The 2019 Wells Fargo Championship (May 3-6) is being played at its usual home at the Quail Hollow Golf Club, which staged the event from 2003 – 2016 and again in 2018. The 2017 edition was played at a different course, so you might want to bear that in mind when studying the form.
It’s also worth considering that the course was changed significantly before it hosted the 2017 PGA Championship. Before that it was considered a score-able Par 72 layout, but it is now a much tougher Par 71.
However, the changes were well-received by the majority of the world’s best players, many of whom are playing this week in what could an ideal warm-up for the 2019 US PGA Championship later this month.
It’s certainly no surprise to see Rory McIlroy here this week and his solid course form means the bookies have him as their universal favourite. He posted six top-10 finishes here between 2010 and 2016 and they included two wins in 2010 and 2014. However, he’s not played as well here since the course changes, finishing 22nd at the 2017 US PGA and 16th last year. However, he did show signs that he could still blow this place apart last year with scores of 68 and 66 in rounds one and three, and only a second round 76 stopped him from being competitive. He disappointed in the US Masters when last seen but, as he had been consistently playing some of his best golf before that, he could easily make it three wins at a course he loves. However, at around 6/1, his odds look a little short this week.
Next best in the market is last year’s winner Jason Day, who had played just twice in this event before last year’s success, finishing 22nd in 2010 and 9th in 2012. However, he had shown he liked the new design when finishing ninth in the 2017 US PGA, when he would have been much higher had he not made a big score on one hole when going for the win. He shot a pair of 67’s and a pair of 69’s to win last year and, as he often plays well at courses where he has performed well in the past, it would be no surprise if he showed up well this week after finishing fifth at the US Masters. At double-figure odds, he looks worth support to follow-up his previous good showings on the new design.
Rickie Fowler is another player near the head of the market that has shown he loves both the old and new layouts here. He was sixth in 2010, won in 2012, and was fourth in 2016. He was only 21st last year, but did finish tied fifth in the 2017 US PGA Championship. At twice the price of McIlroy, he also looks worthy of support this week.
Next in the betting is Justin Rose but, despite posting top 5’s here in 2014 and 2016, he’s harder to make a case for after missing the cut at the 2017 US PGA Championship and skipping last year’s edition.
At slightly bigger prices, two players that catch the eye are Phil Mickelson and Aaron Wise. Mickelson has an impressive overall record here with eight top-5 finishes since 2004 and, though he’s getting on a bit, he did finish fifth last year. He could also land some each-way money this week.
Meanwhile, Aaron Wise may not have been at his best so far this season, but he was 17th when last seen. That makes him of interest here as he shone on his first visit to Quail Hollow last year with four consistent rounds of 68, 68, 70, and 68 and he could easily return to his best this week at a decent price.