Quail Hollow Gold Club is usually the venue for the Wells Fargo Championship, but this season it hosts the USPGA Championship, the final major of 2017. It has undergone a few small changes in preparation for the big event, and will be played as a Par 71 measuring 7,600 yards.
The USPGA is usually the best field of the season, and this year hasn’t disappointed. It’s so good that some bookies are even paying out 10 places each-way, with many more paying out on at least 8 places. However, with plenty of course form to go on, this looks an event to get stuck into.
Jordan Spieth will be popular after his recent win in the Open Championship, but Quail Hollow has been a course that Spieth has tended to side-step in his short professional career, with his one visit in 2013 resulting in 32nd place. It’s also a course that Dustin Johnson has little affinity for, having never bettered 29th here, and he’s missed the Wells Fargo in recent seasons.
One player who loves course is Rory McIlroy, and it’s likely that the dual Wells Fargo winner has had this tournament as one of his biggest targets of the season. His long-straight driving is a massive asset here and, after finishing 4th in the Open and 5th in the WGC Bridgestone, he should give everyone a run for their money. He also boasts two wins and two thirds in the USPGA in the last 8 years. It’s a shame he’s favourite – but he looks impossible to leave out of any staking plan.
Last week’s WGC winner Hideki Matsuyama could easily go well again, as his form here is trending noticeably with finishes of 38/20/11, but you need to wonder whether last week will have taken something out of him. Therefore, the other market-leader to have on side is Rickie Fowler, who has finished 1st and 4th in his last 4 appearances here, and he’s posted four top-10s in his last 5 tournaments.
If you’re looking for a quality-player who looks over-priced this week, then look no further than Justin Rose, as the Englishman has finished fifth and third on his last two visits to Quail Hollow. He admittedly didn’t put up much of a show at last week’s WGC, but showed at Augusta in April that he can peak for the big events, and has twice finished in the top-4 in the USPGA in the last 5 years.
Meanwhile, Phil Mickleson may be a little long in the tooth, but he also loves it around Quail Hollow, where he has finished in the top-12 in 11 of his last 13 appearances here. It’s also only three years since he finished second in the USPGA, and he could punters a run for their money.
Finally, if you’re looking for one at a massive-price, then you could do worse than Robert Streb. He showed some form when placed three starts ago, and he’s finished 4th and 28th in the last two Wells Fargo’s, and 10th and 7th in the last two USPGA’s.
Tips – all with Paddy Power who are paying 8 places
Rory McIlroy 5 Points Each-Way @ 13/2
Rickie Fowler 2 Points Each-Way @ 16/1
Justin Rose 1 Point Each-Way @ 35/1
Phil Mickelson 1 Point Each-Way @ 66/1
Robert Streb 1 Point Each-Way @ 200/1