The PGA Tour returns to the mainland this week as players take their talents from Mexico to our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. Situated minutes from the capital city, TPC Potomac will host this year’s Wells Fargo Championship as Quail Hollow Golf Club is given the summer off.
The typical host venue for the Wells Fargo Championship, the golf course in Charlotte, North Carolina, is set to welcome the Presidents Cup this upcoming fall, so a switch in location was made.
TPC Potomac has been around the PGA Tour for a while, despite not seeing it year in and year out. It most recently welcomed players to the Quicken Loans National in 2017 and 2018 and before that had hosted the Booz Allen Classic before it was moved to Congressional Country Club in the early 2000s.
The change in venue does bring a change in field quality as those who normally play in the Wells Fargo Championship are choosing to skip it this season. It is typically one of the best events on the golf calendar as it boasts a major championship field on a major championship golf course, but unfortunately that is not the case in 2022.
Rory McIlroy is set to defend his Wells Fargo Championship crown and has had success in the Washington, D.C., area before. Not seen since his runner-up performance at the Masters Tournament, the Northern Irishman captured his first major title just down the street at Congressional Country Club many years ago.
Our odds calculator gives the four-time major champion, listed at +800 at Bodog, an 11.11 percent chance to claim his second victory of the 2021-22 season. McIlroy has always fared well in this part of the country and should do so once again as he looks to get back into the swing of things ahead of the PGA Championship.
Wells Fargo Championship Odds
|Si Woo Kim||+4000|
Odds as of May 3 at Bodog
Course and Tournament Information
TPC Potomac has long been a controversial venue on the PGA Tour as players such as Greg Norman and Nick Price have been outspoken about its layout. The golf course has taken a new shape over the last decade and as such many of its features have either been changed or enhanced. It plays to a par 70 after golf architects Tom Fazio and Pete Dye changed the topography to allow for more suitable draining.
In their changes, they have also created a difficult golf course. Stretching to nearly 7,200 yards, accuracy off the tee will be rewarded, a stark contrast to last week’s Mexico Open. Needing to consistently find the correct side of the fairway, players are then faced with small greens and daunting greenside bunkers.
Kyle Stanley won the 2017 Quicken Loans National at 7 under and Francesco Molinari won in 2018 at 21 under. That was the same year the Italian captured the Open Championship and had he not been in the field that week, the winning score would have come in at 13 under as he won by eight strokes, courtesy of a tournament-record 8-under 62 in the final round.
Other players have been able to reach that number in tournament play and this year may allow such a performance. The tournament has typically taken place in July in Washington, D.C., and with rain expected in the area, softer conditions may be conducive to a winning score closer to Molinari’s effort in 2018.
What Happened In Last Year’s Wells Fargo Championship?
The 2021 Wells Fargo Championship was a battle to the end as eventual champion Rory McIlroy eked out a victory on the 72nd hole. He finished at 10 under, one stroke ahead of Abraham Ancer and two strokes ahead of Viktor Hovland and Keith Mitchell.
Plenty occurred in last year’s Wells Fargo Championship, from Webb Simpson withdrawing to Bryson DeChambeau believing he had missed the cut and flying home, only to return Saturday after realizing he had actually made the cut. In the end, McIlroy captured his second victory at Quail Hollow, but he will not have the luxury of playing on a comfortable golf course this time around.
Quail Hollow may present many different challenges compared to this year’s venue, TPC Potomac, but there is one skill set required for both. Strong drivers of the golf ball will have a good chance to win the Wells Fargo Championship this week.
Quail Hollow rewards distance, but TPC Potomac rewards accuracy as it is often described as a tight, tree-lined golf course in the shadows of our nation’s capital.
2022 Wells Fargo Championship Picks
Corey Conners +2000
It is about time for the Canadian to make his way back into the winner’s circle as he has been held without a victory since his Valero Texas Open breakthrough in 2019. Conners is known to play some of his best golf during the Florida swing and while it did not materialize into anything special, he remained true to himself and found his ball-striking.
The Canadian collected top-30 finishes in his two starts in Florida and carried that momentum into the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. The 30-year-old lost to Kevin Kisner in the semifinals but was able to keep his chin up and perform adequately, besting Dustin Johnson in the consolation match.
The outing in Austin propelled Conners into the Masters, where he once again impressed at Augusta National, finishing in a tie for sixth place in the year’s first major championship. He played the next week in Hilton Head Island and finished in a tie for 12th.
