It’s another elevated-purse tournament as the PGA Tour stars head to North Carolina to take on Quail Hollow. Scroll down for my Wells Fargo Championship betting tips. but first…
Wells Fargo Championship preview
Venue: Quail Hollow, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
Date: May 4-7, 2023
Course stats: Par 71; 7,538 yards
Course summary: This long, difficult parkland course is a real test for players, with the winning score only exceeding 15-under-par once in the last 10 years. Mature trees line the fairways, leading to undulating Bermudagrass greens that are fast and protected by numerous bunkers. The closing three-hole stretch, named the ‘Green Mile’, will certainly be in the leader’s consideration come Sunday as it threatens to dash their dreams of a victory here
Purse: $20 million
Defending champion: Max Homa (-8)
Thursday: Sky Sports Golf from 6pm and Main Event from 11pm
Friday: Sky Sports Golf from 6pm and Main Event from 10pm
Saturday: Sky Sports Golf from 5pm
Sunday: Sky Sports Golf from 5pm
2023 Wells Fargo Championship betting tips
The Banker: Viktor Hovland @ 20/1
There were multiple candidates for the banker spot this week, with Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele making plenty of appeal at the top of the board, and players like Collin Morikawa and Jason Day also factored in, but in the end, it is the Norwegian Viktor Hovland who I am giving the nod.
I decided Cantlay and Schauffele were short enough in the market, Jason Day’s health could be of potential concern after he struggled on Sunday at Augusta when he spoke again of his vertigo, and Morikawa hasn’t seen this course yet.
Now add in the fact that Hovland was 3rd at this course in his one and only start back in 2021, and there’s every reason to think this superstar can get the biggest win of his career to date.
Hovland ranks 7th in SG Off the Tee, 14th in SG Approach, and 15th in SG Tee to Green, and considering the latter factors in his SG Around the Green number, where he ranks 170th, he’s clearly hitting the ball incredibly well from the tee box into the greens.
On his day Hovland is a tremendous long iron player and that will be a huge factor this week, and I am going to side with the man who had a chance to win at Augusta, and was also recently 3rd at The Players Championship. 20th at Riviera and 10th at Bay Hill in his two starts before TPC Sawgrass were superb as well, and his effort at Bay Hill should have been even better, but a late water ball saw him slip down the leaderboard.
Hovland was the 54-hole leader at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and should have had something to say late on before that costly mistake. Hovland has now been within three of the lead going into the final round three times in 2023, so he keeps putting himself in the mix, which he can do again here.
The Each-Way Play: Sahith Theegala @ 40/1
Sahith Theegala has been in tremendous form throughout 2023, and it is form at both Riviera and Torrey Pines that stands up so well here, and he posted top-six finishes at both this season.
No, we haven’t seen Theegala play at Quail Hollow yet, but those that have won here in recent enough years, like Max Homa, Jason Day, J.B. Holmes, and James Hahn have all either won at both the Genesis Invitaitonal and the Farmers Insurance Open, or one of the other. Considering Theegala’s efforts at both courses, plus his past two starts I see very little reason in overlooking a potential superstar.
9th in his first Masters and 5th last time out at the RBC Heritage, Theegala has continued to shine in 2023, and even going back to Bay Hill where he was 14th, he continues to show what he can off the tee, which will be important here.
He can get wild with the driver, which is why statistically he doesn’t stand out, but he has the required length to play well here, and I like his chances of playing well at another historic venue once more.
The Long Shot: Cam Davis @ 90/1
Cam Davis has returned to form over recent months, and whilst it was initially charged by a strong short game, he showed at the Heritage that his ball striking is nearing its best once more and when that is the case, he can certainly compete in these fields and at a course like this.
The Aussie ranked 4th for SG Tee to Green, 7th in SG Off the Tee, and 14th for SG Approach at Harbour Town last time out and that is a really encouraging sign, as he heads to a course that demands strong play from the tee box.
Davis ranks 15th in SG Off the Tee and 17th in Driving Distance on the PGA Tour this season, making him a perfect candidate for longshot success at Quail Hollow, something that can be said for many in this range.
He was 26th here on his debut but was even better placed after 54 holes, as he went into Sunday and 13th place and was more than capable of finishing inside the top 10 and even pushing the top five. He was within six shots of the lead all week until a poor final round caught up with him, and now in the form he’s in, he can push it further this week.
The Other Long Shot: Emiliano Grillo @ 125/1
Emiliano Grillo has bounced back to form with 7th and 5th place finishes, and he now returns to a course where he possesses 9th and 14th place finishes.
12th and 10th in his past two starts in SG Tee to Green and 22nd and 1st in SG Approach, Grillo is clearly setting himself up with opportunities, so whilst his driver needs a bit of work, I am happy to chance him at triple-digit odds this week