Horses for Courses: Wells Fargo Championship
May 03, 2022
By Mike Glasscott , PGATOUR.COM
TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm - Holes No. 10 & No. 13
For the second time in six years Quail Hollow Club has needed a substitute venue as it readies for a major golf event. The 2017 edition was moved to Eagle Point in Wilmington, North Carolina as QHC prepared to host the PGA Championship later that summer.
This time around the Club will be preparing for the Presidents Cup at the end of September. TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm has been stretching in the on deck circle and is ready to pinch hit for the first time since hosting Tiger Woods' Quicken Loans National in 2017 and 2018.
There's plenty of history at this track nestled just outside Washington, DC. The TOUR played the Kemper Open/Booz Allen Classic here from 1987-2006. Before the return of the QLN, the Web.com Tour also hosted a pair of events in the early 2010s raising the total number of professional events to 25.
The former cattle farm designed by Ed Ault, Tom Clark and former PGATOUR professional Ed Sneed opened in 1986. The PGATOUR's renovation doctor Steve Wenzloff, with help from Jim Hardy, brought it up to speed before the 2017 edition.
And it's difficult. And it's been four years.
Playing 7,107 yards to Par 70 (35-35) TPC Potomac played the fourth most difficult track on its reintroduction in 2017 (71.458) including the majors. The 2018 edition mellowed slightly as it checked in at No. 18 most difficult (69.894) of the 51 used on TOUR. For the 2022 edition 53 yards have been added to bulk up the Par-5 No. 2 hole. The course scorecard is now 7,160 yards.
With only 22 acres of fairway and tree lined fairways there's hardly any room to miss. Errant shots that aren't gobbled up by almost three inches of Kentucky Bluegrass/Tall Fescue will also have to avoid water penalty areas on 10 of the 18 holes and 80 bunkers.
Slick Bentgrass greens running 12 feet plus return and the Penn A1/A4 surfaces average less than 4,300 square feet ranking as some of the smallest targets on TOUR. Usually Par-5 holes bring some reprieve but not this week as No. 2 now plays 641 yards and No. 10 stretches to 595 yards.
The field of 156 will be cut to the top 65 and ties after two rounds. The $9 million purse will parse $1.62 million plus 500 FedExCup Points to the winner.
Let's find some horses for courses!
Horses for Courses
Odds sourced on Tuesday, May 3rd at 2 p.m. ET. For live odds visit betmgm.
Recent Event Winner Stats
Year 2018 2017 Winner Francesco Molinari Kyle Stanley Score 259 (-21) 273 (-7) MOV 8 Playoff Cut 1-over 4-over Age 35 29 Pre Tournament Odds +1600 +4000 Disantance - All Drives T8 T20 Driving Accuarcy 4 T3 (40/56) GIR 1 (62/72) 1 (55/72) Ball-Striking 2 1 Proximity 2 6 Putting: Birdie or Better % 23 33 SG: Off-the-Tee 7 1 SG: Approach-the-Green 1 4 SG: Around-the-Green 8 32 SG: Putting 17 52 (lost strokes) SG: Tee-to-Green 1 1 Scrambling 1 46 Bogey Avoidance 1 (2 total) T3 (7 and a double) Par-3 Scoring T2 T5 Par-4 Scoring 1 T8 Par-5 Scoring T1 T10
Extra Credit (players entered this week only)
Winner Francesco Molinari posted all four rounds in the 60s, including matching the course record (bogey free 62) on Sunday, to win by eight shots in his first appearance. ... Ryan Armour (2nd) won by the "B" Flight by a shot as he posted all four rounds in the 60s. ... Sung Kang (3rd) posted a pair of 64s to pick up his third consecutive top six at this course. ... Abraham Ancer (T4) owns a piece of the course record as he posted 62 in Round 3 and played in the final group on Sunday with Molinari. ... Beau Hossler (T6) shared the 36 hole with Armour after posting 65-66. ... Chesson Hadley (T8) finished second here in 2013 on Web.com Tour and played his final 54 holes this time around in 10-under. ... Only the top seven players were 10-under or better. ... Kevin Streelman (T32) was one of three players to post 62. ... Defending champion Kyle Stanley (not entered 2022) cashed T32. ... Molinari only made two bogeys on the week. ... 20 bogey free rounds with just six on the weekend. ... 21 birdies (Molinari, Kang, 1 other not entered) led the field. ... Hot and humid conditions in late June.
Winner Kyle Stanley was the only player to post all four rounds par or better as he defeated Charles Howell III (not entered) in a playoff to win the first TOUR event on this track since 2006. ... Rickie Fowler (T3) followed with T12 in the 2018 edition. ... Martin Laird (T3) only made two bogeys over the final two rounds ... Keegan Bradley (T5) was T6 Fairways and T16 GIR. ... Sung Kang (T5) was T5 Putting. ... Marc Leishman (T5) opened and closed with 66 and added T13 in 2018. ... 2013 Web.com winner here David Lingmerth (T5) led after 18 (65-65), 36 and 54 holes before closing with 73; T48 in 2018. ... Ben Martin (T5) closed with 65 but a triple and a double on Friday wiped out his chances. ... Bryson DeChambeau (not entered) led the field with 19 birdies. ... Stanley was four back after 54 holes. ... Hardest non-major course of 2017. ... Highest winning score on TOUR in the 2017 season. ... Lowest round of the week was 64 by Nick Watney (T13).
Players who have played both events and made both cuts not mentioned above (results):
- Bill Haas (T13, T71)
- Nick Watney (T13, T64)
- Kevin Streelman (T32, T17)
- James Hahn (T60, T46)
- Seamus Power (T53, T38)
- Kevin Tway (73, T55)
Key stat leaders
Top golfers in each statistic on the 2020-2021 PGA TOUR are listed only if they are scheduled to compete this week.
Strokes Gained: Off the Tee Rank Player 2 Keith Mitchell 3 Cameron Young 4 Sergio Garcia 5 Brendan Steele 6 Corey Conners 10 Luke List 11 Jhonattan Vegas 12 Trey Mullinax 14 Hayden Buckley 18 Ryan Armour 20 Si Woo Kim Bogey Avoidance Rank Player 2 Matt Kuchar 10 Seamus Power 14 Ryan Armour 15 Mark Hubbard 16 Matt Fitzpatrick 19 Denny McCarthy 20 Jonathan Byrd 24 Marc Leishman 25 Brian Harman Greens in Regulation Rank Player 2 Russell Knox 3 Corey Conners 4 Seamus Power 7 Joel Dahmen 9 Russell Henley 11 Tony Finau 11 Luke List 18 Lucas Glover 27 Keith Mitchell 28 Hayden Buckley 29 Joseph Bramlett 30 Matthew NeSmith