Fantasy Insider: Wells Fargo ChampionshipApril 30, 2013
By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy Columnist
The Wells Fargo Championship marks the end of the third phase of the graduate reshuffle. Before this year's compressed schedule, this segment would extend from the Masters through the last event before the U.S. Open. With the removal of the Fall Series in its original form, the final reshuffle that used to occur following the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola was eliminated.
Now, for all intents and purposes, because three of the next five events are invitationals (THE PLAYERS, Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance), the third reshuffle will influence only the HP Byron Nelson Championship and FedEx St. Jude Classic. However, both events historically have room for the entire reshuffle category on merit. This is primarily due to the fact that those with better status are resting for the invitationals and the U.S. Open, which begins the fourth phase of the reshuffle.
The lesson for gamers is that actual order in the reshuffle is by and large superfluous for the remainder of the year. Guys like D.H. Lee, Aaron Watkins and Bobby Gates will ride their top 10s at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans to sizable jumps in the pecking order, but none of their brethren is likely to sweat out starts moving forward. Nor should you. Consider this pool of talent wide open in all formats.
Look for my choices for PGATOUR.COM's fantasy game in Expert Picks. My one-and-done selection, analysis and season totals will appear in TOUR Report on Wednesday.
On a Roll
Ken Duke ... Top 25s in his last two starts help validate some form he found at Bay Hill (T8). Nine consecutive rounds of par or better. Leads the PGA TOUR in both fairways hit (73.93 percent) and proximity to the hole (32'4"). Also 61st in greens in regulation. Since 2006, he's 5-for-5 at Quail Hollow with a pair of top 15s.
Richard H. Lee ... His T21 in New Orleans was his first of nine career top-37 finishes that wasn't a top 15. Five top 25s on the season, including three straight. Ranks 11th on TOUR in fairways hit, T19 in greens in regulation and 19th in strokes gained-putting. Tied for 40th in his debut at Quail Hollow last year.
Chris Kirk ... Riding an active streak of eight consecutive cuts made that includes five top 25s. Tied for 21st at TPC Louisiana where he ranked seventh in proximity to the hole, third in scrambling and didn't miss in 63 chances from six feet and in.
Henrik Stenson ... This week's poster boy for "something will give." Top 20s in each of his last three starts that included a co-runner-up in Houston and a T18 at the Masters. However, he's just 1-for-3 at Quail Hollow with a T69 in 2007. His missed cuts at this event occurred in 2011 and 2012 when he had lost his form. Consider him a sneaky play in all formats.
John Peterson ... In seven starts in 2013 -- four on the Web.com Tour, three on the PGA TOUR -- he's survived the cut in all and arrived at Quail Hollow on the coattails of a T8 in New Orleans that exempt him into this week's tournament.
Horses for Courses
Robert Garrigus ... Would have been my Power Rankings Wild Card No. 2 if I went that deep. After several weeks of losing his touch on the greens, he roared back with a rank of fourth in strokes gained-putting at Harbour Town where he tied for 24th place on the final leaderboard. His length and propensity to hit greens deserve our attention at Quail Hollow where he's 5-for-6 with three top 20s, including in each of the last two editions.
Brendon de Jonge ... Comes off a missed cut in New Orleans, but he's 11-for-14 on the season with three top 10s and another three top 25s. Survived the cut in his last four trips to Quail Hollow where his best finish is a solo fourth in 2010.
Brian Davis ... While he hasn't necessarily parlayed his T6 at Redstone five weeks ago into a patented month-long burst, he's survived four straight cuts. That's his longest such streak since 10 in a row at this time a year ago. That run included a T9 at Quail Hollow, which chased a T16 here in 2011.
James Driscoll ... He's the quintessential you-know-what-you-get investment. This is to say that despite recent form, he'll log a handful of top 25s every season. With two top 25s in his last four appearances at Quail Hollow, he rates as decent value to help complete rosters this week.
Not So Fast
Charles Howell III ... Gamers have been waiting for him to hit a wall. It may have happened, and Quail Hollow isn't a site where they can lean on a turnaround. After a fast start to 2013, he's missed the cut in each of the last two tournaments. In his last four starts at the Wells Fargo Championship, his best finish among two cuts made is a T59 in 2011.
Bo Van Pelt ... This is the deepest he's gone into a season without a top 10 in 11 years. He's missed only three of 10 cuts, but his putting has been downright disappointing. Furthermore, after finishing inside the top 15 on TOUR in the all-around ranking from 2009-2012, he's currently 99th. Withdrew at the turn of his second round at Quail Hollow last year due to an injury in his left wrist.
Ryan Moore ... Course history buffs may have interest in the 18-hole co-leader from last year's stop at Quail Hollow -- he eventually finished T5 -- but he's failed to record a top 25 in his last six starts. He has only one top 25 in nine starts all season.
