NCG form expert Barry Plummer breaks down the field and picks out three players who have a great chance at Quail Hollow this week
Following on from a tough week at the Valspar Championship, I am back in the saddle and ready to get back on the winning trail. This week we head to the famous Quail Hollow Golf and Country Club for the Wells Fargo Championship, host of the PGA Championship in 2017 and site of that famous Rory McIlroy win in 2015. In what looks to be a strong field, I have got three excellent shouts to take the title. But first…
Wells Fargo Championship details
Venue: Quail Hollow Golf and Country Club, North Carolina
Date: May 6-9, 2021
Course stats: Par 71; 7,554 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 leaders consideration come Sunday as it threatens to dash their dreams of a victory here.
Purse: $8.1 million
Defending champion: Max Homa (-15)
Wells Fargo Championship TV coverage
Thursday: Sky Sports Golf from 12pm, Sky Sports Main Event from 12.15pm, and Sky Sports Golf from 7pm
Friday: Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports and Main Event from 12pm, and Sky Sports Golf from 7pm
Saturday: Sky Sports Golf (Red Button) from 1pm, Sky Sports Golf from 6pm, and Sky Sports Main Event from 10.30pm
Sunday: Sky Sports Golf (Red Button) from 1pm, Sky Sports Golf from 6pm, and Sky Sports Main Event from 7.30pm
Wells Fargo Championship betting tips
Bazza’s Banker: Rory McIlroy @ 18/1 with Bet365
How can you start any Wells Fargo preview without including McIlroy as your main selection? In truth, his performances have been disappointing by his standards of late, but when you consider he has finished in the top-16 at Quail Hollow every year since 2012, he will surely have no better opportunity to rectify that. Having taken some time off in recent weeks, no doubt to work with Pete Cowen, McIlroy should arrive refreshed and ready to kick on in preparation for the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island. As a winner of this event in 2015, and runner-up in 2012, McIlroy makes the list on course form alone, boasting six top-10 finishes in his last seven. Having witnessed the revival of Spieth in Texas recently, I wouldn’t be surprised to see McIlroy get back to winning ways on a course that he loves.
The outsider: Joaquin Niemann @ 33/1 with Bet365
Niemann ticks a lot of boxes for me this week, and after an impressive display at the Valspar Championship last week, I like the young Chilean’s chances. Quail Hollow is a course that requires length of the tee, consistently accurate approach play and solid putting on the fast Bermudagrass greens. In the last six months, Niemann ranks 8th for driving distance, 11th for SG: Off-the-Tee and 14th for GIR – fitting the profile perfectly. Niemann also has a win on Bermudagrass greens, at the 2020 Greenbrier, and has finished runner-up twice this season when putting on similar surfaces. The only question will be about his lack of course experience, but as last year’s champion Max Homa won on only his second attempt, I am willing to gamble on Niemann to follow suit at a reasonable price.
The long shot: Rickie Fowler @ 75/1 with Bet365
The theme of this week’s selections appears to be the awakening of sleeping giants, and after receiving an unexpected morale boosting invite to the 2021 PGA Championship, Fowler could be next on the list to resurrect his form. When you look at his course form, Fowler should have a lot of confidence heading into this week, having won this event in 2012 and finishing 4th when the event was last played in 2019. A 17th place finish in Texas last time out was his best finish of the season so far, and after witnessing good friend Jordan Spieth end his win drought I can imagine Fowler will want a piece of that action. A lot will have to change for Fowler to complete, including the general consistency of his once-trusty putter, but returning to a course where he has fond memories may just be the spark he needs to change his fortunes.
For more prices visit Bet365.