Conners has taken some time off and deservedly so as he played four weeks in a row at one point, and should go into the Wells Fargo Championship rested, recharged and ready to win his second title on the PGA Tour.
Matthew Fitzpatrick To Win +2000
Fitzpatrick missed the cut at the RBC Heritage, a venue where he has typically enjoyed immense success. This has caused the betting public to shy away from the Englishman, but TPC Potomac should be an ideal fit for his skill set.
Most of his issues in Hilton Head Island had to do with the putter, which is a rarity for a player like Fitzpatrick who excels on the greens on a weekly basis.
He should be able to bounce back on the bent grass greens of TPC Potomac and if he does, the rest of his game is in a nice spot for a run at the title.
Before his slip-up the week following the Masters, Fitzpatrick was enjoying a fantastic 2021-22 season on the PGA Tour, coming off three consecutive top-20 finishes, including a tie for fifth place at the Valspar Championship in mid-March.
Previously, he had captured four consecutive top-12 results when not factoring in the Players Championship. In total, Fitzpatrick is playing the best golf of his life at the moment and yet he remains without a win on the PGA Tour. In terms of ball-striking, he is in tune and the same can be said for around the green, so if his putter comes to life, he has a great shot at win No. 1 on the tour.
Marc Leishman To Win +3300
There are not too many players who reside in the Mid-Atlantic of the United States, but Marc Leishman is in fact one of them. A transplant from Australia, Leishman lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia, just a short car ride away from Potomac, Maryland. He has grown comfortable in this region of the country and his results at TPC Potomac back that up.
Leishman played in both the 2017 and 2018 Quicken Loans National at TPC Potomac and looked fantastic in both outings, finishing in a tie for fifth and a tie for 13th. The 38-year-old has displayed a propensity to play positional golf courses well as he is a past champion at the Travelers Championship in Hartford, Connecticut.
He has not made too much noise in 2022 after he experienced a strong swing season that included a pair of top-five finishes. Still, he remains consistent, regularly collecting paychecks and finding the top 30 on the leaderboard.
He will need to sharpen a couple aspects of his game, but knowing he likes TPC Potomac makes me believe this will be the venue where he does just that.
Keegan Bradley To Win +3300
The former PGA Championship winner has become one of the best tee-to-green presences on the PGA Tour. Quietly, this has translated into some recent success as Bradley boasts back-to-back top-10 finishes, including a top-five his last time out at the Zurich Classic.
It may seem like a while ago, but the 35-year-old was also in contention at the Players Championship in March and finished in a tie for fifth place. He is in fantastic form and if TPC Potomac plays the way it has in the past, he should have a great chance to win.
He holds many similarities to Kyle Stanley, the victor of the 2017 Quicken Loans National, as neither are capable with the putter in hand. This should be music to Bradley’s ear as the rest of his game will allow him to contend in the Wells Fargo Championship.
Kevin Streelman To Win +6600
Kevin Streelman is one of three players to hold the course record at TPC Potomac with an 8-under 62. This led to a top-20 finish at the 2017 Quicken Loans National and while he has been inconsistent in 2022, he has flashed some brilliance.
The Duke product has now made five of seven cuts with three of those outings going for top-22 finishes. He is known to specialize on shorter courses and this week at the Wells Fargo Championship is one of the rare opportunities for him to compete with the likes of McIlroy and other big hitters.
Wells Fargo Championship Props
Golf is unique for many reasons, but one of them is the significant number of betting props available at weekly tournaments. The Wells Fargo Championship is no different.
Sportsbooks are offering odds on things like whether there will be a hole-in-one, OVER/UNDERs on the winning score for the eventual champion and odds on which players from specific countries will have the lowest score, to name a few.
Like other sports, betting on props is a fun and unique way to enhance your golf gambling experience.
Live Betting is arguably one of the most exciting ways to bet on golf. If the team you placed a pre-tournament bet on is out of the running at any point during the Wells Fargo Championship, you can bet on another team as the days go by and have another stake in the game.
If there are only a few men in the hunt on the final day, the odds likely won’t be significantly high, but your chances of winning are. We’ve seen this happen multiple times in the PGA Tour’s Return to Golf, as multiple tournaments have gone to a playoff.
These helpful pages will assist you in handicapping your golf wagers:
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