The best betting props for the Wells Fargo Championship
The final three holes in last week’s Valspar Championship is known as the Snake Pit, and this week doesn’t get any easier on the PGA Tour, as the world’s best players now face the Green Mile.
In Stephen King’s book, and of course the subsequent film featuring Tom Hanks, the Green Mile is the nickname for Death Row since the floor in that prison was painted green. Lets hope the chances of these prop bets don’t die as they’re heading for the club house!
The Green Mile is the final three holes at Quail Hollow, home of the Wells Fargo Championship. They were the hardest three holes on the course last time this tournament was played, and averaged a score of 0.78 over par.
Keeping your cool in the Green Mile is going to be one of the keys to success for players this week in a top-class field that sees four of the world’s top five in action. This event wasn’t played in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but looking back through the years driving distance, greens in regulation, and scrambling are the three key stats to look for here.
Course form is a plus, while in the last six years Max Homa, John Han, and J.B. Holmes have all won here and at Riviera in the Genesis Invitational. Before them, Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott, and Bubba Watson who are all multiple-time winners of the Genesis, had all finished in the top three at Quail Hollow – so clearly the courses are similar.
With all that in mind, and the Green Mile waiting for us, here are the four best prop bets for the week.
Wells Fargo Championship 2021
Sun, May 9 2021, 8:00 PM
Matchbet: Joel Dahmen to beat Denny McCarthy (+100)
Dahmen’s recent win in the Corales Puntacana Championship was definitely unexpected. He’d missed six of his seven cuts going into the tournament (finishing 60th in his one other appearance) and even since it he finished 74th in the Texas Open and then missed the cut in the Zurich Classic.
But the key here is he found a way to win – and that little bit of momentum is all he might need at a course where he has performed superbly previously.
In 2018, he was never worse than 25th on his way to finishing 16th on debut, and 12 months later he finished runner-up behind Max Homa after a pair of 66s in the first two rounds. Now he comes here as a Tour winner, and that can give him yet another boost.
Denny McCarthy is in solid form finishing 13th in the RBC heritage and third in the Honda Classic in his last four tournaments, but he has missed the cut in both his appearances at Quail Hollow. If we are using The Riviera Club as a course guide as well, he’s missed two cuts there in three attempts, so clearly something doesn’t suit.
Top 20 Finish: Webb Simpson (-175)
Webb Simpson lives within 10 minutes’ walk of Quail Hollow and is a member here, so the Green Mile shouldn’t strike any fear into him. The North Carolina native was fourth here in 2012 and runner-up in 2015, and more recently in the last two tournaments in 2018 and 2019 he finished 21st and 18th.
Now he comes into his home tournament in a nice patch of form, following up his finish of 12th at the Masters with a top 10 in the RBC Heritage. He also finished fourth in the Sony Open in January, and sixth in the WGC Workday Championship in February, so 2021 has proven highly successful for the 2012 U.S. Open winner.
Simpson ranks 13th on Tour for shots gained around the green this season and first in scrambling, so getting out of trouble is no problem. He’s also in the top 15 for greens in regulation and is 18th in shots gained putting, so his short game is bang on and he’s hot on the dance floor. The only negative is he may lack a bit of distance off the tee, but hopefully not enough to deny him a top 20 finish.
Tournament Trio: Viktor Hovland to beat Rory McIlroy and Xander Schauffele (+200)
Hovland is the outsider of this trio but at these odds he is worth a bet, despite my concerns about this being the first time he has played at Quail Hollow. What I have no doubt about it is the Norwegian’s quality, and the fact he finished fifth on his debut at the Riviera gives me hope this course will suit him.
At the end of January, Hovland finished second in the Farmers Insurance Open, fifth in the Genesis Invitational, and second in the WGC Workday Championship in a truly phenomenal patch of form. Although struggling in March, he has bounced back well and finished 21st in the Masters, 25th in the Zurich Classic, and third in the Valspar Championship last week.
McIlroy loves this course. In 10 appearances here he has seven top 10s, finishing 18th, 21st and missing the cut on his three other efforts. He has already won this event in 2010 and 2015. But Rory looked a shell of himself recently, missing the cut at the Players Championship and the Masters, while winning just one of his three games in the Matchplay.
Schauffele has had a break since being in contention at Augusta, but his course form is wretched. He has played twice here, missing the cut once and finishing 72nd the other time, so Hovland can get the better of him.
Top Continental European: Jon Rahm (-125)
This is Rahm’s third appearance since the birth of his baby boy and I’m hoping the Diaper Dimension is still in play. Since becoming a dad, Rahm has finished fifth in the Masters and seventh in the Zurich Classic, and incredibly has nine top 10 finishes in his last 11 tournaments despite not winning.
He’s played Quail Hollow once in 2017 and put in a poor effort to finish 58th, but he finished ninth at Riviera in 2019 and fifth this year, so I’m hoping that is a better indicator of how he will play this course.
Rahm has plenty of distance off the tee and ranks fourth on Tour for greens in regulation this year. He ranked eighth for overall ball striking at the Masters, and a similar effort here should put him in the frame.