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The PGA Tour Is BACK With Another Elevated Event At The Wells Fargo Championship At Quail Hollow

Richard Heathcote. Getty Images.

Welcome to Quail Hollow, a looong golf course that serves as host of the Wells Fargo Championship. And wouldn't ya know it? We're elevated yet AGAIN baby. Big time dough and big time points up for grabs with a strong field this week, despite the top 2 dogs of Rahm and Scheffler choosing for this to be their one skipped elevated event for the year.

This is a quality, challenging track down in Charlotte, NC. Big time golf gets played here every year, whether it's this event, the PGA Championship like in 2017, or the Presidents Cup last October. Because of that Presidents Cup, the Wells Fargo was played at TPC Avenel in Maryland instead. It was moved down to Wilmington, NC in 2017 as well. So keep that in mind when I toss out last year's leaderboard and recent winners.

Ironically, it was a past winner at Quail that prevailed at Avenel last May. Everybody's favorite Max Homa won a slopfest of a tournament, as rain wreaked havoc Friday thru Sunday. It was honestly miraculous that they got all the golf in, major kudos to the maintenance guys over at Avenel. But the golf surely wasn't easy. Jason Day blitzed the field with a Thursday 63 and sat in the lead at -10 before shooting a 79 on Saturday. Keegan Bradley was the 54-hole leader but faltered with a +2 final round. Max just played steady through it all, outlasting the field to take home his then-4th PGA Tour win.

Last year's leaderboard and former winners at Quail Hollow… (also note JT won the 2017 PGA here)

2022 Leaderboard (at TPC Avenel)

Recent Winners

The Course

As I mentioned before, Quail Hollow is a trek for a par 71 at 7,538 yards. There are a TON of par 4's here measuring over 450 yards. 8 of em in fact, and another clocking in at 449. The par 3's are no picnic either. 6 and 17 are beasts, and depending on the setup 17 can play a lot longer than the 190 on the scorecard above. More on that shortly. 

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It's a George Cobb design constructed in 1959. Tons of tree lined holes where your positioning off the tee is key, which is diabolical given how long this course is. The greens have a ton of false fronts and swales as well, so you've got to hit the right spots on these large greens. Very much a Southeast course in that regard. There might not be a course on tour outside of maybe Torrey and Riviera where the combo of driving distance and accuracy is as critical as it is here.

Best Hole - 17th hole, Par 3 190 yards 

Streeter Lecka. Getty Images.

I have a strong appreciation for 17th hole par 3's that have potential to swing leaderboards. Long iron required here to a green guarded by water on 3 sides. Green slopes hard towards the water too, so if you land it on the left side of the green and it's firm, you could be in big trouble. Justin Thomas hit the defining shot of his PGA Championship win here in 2017. Nuked a 7 iron here to 14 feet when the listed yardage was 223, a bold club choice that he says was aided by adrenaline. 

The Weather

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Not… great…. could be another sloppy one. This is a full field of 156 players, so that could create some issues if there are any delays. Gonna see a variety of layers from the boys this week.

The Coverage

Another CBS weekend. Some featured groups here:

The Trophy

Gregory Shamus. Getty Images.

This is as simple as it gets. The steel almost looks dull, as if the trophy has a lot of age. It really doesn't though? This trophy isn't worthy of many of my words. This is a 3/10

The Board

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Rory McIlroy is back for the first time since his disappointing missed cut at Augusta, and he's the clear-cut favorite at +700 at a course where he's thrived. He came into this tournament in a similar scenario two years ago having not played since the Masters and I absolutely hammered him at +1600 and he came through with the dub.

I can't ignore him, even if his price is much shorter. I'm going back to the well with Rory +700. But I'm also all about Cameron Young at +2000. If Rors slips, this is the one for Cam. Long hitter, great ball-striker, and he played his college golf out here in the Carolina Appalachians at Wake. Datagolf has him as the 3rd most likely to get the win here, which surely doesn't line up with his spot at 8th on the betting board here. There's value on Cam. Go for Cam.

Other Plays

Rory Top 10 -110/Cam Young Top 10 +225

Cam Young Top American +1400 - Just another offering, this one takes Rory (and others) out of the equation.

Tony Finau To Win +1600/Top 10 +163 - Another bomber and um, he's obviously playing great right now.

Keegan Bradley To Win +6600/Top 10 +500 - Had this tournament in his crosshairs last year, should be right there again

Akshay Bhatia Top 20 +500 - Another guy who is playing well and is close to breaking through. One more high finish should get him his permanent Tour card.

Sahith Theegala Group E Winner +320 (over Conners, Woodland, Clark, and Tom Kim) - Course fits him better than most in this group and it's hard not to root for him.

Oh, and watch Side Gig.

That's what I got for this week. Should be a great one. 

Enjoy the Wells Fargo.