanley -7
First off, when you’re starting your research, REMEMBER, Quail Hollow, the usual host course for the Wells Fargo Championship is hosting the Presidents Cup later this year, so TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm has stepped in as the host venue. Now, you’ll recall, this also happened in 2017 when Quail Hollow hosted the PGA Championship. That year Brian Harman won the Wells Fargo Championship, but that was played at Eagle Point GC. Which, is not the course this week if you’re keeping track. So don’t look at that.
No, for TPC Potomac you’ll have to scan back to the 2017 and 2018 Quicken Loans. Since the dimensions of the course haven’t changed, expect it to play relatively the same as those years. Both those years the cut line was over par, and a couple holes absolutely devastated the field. Holes 3, 6 and 11 each had over a 20% bogey rate, and a 5% double bogey or wire rate.
If the Stanley/Molinari blueprint can guide us at all, it’s that distance isn’t much of a factor, but strong SG: Off the Tee in combination with accuracy is the sweet spot. Worth noting, neither of those guys are putting savants either. The bentgrass greens are some of the smallest on TOUR (avg. 4,265 sq. ft), so the three-putt percentage is far less than normal, which tends to normalize putting and place a bigger emphasize on hitting greens in regulation.
Basically, accurate driving and hot irons will prevail. And you especially don’t want to be in the trees. Those trees.
Went to TPC Potomac in 2017 and 2018 for Quicken Loans. The one thing I remember is that missing fairways is bad. Not sporadic trees like Fla, if you miss fairway enough you’re hitting out of straight woods. Less than driver course. #WellsFargoChamp— Kenny Kim (@KendoVT) May 1, 2022
2022 Wells Fargo Championship Picks
Plus distance, super accurate, fire irons and can’t putt? This has got to be Conners’ week. The Canadian has gained at least 2.0 strokes on approach in each of his past five starts while gaining at least 1.5 SG: OTT in those starts, as well. His putting has improved (i.e. it hasn’t been an abject disaster), and he may not get a course more suited to his skill set.
Keeping with the theme, Keegan Bradley so rarely wins, but when he does, it’s on difficult, short, bentgrass courses. Bradley is seven of eight in cuts made in 2022 and enters with Top-11 finishes in three of his past four starts. Oh, and he’s 18th in the field in SG: OTT over the past 50 rounds and sees his accuracy increase on courses shorter than 7,200 yards. In his past 50 rounds overall, Bradley is 87th in the field in fairways gained, yet jumps to 26th in accuracy in his past 50 rounds on courses under 7,200 yards.
Pat Mayo is an award-winning video host and producer of long and short-form content, and the host of The Pat Mayo Experience daily talk show. (Subscribe for video or audio). Mayo (@ThePME) won the 2020 Fantasy Sports Writing Association Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year and Golf Writer of the Year awards, along with the Fantasy Sports Trade Association Best Sports Betting Analyst award, and was a finalist for four FSWA Awards in 2020 (Best Podcast, Best Video, Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year). His 21 FSWA nominations lead all writers this decade and are third-most all-time. Mayo has been recognized across multiple sports (Football, Baseball & Golf), mediums (Video, Writing & Podcasting), genre (Humor), and game formats (Daily Fantasy and Traditions Season Long). Beyond sports, Mayo covers everything from entertainment to pop culture to politics. If you have a fantasy question, general inquiry or snarky comment, ship it to Mayo at ThePatMayoExperience@gmail.com and the best will be addressed on the show.
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