Zach Johnson ... Still chasing his first top 20 in a full-field event this year. Compared to 2012, he's much shorter and less accurate off the tee, and he's never putted worse on TOUR. With top 25s in his last three appearances at Quail Hollow (where he hasn't missed a cut in his last six starts), perhaps he can feed off that success, but you're advised to let him go it alone.
John Senden ... Making an encore appearance in this space where he was featured a week ago. Indeed, he missed the cut in New Orleans, and has now gone 11 starts into the season with just one top 25. Quail Hollow fits the profile of a track where his ball-striking would thrive -- he played in all of the first 10 editions, finishing inside the top 25 four times, including a T15 last year -- but his tee-to-green splits are way down versus 2012.
Geoff Ogilvy ... Since his runner-up finish at The Honda Classic, he's 2-for-4 with no top 45s. However, despite his cachet, he's a relative sleeper at Quail Hollow where he's survived the cut in all eight appearances, six of which have resulted in a top 25, including last year's T21.
Brian Stuard ... After starting the season with eight consecutive cuts made, a run that included three top 10s and another top 20, he's missed his last three cuts. Tied for 57th in his only appearance at Quail Hollow in 2010.
Erik Compton ... Since an illness forced him to withdraw during the Shell Houston Open, he's gone 0-for-2. He missed the cut in his debut at Quail Hollow last year.
Scott Stallings ... Zero top 25s among three cuts made in his last nine starts. He's 1-for-2 at Quail Hollow with a T72 in 2011.
Seung-yul Noh ... Survived just one of his last seven cuts. If there's a turning point, it may have been a bogey-free 69 in his second round of last week's Zurich Classic of New Orleans where he missed the cut on the number.
Colt Knost ... Has just one top 60 among six cuts made in 12 starts this year (T43, WM Phoenix Open). He's 0-for-3 at Quail Hollow.
Robert Allenby ... Only cut made in 12 starts resulted in a T72 at Bay Hill. Hasn't broken 70 in his last 21 rounds.
David Lingmerth ... Arrives in Charlotte having missed four straight cuts by an aggregate 16 strokes.
Patrick Reed ... Just one cut made in his last six starts. Hasn't broken 70 in 13 rounds.
Ross Fisher ... Missed his last three cuts and five of his last six (T31, Shell Houston Open).
Robert Streb ... The rookie sits 110th in FedExCup points but he's missed his last three cuts by an aggregate 16 strokes.
Jim Herman ... Riding an 0-for-4 skid and hasn't broken 71 in eight rounds.
Scott Gardiner ... He's missed eight consecutive cuts by an aggregate 42 strokes.
Back in the Saddle
Steve Marino ... An injury to his foot prevented him from giving it a go in the second round at TPC Louisiana last week. Given only 10 open events remain (including the Wells Fargo Championship) and that he'll be hard-pressed to crack other fields on merit, it will be difficult for him to exhaust his Major Medical Extension from which he still has 12 starts. So, ignore it if you're considering a long-term investment.
Tom Gillis ... Deep sleeper. He withdrew early from each of the last two tournaments. No news has surfaced as to why, but it continues a pattern we've observed of the oft-injured veteran for a couple of years. He's exempt into next week's PLAYERS.
Jesper Parnevik ... Had to withdraw during his second round of last week's Zurich Classic of New Orleans because his back "cramped up," per his explanation on Twitter. Has five starts remaining on his Major Medical Extension.
Bill Lunde ... Scheduled to play the Web.com Tour's Stadion Classic at UGA. He last competed at the Valero Texas Open where he withdrew during his second round with an issue related to his stomach. Has conditional status on the PGA TOUR, so he should be poised for a busier schedule as we enter the portion of the schedule that includes numerous 156-man fields.
Darren Clarke ... Set to return to action at the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters on the Asian Tour. It will be his first start since withdrawing from the Masters Tournament due to a hamstring injury suffered while playing tennis in the Bahamas.
Dustin Johnson ... Irritated left wrist. Expect an update between now and next week's PLAYERS.
Fredrik Jacobson ... Withdrew prior to last week's stop in New Orleans as well. Cited a hip injury. Exempt into THE PLAYERS.
Jeff Overton ... Tweeted that he's resting a sore back so he can be ready for next week's PLAYERS.
Mark Wilson ... Sprained ankle. Hopes to return at TPC Sawgrass.
David Toms ... He's been great about sharing his intended schedule on his website. His updated lineup comprises of starts at THE PLAYERS, Colonial, St. Jude and U.S. Open.
William McGirt ... Second straight week that he's withdrawn prior to his opening-round tee time. Eligible to compete in THE PLAYERS.
Troy Kelly ... Hasn't committed to an event since the Valero Texas Open due to a torn meniscus in his right knee and probable damage to the ACL. He could be out for the remainder of the 2013 season.