After being one of the many cancellations last season, the Wells Fargo Championship returns this week at the famous Quail Hollow (par 71, 7,521 yards), located in Charlotte, North Carolina. Since its debut on the PGA TOUR schedule back in 2003, every Wells Fargo Championship has been held at this venue, with 2017 the lone exception. That season, Quail Hollow was the site of the PGA Championship, so the PGA TOUR executives opted to host the Wells Fargo about four hours west in Wilmington, at Eagle Point Golf Club. With no edition of this tournament a year ago, 2019 winner Max Homa is the defending champion by default. He finished at -15, and 14.2 strokes under par has been the average winning score across the last five Wells Fargo Championships at Quail Hollow.
Hence this number, this par 71 has some serious bite to it, and the renovations that were done for the 2017 PGA Championship made Quail Hollow even more of a challenge. A handful of the holes were extended and while approach stats are always important, Quail Hollow is one of the rare courses that OTT stats are more crucial for success. All of the last five champions at this track have ranked T23 or better in SG OTT, including Rory McIlroy, who led his field in the stat when he took home the big check in 2015. The Irishman also ranked second in driving distance that week and is the second winner of the last five at Quail Hollow to finish runner-up in distance.
Given this course is a par 71, there are three par fives and 11 par fours. Capitalizing on the birdie opportunities the par fives present is pivotal, and all of the last five golfers to secure Wells Fargo wins at Quail Hollow have ended the week inside the top-eight in SG on the par fives. Also, each of these five players finished T5 or better in SG on the par fours and eight of these 11 par fours fall between 450-500 yards, certainly putting an emphasis on this specific range. Lastly, the greens are Bermuda grass and four of the past five champs in Charlotte have rolled themselves into the top-eight in SGP during their victories.
With the PGA Championship just two weeks away, many of the world’s best are using the Wells Fargo as a final tune up before the season’s second major. Eight of the top-15 ranked players in the world will attack Quail Hollow this week, and to fit in some of these studs, we need to find some compelling cheap plays to round out our DraftKings DFS lineups. Below, I present to you four of my top targets that cost $7,400 or less on DraftKings this week.
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Matthew NeSmith, $7,300
While he has never teed it up at Quail Hollow, NeSmith’s tremendous ball striking should bring him success in Charlotte. Last week also presented a very difficult test of golf at the Copperhead Course, and NeSmith had an impressive showing for a first timer, carding a T21 in his Valspar debut. This marked his fourth consecutive made cut, and NeSmith is now eight for his last ten.
No player in this field has stuck more greens than him across his last 12 rounds, and NeSmith also ranks 8th in SG APP, 13th in ball striking and fifth in SG on par fives during this stretch. With most DFS players expected to look elsewhere given his lack of course history, NeSmith is a superb choice for DraftKings GPPs.
Jhonattan Vegas, $7,000
Thanks to his impressive off the tee game, Vegas only missed one cut in his last eight starts. He ranks fifth in SG OTT across his last 24 rounds, and finished second in driving distance during his T48 at the Valspar Championship last week. If we take a further dive into his past 24 rounds, Vegas also ranks 13th in SG on par fours and 29th in SG on par fives.
After missing the weekend in his first three attempts at Quail Hollow, Vegas has made three straight cuts at the par 71, with the highlight being a T8 in 2019. While we can’t expect a repeat performance, a top-25 is absolutely in the realm of possibilities for Vegas this weekend.
Pat Perez, $7,000
At only $7,000, Perez needs to be in your DraftKings player pool this week. He has been very successful at Quail Hollow, making eight of 13 cuts with five top-25s. Perez just finished T8 at the last Wells Fargo held here in 2019, and the 45-year-old ranks 10th in total strokes gained at Quail Hollow, when we compare everyone in this field’s histories at the venue.
To put a cherry on top, Perez is in very solid form, carding a T29 last week at the Valspar, which was his fifth made cut in his past seven events. This is the cheapest Perez has ever been for a Wells Fargo and the Bermuda expert is very underpriced for his chances of making the cut.
Luke List, $6,800
List isn’t for the faint of heart, but the natural bomber is a gamble worth taking in GPPs. Throughout his career, List’s driver has been the best club in his bag, and so far this season, the 36-year-old ranks 7th in driving distance and 13th in SG OTT. This will be his fifth time appearing at Quail Hollow, and List’s impressive work off the tee has helped him make three of four career cuts at this lengthy track, including a T16 in his debut in 2013 and a T9 in 2019.
Plus, List ranks 17th in total strokes gained over his last 50 rounds at courses that are over 7,500 yards in length, and he has advanced through the cut twice in his three most recent starts on the PGA TOUR, most notably with a T17 at the Texas Open in early April. At this low of a cost, the reward clearly outweighs the risk with List this week at a course that is perfect for his skill set.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Hunta512) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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