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JAYALGER'S WEEKLY BEAR TRAP - Preview & Picks for Wells Fargo Championship 2019


  • JAYALGER'S WEEKLY BEAR TRAP - Preview & Picks for Wells Fargo Championship 2019


    "I know I’m getting better at golf because I’m hitting fewer spectators.” - President Gerald Ford


    We now move to Charlotte, NC for the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Golf Course. Quail Hollow had undergone several renovations since it first opened back in the 1960s, originally designed by George Cobb. However, the most recent renovation occurred in the spring of 2016 by Tom Fazio in preparation for the 2017 PGA Championship. It is a par-71 course measuring about 7600 yards with four par 3s and three par 5s.

    Hole breakdown is as follows:
    Par 3 4
    Par 4 <400 2
    Par 4 400-450 1
    Par 4 450-500 6
    Par 4 >500 2
    Par 5 3
    Total 18

    Course Data (2018)

    Course Data by Par (2018)

    Course Stats
    • Par 71
    • 7,559 yards
    • Architect(s) - George Cobb (1961), Tom Fazio (2016)
    • Greens - 6578 sq. ft. (Average size), Champion Bermuda overseeded with Poa (Stimpmeter - 12.5, fast)
    • Tees, Fairways & Rough - Bermuda overseeded with Perennial Ryegrass
    • Difficulty (+1.132 RTP, Ranked 5th of 51 courses played in 2018; =2.468 RTP, Ranked 1st of 50 courses played in 2017, PGA Championship), very difficult
    • 60 sand bunkers
    • 2 water hazards

    Observed Stat Trends - 2018
    • Last year the course played +1.132 strokes RTP, very difficult
    • There were five holes (Holes 1, 11, 16, 17, 18) that were ranked on the PGA Tour’s 50 toughest holes in 2018 (27th, 25th, 29th, 35th, and 37th, respectively). Combining these five holes: +1.47 RTP.
    • There is some respite from the three par 5s which were some of the easiest holes on the course. Together they combined for -0.817 strokes RTP and an average BoB% of 37.80%. 28 of the 41 eagles scored last year were obtained on the par 5s.
    • There are two par 4s under 400 yards which played under par. All of the rest of the par 4s over 400 yards (including two par 4s above 500 yards) played over par.
    • All of the par 3s played over par combining for +0.662 RTP.

    Brief Tournament Information
    • Full field event with about 150 golfers
    • Field Strength - Average
    • Standard cut of 70 plus ties. 2018: +4. 2017 (PGA Championship): +6.
    • Winners: Jason Day (2018), Justin Thomas (2017, PGA Championship)

    DK Data 2018
    • Avg Cash Line (GPP - 381.38, AVR 7.63; Cash - 372.08, AVR 7.44)
    • Optimal LU - 588 DK Pts @ 49.0k (AVR 12.00)
    • Winning LUs
      • Qtr Jukebox - 539.0 DK Pts @ 50.0k (AVR 10.78)
      • 40k Albatross ($12 Buy-in, SE) - 506 DK Pts @ 49.9k (AVR 10.14)
      • 300k Dogleg ($33, ME) - 546.0 DK Pts @ 50k (AVR 10.92)
      • $5 SE Double Up - Cashline, 352.5 (AVR 7.05)
      • $5 ME Double Up -Cashline, 355.5 (AVR 7.11)

    Hole Highlights - The Green Mile

    Hole 16 - Par 4, 506-yards (+0298 RTP, Rank 3, 2018)

    Hole 16 is the first hole of what has been consistently the toughest final three-hole stretch on the PGA Tour. In 2013, the green was moved closer to the edge of the pond on which the 17th green also sits. This renovation added 80 yards to the hole, made it a dogleg right making the pond come into play off the tee on the entire length of the fairway. Golfers will also have to be able to avoid the bunker on the right of the landing area. From the fairway, golfers will need to be accurate to hit the green that is surrounded by water on three sides. If golfers missed the green to the right and into the bunker, they’ll find the green that slopes severely away from the golfer. A par will feel good here.

