After a week in Mexico, the PGA TOUR travels back to the mainland this week for the Wells Fargo Championship. Quail Hollow GC has hosted 16 of the last 17 editions of this tournament, but with the Presidents Cup taking place at the famous course this summer, TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm (par 70, 7,160 yards, Bentgrass) in Potomac, Maryland will host the Wells Fargo Championship this week. In the new millennium, two PGA TOUR events have been held at this track, the 2017 and 2018 versions of the Quicken Loans National. In 2017, Kyle Stanley came out on top at -7 and then the following year, Francesco Molinari dominated with an eight-shot victory at -21.
While not a familiar name to the average golf fan, TPC Potomac is one of the toughest non-major courses on the schedule this season. The tree-lined fairways are very narrow and the rough is extremely penalizing, making clubbing down OTT the preferred strategy by most players. In fact, both Molinari and Stanley ranked top-five in fairways found and outside the top-30 in driving distance during their victories at TPC Potomac. Naturally, opting to use less than driver results in long approach shots that require precision iron play, and both Molinari and Stanley finished top-five in SG APP when they took home the big check at this tricky par 70. Speaking of TPC Potomac being a challenging test of golf, Molinari ranked first and Stanley finished runner-up in least bogeys recorded during their wins in Maryland, certainly putting a large emphasis on bogey avoidance this week. Finally, as always with a par 70 – meaning there are 12 par fours and only two par fives – scoring on the par fours is the most critical at TPC Potomac, specifically the par fours that land between 450-500 yards. Six of the 12 par fours at this venue fall in this range and when Molinari put on a show at the 2018 Quicken Loans National, no player gained more strokes on these particular holes than the Italian.
With the PGA Championship just two weeks away, only six of the top-30 ranked players in the world are listed in the field for this week’s Wells Fargo Championship, headlined by Rory McIlroy. There will be a standard top-65 and ties cut for this full field of 156 players following the first 36 holes, and below I present to you four sub $7.5K value plays I will be attacking on DraftKings this week.
Anirban Lahiri, $7,400
In his lone start at TPC Potomac, Lahiri carded a T13 in 2018. The Indian pro now returns to Maryland riding a five made cut streak, which is a run that includes three top-15 finishes. Most notably, Lahiri impressively posted a runner-up finish at the PLAYERS back in March. During this start, the veteran gained strokes in every major category and ranked fifth in bogey avoidance at the always difficult TPC Sawgrass.
Lahiri has shot under par in 11 of his last 16 rounds and is way underpriced for his upside in this soft field.
Denny McCarthy, $7,300
While McCarthy failed to make the cut in his debut at TPC Potomac back in 2018, the Virginia product is in much better form this time around and needs to be backed at this low price tag. Over the last few months, McCarthy has been extremely consistent, missing only one cut in his past 14 starts with six top-20 finishes coming during this stretch.
For the season, the 29-year-old ranks 10th in par four efficiency, 19th in bogey avoidance and 20th in SGP. All in all, McCarthy is far too cheap for how well he is playing right now and is a legitimate threat for a top-10 this weekend.
Matthias Schwab, $7,200
At this cheap of a cost, it’s hard to argue against Schwab. The 27-year-old has been very reliable this season, advancing to the weekend in 10 of his 12 starts. Furthermore, Schwab has flashed great upside, generating three top-10 finishes since the start of February.
The Austrian has produced positive strokes with his irons in eight consecutive starts and ranks seventh in SG on par fours ranging from 450-500 yards over his past 24 rounds, setting him up perfectly for his debut at TPC Potomac.
Martin Laird, $7,100
Thanks to some terrific work with his irons, Laird has had a strong 2022 campaign. For the year, the 39-year-old ranks 21st in SG APP and owns a 7/11 record in individual strokes play starts, with four top-30 finishes. Laird has gained strokes on APP in five straight starts and knows his way around TPC Potomac rather well, finishing T3rd in 2017 and then missing the weekend by one stroke in 2018.
Laird’s salary unwarrantedly dropped $500 since his last time out and he is one of the best bargains available at this discounted salary.
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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 do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. 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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