This week, the PGA TOUR travels to Maryland for the Wells Fargo Championship at TPC Potomac at Avenal Farms. The course will play as a par 70, measuring 7,160 yards, and will move to bentgrass greens.
Usually played at Quail Hollow, Wells Fargo will have a new(ish) host course this week. TPC Potomac hosted the Quicken Loans National from 2017 to 2018, and the past two winners are Kyle Stanley, who won at seven-under in 2017, and Francesco Molinari, at 21-under. In 2017, the course played as the fourth-most difficult, primarily due to windy conditions, hard-to-hit fairways and firm greens. Scoring average relative to par was +1.458 — the only non-major other than THE PLAYERS in the top-six most challenging courses that season. Conversely, Molinari’s win the following year came from a much easier test, with the course ranking as the 18th-most difficult in scoring relative to par, with an under-par average score.
When diving deeper into the course, you notice the greens are smaller than the average PGA TOUR size and will feature seven water hazards that come into play on 10 holes. The path to victory in both years consisted of efficiency in par-4 scoring, fairways hit in regulation, strokes gained: approach the green and bogey avoidance (when playing difficult). In 2017, Stanley finished fourth-highest in approach, third in fairways gained over the field, second in bogey avoidance and eighth in par-4 scoring. Molinari also ranked high in each category, placing first in approach, fourth in fairways gained, first in bogey avoidance and first in par-4 scoring.
Only three golfers over $9,000 were inside the top-10 in DraftKings scoring at the Quicken Loans National in 2018 (Beau Hossler - $9,300, Francesco Molinari - $10,600, Tiger Woods - $11,000). In 2017, Rickie Fowler was the only golfer above $10,000 inside the top-10 in DraftKings scoring. Two years is a small sample size to glean any pertinent information, but it would indicate pairing higher-priced golfers with cheaper options was the prudent play.
Corey Conners ($10,100)
There could be some sticker shock with Conners’ price with the elite, but his ball-striking is exactly that, ranking fifth off the tee and 19th in approach over the last two dozen rounds. Conners is hitting a ton of fairways and is one of the best tee-to-green on par 70s throughout the season. Two of his previous three measured events were positive putting weeks, and a top-six finish at Augusta National should give Conners a lot of confidence heading into this week. He rates out nicely in all the key stats, which could inflate his projected roster percentage this week.
Sergio Garcia ($8,700)
Routinely one of the best off the tee, Garcia gets the nod as a potential Daily Fantasy Golf sleeper in this range, ranking fourth over the last 24 rounds. His approaches have been wildly inconsistent, losing strokes in his previous four measured tournaments. Still, he has some great performances at courses similar to TPC Potomac, finishing 20th (2021), 12th (2017) and 13th (2012) at Colonial CC (Charles Schwab Challenge), as well as 25th (2015) and runner up (2014) at TPC River Highlands (Travelers Championship). If his projected roster percentage stays in the single-digits, Garcia could be an excellent sleeper. Cameron Young ($8,000) should also be heavily considered in this range. Missing the cut at THE PLAYERS and your first Masters is understandable; that shouldn’t worry us. But, a top-three finish at the RBC Heritage last week, runner up at The Genesis Invitational and no worse than a top-26 finish since the WM Phoenix Open is exceptional when you consider this season is his first on the PGA TOUR.
Kevin Streelman ($7,700)
‘Streels’ is also someone worth rostering this week, ranking 19th off the tee and second in fairways gained over the last 24 rounds. A win (2014) and a runner-up finish (2020) at the Travelers Championship to go along with ranking top 20 in par-4 efficiency over the last 24 rounds could be a recipe for a top finish this week. We should also consider Sepp Straka ($7,600) in this range. Over the previous 24 rounds, he ranks 23rd off the tee, 55th in fairways gained, 13th in par-4 scoring and 11th in bogey avoidance. A winner already this season, Straka has also recorded a third-place finish at the RBC Heritage, 30th in his first appearance at the Masters and a top-10 finish at THE PLAYERS.
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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests. The contents contained in this article do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups.
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