    Hole 17 - Par 3, 223-yards (+0.285 RTP, Rank 4, 2018)

    The 17th hole is no slouch as it is an intimidating par 3 that features a near-island green which will require a tee shot to carry over water for nearly 195 yards. Attempt to bail out right and golfers will find the rough or a bad lie in the greenside bunker. Pin placement will be the difference between birdie or bogey. Oh, and watch out for the wind to play tricks on golfers balls.

    Hole 18 - Par 4, 494-yards (+0.281, Rank 5, 2018)

    The 18th hole is most likely the toughest finishing hole on the PGA Tour and was the 5th toughest hole on the course during the last year. This hole moves downhill off the tee onto a narrow fairway with trees and a bunker on the right of the landing area and a wandering creek along the entire length of the fairway on the left. Golfers second shot is uphill onto a difficult green that is severely sloped with the creek along the left and two menacing bunkers on the right. The most memorable year on this hole was in 2003, the inaugural year of the Wells Fargo Championship) when David Toms made a quad-bogey on 18 and managed to still win by two strokes over Vijay Singh. This is a very tough hole and no lead is safe.

    My Picks

    DK - Above 10k

    Jason Day (DK $11000, FD $11800, Y $46, Odds 10/1) - Rory McIlroy commands the top salary and is in impeccable form with elite course history but if I go above 10k this week, I prefer Day for an $800 savings. Always a risk for a WD, the defending champion has elite course history (especial since the changes for the 2017 PGA Championship) and is also in excellent form. He obviously has the right skills to master the Green Mile, so I’m okay with taking the risk of a WD from Day.

    DK - 9k

    Tony Finau (DK $9300, FD $11400, Y $45, Odds 20/1) - Finau is always a popular choice but comes with a more palatable price. If you exclude last week’s team event at the Zurich, he has only missed one cut in nine starts in 2019 including a T5 at the Masters. He finished T21 last year and T44 at the 2017 PGA Championship. He is an elite ball striker who is putting quite well recently. I’ll eat the chalk with Finau and pivot elsewhere.

    DK - 8k

    Jason Kokrak (DK $8700, FD $10000, Y $37, Odds 40/1) - Kokrak has been hot fire recently and making 20 consecutive cuts (tied for first with Fleetwood). He has 4 top 10s in ten starts in 2019 on the heels of his excellent ball striking and some elite putting recently. The only blemish is he MC’d last year but did finish T33 at the 2017 PGA Championship. He is coming in playing much better this year than last year and should expect a performance like the 2017 PGA.

    Charles Howell III (DK $8400, FD $10100, Y $39, Odds 55/1) - Sometimes you have to play the metagame in DFS and think a lot are going to flock to An believing that a lot of people got burned (including me) at the Heritage and are going to avoid him. So, just above him is CH3, who also MCd at the Heritage, but I think will be the one that will be lower owned. Minus the Heritage, he has made 9 consecutive cuts since the start of the year with 5 top 15s. He had a T21 last year but a T73 at the 2017 PGA Champ. He has the overall skill set to overtake Quail Hollow and should be less owned than An.

    DK - 7k and Under

    Keith Mitchell (DK $7800, FD $9600, Y $34, Odds 80/1) - Another golfer who MCd at the Heritage and is good for a rebound is Mitchell who has been playing very well in his prior 4 starts including his win at Honda and a T6 at the API. He finished T34 in 2018 with elite ball striking and despite losing 2.8 strokes putting. He has actually improved his putting in his last 5 events gaining 0.4 strokes/rd. If continues that trend, he should easily do better this year.

    Cameron Tringale (DK $7000, FD $8200, Y $20, Odds 175/1) - Tringale has been having a mini-resurgence and finding some consistency making 5 of his last 6 events. He has some experience at Quail Hollow with 5 made cuts in 7 starts including a T27 last year. His stats don’t pop but is still in the top third of the field. At 7k, I think he can easily make the cut. Anything better will be the icing on the cake.

    Anyway, I hope that this helps you in your own process to select your golfers for this week. Please leave me any questions, comments, suggestions or any rants and touts you would like to discuss either here on, on twitter @algertorr, or on DK/FD/FDR jayalger. Good luck this week!

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