The Wells Fargo Championship celebrates its 16th year on Thursday (AEDT) as the PGA Tour heads east to Charlotte.
After a thrilling edition of the Zurich Classic last week, there’s a host of the world’s Top 30 players attending Quail Hollow with a handy $7.9 million up for grabs.
Aussie Jason Day won this tournament last year nailing six birdie putts on the final day to finish -12 under. He’ll have his work cut out for him this weekend though against tournament favourite and two-time winner, Rory McIlroy.
With the countdown now on to next month’s PGA Championship, we’ve analysed all the big names and our complete 2019 Wells Fargo Championship Preview can be found below.
2019 Wells Fargo Championship Best Bet
Phil Mickelson – $26.00
Phil Mickelson has appeared at 15 Wells Fargo Championships for a grand total of zero victories. His best result was runner up to Rory McIlroy in 2010, but there’s something a little different about lefty this year. Mickelson tied for 18th at Augusta last month after winning the Pebble Beach Pro Am earlier in the year, but really, this pick is all about course familiarity. Mickelson owns eight Top 5 placings, and with a strong rating off-the-tee this year, the long bomber should be right at home.
2019 Wells Fargo Championship Top 10 Finish
Tony Finau – $2.63
Aside from teeing off alongside Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia, Finau’s effort at The Masters last month puts him in good stead to compete this weekend. Finau tied for fifth at Augusta and now hopes to improve on his 21st placing at Quail Hollow last year. The 29-year-old owns two Top 25’s at this course and has been one of the most consistent players on Tour this year. If he can string together a strong Sunday as we’ve seen in years gone by, look out.
2019 Wells Fargo Championship Field
Rory McIlroy – $7.00
The 2010 and 2015 Wells Fargo champion returns to Quail Hollow with a serious point to prove after finishing tied for 21st at The Masters last month. McIlroy, just like he did at Augusta, enters as the favourite this weekend with the top rank in the PGA’s off-the-tee and tee-to-green rating. McIlroy owns six Top 10 finishes at this event, so there’s no doubt he’ll be in among the leaders. With consistency off the tee, the Irishman is well equipped to handle the frighteningly long par-4 first and 11th holes.
Jason Day – $11.00
Day’s back troubles seem to be behind him (no pun intended). The defending champ was unable to build on his fifth-placing at The Masters last week missing the cut alongside Adam Scott at the Zurich Classic, but the good news is the 31-year-old knows how to win at Quail Hollow. Day’s short game was money last year, sinking a tricky bunker shot in the second round to delight the crowd. That marked Day’s last win on Tour, and with seven Top 10 finishes since, the Australian is certainly due.
Justin Rose – $13.00
The world No. 2 has been a mixed bag ever since winning the Farmers Insurance Open back in January. Rose went on to finish inside the Top 10 at The Players and the WGC back in March before missing the cut at Augusta last month. Still, the Englishman looks primed for a big performance this weekend if he can continue to find form with his putter. Rose returns to Quail Hollow after a two-year absence hoping to replicate his third placing back in 2016.
Rickie Fowler – $13.00
Here’s another man that knows how to win at Quail Hollow. Fowler won this event back in 2012 in thrilling playoff fashion over Rory McIlroy, and since then has gone on to win four more times on Tour. Fowler tied for ninth at Augusta three weeks ago and is among the PGA’s Top 10 in putting. After tieing for 21st last year, expect nothing but a competitive game from Fowler this weekend.
Hideki Matsuyama – $21.00
The five-time Tour winner has been a quiet achiever over the last year. Matsuyama hasn’t missed a cut since last July, and also owns three Top 10 finishes since the start of the New Year. The Japanese sensation fell well outside the Top 50 at Quail Hollow last year but has improved significantly on his short game.
Sergio Garcia – $21.00
Garcia finished runner-up at the Zurich Classic last week alongside teammate Tommy Fleetwood, his fourth Top 10 finish this year alone. The Spaniard hasn’t won on Tour since claiming The Masters back in 2017, but he’s quietly been stringing together some encouraging performances. Garcia hasn’t appeared at this tournament since 2013, but he looks well suited to this course.
Paul Casey – $26.00
Good luck getting a read on the 18 year Tour veteran. After winning the Valspar back in March, Casey tied for ninth at the Match Play before missing the cut at Augusta. He does, however, own a T13 at Quail Hollow during the 2017 PGA Championship, while his accuracy off the tee makes him a serious threat this weekend. Copperhead, the site of the Valspar, is considered one of the toughest par 71’s on Tour.
Gary Woodland – $34.00
The bookies appear to have the price just about right. Woodland missed the cut at Quail Hollow last year, and he’s hardly been around the money since he tied for seventh at the Phoenix Open. Woodland missed the cut at the Valspar and tied for 32nd at Augusta, but since the course is well suited to powerful drivers off the tee, the American is still worthy of a mention.