2019 Wells Fargo Championship Preview, Betting Odds, and Prediction
by Kent Whitaker Scores & Statson
There are two big storylines heading into the opening round of the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow in North Carolina. First, Tiger Woods passed on the event which serves as a tune-up for the PGA Championship in two weeks. Secondly, Justin Thomas has withdrawn from the event due to a wrist injury.
Tiger won the event back in 2007 before hitting his slump due to back injuries and other factors. With his current level of play, and by winning the Masters earlier in the month of April, many speculated that he would make a return to Quail Hollow.
Thomas entered the Wells Fargo Championship despite still fighting wrist, arm, and shoulder pain that has plagued him over the last few events. The player’s team gave notice that he would be withdrawing. During the Honda Classic Thomas stated that the pain does not come during his golf swing but from normal movements.
“It’s just more random things, if I pick something up that’s a little heavy. It really is every once in a while, getting my glove, just kind of bending it random weird ways,” Thomas said.
With Thomas, Woods, and a few other big names sitting things out this week the door flies wide open for several past winners to grab another Wells Fargo Championship starting with Jason Day who is +1000 and defending champion. The only problem is Day has one player pulling in a better number. Rory McIlroy is +600 and he’s won this event twice starting in 2010 and again in 2015. Here are the favorites through +2000 according to intertops.
Rory McIlroy +600Jason Day +1000Rickie Fowler +1000Justin Rose +1200Hideki Matsuyama +2000Webb Simpson +2000Tony Finau +2000Sergio Garcia +2000
There are several past winners besides Day and McIlroy entered into the Wells Fargo Championship including Rickie Fowler who matches Day at +1000. Fowler has shown signs of breaking through in 2019 and Quail Hollow could make him a two time champion at the event.
2018 Jason Day +1000
2017 Brian Harman +15000
2016 James Hahn Not Playing
2015 Rory McIlroy (2) +600
2014 J. B. Holmes +6600
2013 Derek Ernst Not Playing
2012 Rickie Fowler +1000
2011 Lucas Glover +4000
2010 Rory McIlroy +600
Long, Fast Greens and Command of the Putter
The Wells Fargo Championship winner will be the player that can master the length of the course including the par three holes which seem exceedingly long by PGA standards. This is not the same Quail Hollow as seen in years past. The course underwent a major facelift prior to the 2017 PGA Championship which was held there. The changes eliminated several of the courses former “birdie” opportunities.
The only saving grace is some of the par four holes are still capable of giving many players a few birdies to their card… but those long par three holes mentioned above could even cards out with bogies. Players such as Phil Mickleson, at +2500, and Luke List, at +8000, could be ones to watch as they are playing well in both the long and short game.
There is room for redemption - if history repeats itself, then players will be looking to make up strokes on No. 8 (344-yards) and No. 14 (346-yards) as the two combined for 12 eagles last year. McIlroy , Day, and Fowler should all be able to grab shave some strokes here but so will others.
In the end, the big names should all make the cut which is 70 plus ties. Distance and accuracy will be key from the tees but players who have command of their putters will be in the mix for the win on Sunday. Quail Hollow is notorious for missed putts from around five feet. Last year is proof enough.
In 2018 at Quail Hollow Tiger Woods played well off the tees showing he could still hit the ball long while showing signs of a comeback. But… his putting was horrible on the fast Quail Hollow greens. On the flip side, Jason Day was knocking tee shots all over the place but he had command of his putter which gave him the win. That scenario will probably play out again in 2019.
Complete odds to win the 2019 Wells Fargo Championship Outright