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FanDuel Strategy

FanDuel Fit: Wells Fargo Championship

by Josh Culp
Updated On: May 4, 2021, 9:16 pm ET

The PGA TOUR finally leaves Florida for the season and they'll hop up a few states to play in North Carolina this week. It's the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club. 

The event features a full field of 156 golfers with a standard, 36-hole cut which will allow the top 65 and ties to move on and earn a weekend tee time. For DFS purposes, a full field means a tougher task in terms of getting all six golfers through the cut line. 

Getting your superstars through the cut line is usually a bit easier so let's dive into some course-fit stats to see if we can dig up some value nuggets. 

This week, we will look at golfers that play well on courses that force you to pound a lot of drivers. Then we will see what golfers have the tools to succeed on a tough golf course. 

Driver Usage

Last week was played on a course that gave you a lot of options off the tee in terms of club selection. This week at Quail Hollow, you need to have the driver dialed in. 

"Honestly it’s a course that let’s me hit driver a lot and for that reason it probably fits my game well, and that’s probably why I play well here." -Angel Cabrera in 2014

"I remember when I first came here there was maybe four or five, maybe even six par 4s where I hit 3-wood or maybe 2-iron or 5-wood off the tee and now it just pretty much feels like you hit driver all day. I think I hit two 3-woods and then the rest are driver. It’s definitely stretched out." -Martin Laird in 2019

Let's see who has gained the most strokes per round on driver-heavy courses, over the last two years: 

Jon Rahm
Xander Schauffele
Rory McIlroy
Will Zalatoris
Webb Simpson
Viktor Hovland
Tony Finau
Max Homa
Talor Gooch
Patrick Reed
Scott Piercy
Justin Thomas
Tommy Fleetwood
Mark Hubbard
Abraham Ancer

We can also look at a golfer's performance versus their baseline to see who over-performs most. Here is that list: 

Sung Kang
Scott Piercy
Talor Gooch
Max Homa
Luke List
Mark Hubbard
Kyoung-Hoon Lee
Maverick McNealy
James Hahn
Scott Brown
Tyler McCumber
Wyndham Clark
J.B. Holmes
Joel Dahmen
Chez Reavie

Overlap List: names that show up on both lists include Scott Piercy, Talor Gooch, Max Homa, and Mark Hubbard

Gooch was refunding losing bets last week so maybe karma will reward him this week with a big finish. 

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Tough Courses

Quail Hollow Club has never been easy but it became a mental battle when they flipped it to a par 71 ahead of the 2017 PGA Championship. The scoring average in the three events played as a par 71 has been 72.45 strokes which is nearly identical to the prior five WFC editions (72.46). Par is just a number but carding bogeys can mentally trigger you, no matter how hard you try to avoid it. Patience is key this week. 

The course will beat you up with long hole after long hole. It's really a grind and bad course management or temper control will have you packing your bags early. 

Here are the top performers on tough courses, over the last two years: 

Will Zalatoris
Jon Rahm
Rory McIlroy
Tony Finau
Webb Simpson
Patrick Reed
Xander Schauffele
Bryson DeChambeau
Justin Thomas
Viktor Hovland
Brendon Todd
Patrick Cantlay
Russell Henley
Shane Lowry
Jason Day

We can also look at a golfer's performance versus their baseline to see who over-performs most. Here is that list: 

Will Zalatoris
Mackenzie Hughes
Francesco Molinari
Aaron Wise
Brendon Todd
Patrick Rodgers
Keith Mitchell
Adam Long
Jason Day
Brendan Steele
Luke List
Harris English
Gary Woodland
Tony Finau
Joel Dahmen

Overlap List: names that show up on both lists include Will Zalatoris, Tony Finau, Brendon Todd, and Jason Day

If you have the tools to contend in majors then you are probably well suited for a tough track like Quail Hollow Club, as well. 

FanDuel Focus 

Tony Finau ($11,000): When you are looking for upside, one thing you can look for is the ability to post low rounds at a course. For Finau, he's lapped the field by more than 5.7 shots in two of his last 12 rounds played at Quail Hollow Club. He also gained 5.2 strokes over the field in round two of his 2015 WFC debut. If he plays to his baseline for three days and then tosses one of those low rounds into the mix, look out. Of course, stringing together four good rounds is always a tough task but at least we know his ceiling is not capped at this week's course. 

Will Zalatoris ($10,700): While Finau has some low rounds at Quail Hollow Club, course experience is not everything. Just look at the season Zalatoris is stringing together while seeing most of the courses he plays for the first time. Zalatoris has recently played three of the correlated courses I mentioned while writing my Wells Fargo Championship Preview, he's walked away with finishes of T7 (Farmers), 21st (PLAYERS), and 2nd (Masters). These tough tracks are perfect for his elite ball-striking skills and gamers should expect another top 25 this week. 

 

Good luck with your lineups this week and check back tomorrow for some more course-fit analysis. 

Josh Culp

Josh Culp joined NBC Sports Edge in 2014. The DFS enthusiast from Iowa State can be found on Twitter @futureoffantasy.