Wells Fargo Championship odds, preview, and course notes
Before the second golf major of the season, the PGA Tour will make a stop at the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club, the site of the 2017 PGA Championship.
Wells Fargo tournament favorite Justin Thomas (+800) was the winner of that major in Charlotte, North Carolina, and will seek his second Tour win this season when he tees off on Thursday.
Wells Fargo Championship 2021
Sun, May 9 2021, 8:00 PM
Joining Thomas in the 156-player field is World No. 3 Jon Rahm (+900), Bryson DeChambeau (+1300), Xander Schauffele (+1600), and two-time champion Rory McIlroy (+1600), the all-time strokes-gained leader at this tournament.
Wells Fargo Championship course notes and relevant statistics
Max Homa (+3300) will represent the defending champ, since the 2020 edition of this tournament was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Homa finished sixth at last weekend's Valspar Championship, where players took on the infamous three-hole stretch known as "The Snake Pit."
This weekend, golfers get an even more difficult test in "The Green Mile" on Holes 16-18, which feature two par 4s over 494 yards.
Length is a theme at Quail Hollow's par-71, 7,521-yard course, where eight of the par 4s measure more than 450 yards. The layout also includes four par 3s, which range from 167 to 249 yards, and three par 5s between 546 and 592 yards.
Average driving distance is greater than the PGA Tour average at this tournament, and winners typically gain twice as many strokes off the tee as they do approaching the green.
Fairways are tight and among the most difficult to hit on Tour, and the Bermuda grass greens tend to play fast. Water comes into play on seven holes, while bunkers line the greens throughout the course.
Homa, 2018 winner Jason Day, and Thomas (during his PGA Championship win) all ranked in the top three in birdie or better percentage putting the week of their win. They also ranked in the top four in Par 4 scoring and top 22 in strokes gained off the tee.
Best bets at Wells Fargo Championship
One player to eye for a top finish at Wells Fargo is Schauffele, who last placed third at the Masters in early April.
The 27-year-old has posted six top-five finishes on Tour this season, and landed 15th at the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club.
Shauffele ranks 25th on Tour in driving distance, top 50 in strokes gained off the tee, and fourth in birdie or better percentage putting.
Featured Groups for this week's @WellsFargoGolf:— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 4, 2021
🏌 Justin Thomas
🏌 Viktor Hovland
🏌 Patrick Cantlay
️⛳️ Patrick Reed
️⛳️ Stewart Cink
🏌 Bryson DeChambeau
🏌 Joaquin Niemann
🏌 Xander Schauffele
️⛳️ Max Homa️
️⛳️ Jon Rahm
️⛳️ Webb Simpson pic.twitter.com/RfmQTwLqZ0
He has played Quail Hollow just twice. He missed the cut at the 2017 PGA Championship and finished 72nd in 2018.
His limited course history doesn't spark much confidence, but his form this season has been remarkable and should send him sailing up the leaderboard this time around.
Cameron Tringale (+3300) is another golfer on the rise, with three straight top-15 finishes on Tour ahead of this tournament.
Last weekend, he tied for third with Viktor Hovland (+1800) at the Valspar Championship, where Tringale ranked ninth in strokes gained tee to green, 10th in birdie or better percentage, and 26th in strokes gained off the tee.
The 33-year-old has finished in the top 20 in six of his past nine appearances on Tour, and in April, he posted back-to-back top 10s.
How to watch the Wells Fargo Championship
The winner of the Wells Fargo Championship will receive $1.442 million of a $7.9 million purse, plus 500 FedExCup points.
You can catch the action Thursday and Friday, 2-6 p.m. ET, and Saturday and Sunday, 1-3 p.m. ET, on the Golf Channel. CBS will provide live coverage Saturday and Sunday from 3-6 p.m. ET.