Wells Fargo Championship Preview: Course Breakdown, PGA DFS Model Plays & Much More

It’s time to continue our PGA DFS model plays series by showcasing how to make the best decisions in our Wells Fargo Championship preview. In this preview, we’ll be showcasing a Wells Fargo Championship course breakdown, the skills needed to excel, model-based data as well as my picks.

One of the best golf courses on the PGA TOUR in Quail Hollow Club hosts the sixth elevated event of the season, the Wells Fargo Championship. And while there’s no Scottie Scheffler here as he still awaits the birth of his first child (I’m sure that won’t be an important talking point before the PGA Championship next week!), it’s an elite field with no cut. That means a bigger purse for them, and bigger PGA DFS contests for us.

As always, we’ll start by breaking down the golf course, followed by the skill sets I’ll be prioritizing this week and discuss the players who excel at those things. I’ll then end with my favorite tournament play at each specific salary range.

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Wells Fargo Championship Preview

Wells Fargo Championship Course Breakdown

I should really re-brand this as “the course” and “the field” because yet another no-cut, 70-man field is quite different from the standard 156-man cut PGA TOUR event. Over four rounds, the variance smooths out — which has certain pros and cons — and obviously there are fewer options to differentiate lineups.

But Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina is one of my favorite layouts on the PGA TOUR. It’s a Par 71 that plays nearly 7,600 yards, which means brutally-long par 4’s are everywhere with just three par 5’s on the property. It hosted the PGA Championship in 2017 won by Justin Thomas, as well as the President’s Cup in 2022, so there’s quite a few players in the field with serious experience on this track aside from just the Wells Fargo Championship.

But nobody has the track record here that Rory McIlroy does: champion in 2010, 2015, and 2021, with a total of seven Top 10’s in his 10 appearances on this course. Due to Rory’s consistent success at the Wells Fargo, his specific skill set will be the template for a lot of what I do to build out my portfolio this week.

The Skill (Ranked By Importance):

  1. Strokes-Gained: Tee-to-Green
  2. Approach Proximity From 175-200 Yards

Strokes-Gained: Tee-to-Green

It's time to continue our PGA DFS model plays series by showcasing how to make the best decisions in our Wells Fargo Championship preview. Wells Fargo Championship Course Breakdown

Some recognizable names at the top of the SG:T2G list here, and I’d actually like to start with Tony Finau ($8,000). After a so-so start to his season where he struggled off the tee due to a new driver shaft that added way too much spin, Finau corrected the issue and has since catapulted back into contention of late. He gained 5.1 strokes off the tee at the Houston Open en route a T2 finish, gained 1.0 en route to a T12 finish at the RBC Heritage. At his current 16.1% ownership at Stokastic, I plan on being substantially overweight to that number.

I also plan on playing a bunch of Hideki Matsuyama ($8,900) who comes in even lower-owned at 14.1%. Matsuyama plays long, difficult golf courses well, evidenced by his victory at Riviera Country Club earlier this season. He’s also first amongst this field in strokes-gained: around the green, which doesn’t hurt my feelings one bit. He’s also gained two-or-more strokes with his irons in four-straight events, so despite the lackluster T38 at the Masters in his last start, I’m going right back to the well.

But the most expensive man above is Xander Schauffele ($11,500), and boy is it a headache to figure out how to utilize him. With no Scottie Scheffler in the field, it’s the aforementioned Rory McIlroy ($11,800) and Xander that are your highest-priced golfers of the week, as well as the two-highest owned players in the field.

That’s where the PGA Top Golfers Tool at Stokastic can help out:

As much as I love Rory at Quail Hollow — I am quite literally boosting players in my model who boast his skill set after all — I think Xander is the preferred play up top for leverage purposes. Also, it’s not even an issue with salary as the $300 is pretty negligible to me with as many strong $7,000 options as we have at our disposal. I will be no means be fading Rory, but in single-entry specifically, I’m hoping X gon’ give it to him.

Approach Proximity From 175-200 Yards

It's time to continue our PGA DFS model plays series by showcasing how to make the best decisions in our Wells Fargo Championship preview. Wells Fargo Championship Course Breakdown

Only two skill sets I really want to highlight in this smaller-field event. After all, we’re going to need to roster a player or two that don’t fit the perfect mold, or else we’ll end up far too chalky for my liking based on where ownership has started to settle. So let’s run back another one of last week’s priorities with an exponentially better field and call it a day. Now, the length of these par 4’s will require precise iron play from distance regardless of how far you bomb it. And the list above have two very obvious standouts to talk about, and I have one play that’s just out of frame at 7th on the list.

Starting with Cameron Young ($8,800): this golf course seems to suit him to a near-perfect T, but the field has recognized that. He’s currently 16.1%-owned and with a number of cheaper options garnering less attention, I have to side against his poor around-the-green and putting abilities — or should I say, lackthereof.

And sure, Collin Morikawa ($9,300) is slightly higher-owned at 18.0%, but the struggles with his irons earlier in the season were wildly over-stated for my liking and I prefer his all-around game to Young’s by a decent margin. I made the case for jamming him at low-ownership at the Masters, and he promptly flipped form to the tune of a T3 there and a solo 9th at the RBC Heritage. And sure, he missed the cut here last year in his first appearance, but with no cut I’m going to trust the two-time major champion’s pedigree and predict he figures it out this time around.

But perhaps my favorite play of the week sits just below the Top 5 above: Byeong Hun An ($8,100). 7th in proximity from 175-200 yards, An also is Top 15 for me amongst this field in Total Driving (14th) and Total Approach Game (21st). Essentially, he’s nearly identical to Cameron Young skill-set wise — code for “he can’t putt either” — but he’s at just 12.1% ownership and sports the cheaper price tag.

Wells Fargo Championship PGA DFS Picks and PGA DFS Model Top Plays

Below are my current top plays this week based on a heavier weighting towards the criteria above as well as ownership. All listed ranks next to the statistics are their overall rankings in that metric for the 2024 PGA TOUR season, not relative to the field.

Xander Schauffele ($11,500)
SG:T2G — 3rd
App 175-200 — 124th

Collin Morikawa ($9,300)
SG:T2G — 34th
App 175-200 — 4th

Byeong Hun An ($8,000)
SG:T2G — 27th
App 175-200 — 7th

Shane Lowry ($7,600)
SG:T2G — 10th
App 175-200 — 44th

Austin Eckroat($6,600)
SG:T2G — 16th
App 175-200 — 10th

Eric Lindquist hails from Sioux Falls, South Dakota (yes, that’s the one with Mount Rushmore). A steady diet of three SportsCenters a day at an early age led to his obsession with sports, one that 30 years later is paying dividends for him as a successful DFS player and sports bettor. Despite over half a million dollars in net career earnings, he’s most passionate about helping others achieve their financial goals, an energy you can witness on the daily in his current role as a host and analyst at Stokastic. He’s a former Division I golfer at Iowa State, wishes he was a former Minnesota sports fan, and is a proud father to a 100-pound Bernese Mountain dog named Duke that wishes he could just eat people food instead of the crap he and his wife feed him on the daily.

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