Sleeper Picks: Wells Fargo Championship
May 04, 2021
By Rob Bolton, GolfBet for PGATOUR.COM
- Matt Wallace has had a sneaky good season thus far. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Matt Wallace (+6600) … If you thought that Emiliano Grillo was an easy call as the most valuable Sleeper for the Valspar Championship – raises hand – then try the Englishman on for size. He’s 52nd in the Official World Golf Ranking and he enters with a solo third (Valero Texas Open) and a T18 (RBC Heritage) in his last two individual non-majors, but he’s connected five consecutive paydays for good measure. The 31-year-old also is an intriguing fit for Quail Hollow at 10th in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and T19 in par-5 scoring.
Matthew NeSmith (+12500) … The fact that this is his fourth appearance as a Sleeper this season is a good test on whether you see the glass half-full or half-empty, but there’s no room for pessimism here. The 27-year-old is in his second season and 74th in the FedExCup with seven top 25s, including a T21 at Valspar on Sunday. He ranks 14th on the PGA TOUR in total driving and leads in greens in regulation. His putting comes and goes, but he was in good form at Copperhead, finishing sixth in conversion percentage inside 10 feet.
Seamus Power (+30000) … He and his partner, David Hearn, were positioned No. 10 in the Power Rankings for the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, but that promise was extinguished when the 34-year-old Irishman tested positive for COVID-19. The duo was tracking from multiple angles, including Power’s modest form upon arrival. He had just finished T9 in the Korn Ferry Tour event in Las Vegas. He’s cashed only thrice in eight starts on the PGA TOUR this season, but that includes in each of his last two events. The odds are with him to extend it at Quail Hollow where he’s 2-for-2 with a T13 in 2019, also during a sudden surge of form. Because he’s plowing forward on conditional status, he had been scheduled to compete in this week’s Simmons Bank Open on the KFT, but a bogey-free, 8-under 62 at Monday’s open qualifying for the Wells Fargo Championship at Gaston Country Club punched his ticket into the tournament proper.
Vincent Whaley (+25000) … If the old adage is true that it’s easier to stay on the PGA TOUR than it is to get there, then what do you tell a guy who finished 183rd in the FedExCup in his abbreviated rookie season of 2019-20? This was the reality of the Georgia Tech product who managed only 15 starts before eligibility was extended for 2020-21 due to the pandemic. Like many others, he’s making it count as he preps for his debut at Quail Hollow. Currently 137th in the FedExCup with seven consecutive cuts made in tow, the highlight a T15 in Puerto Rico. What he lacks in firepower tee to green, he betters the average in cleaning up around and on greens.
Justin Suh (+25000) … Confirmed as the late recipient of a sponsor exemption when Camilo Villegas opted out after gaining entry with one, Suh has lot riding on his first appearance at Quail Hollow. This will be his last start on a sponsor exemption in 2020-21 unless he achieves Special Temporary Membership [STM]. To do that, he needs no worse than a two-way share of eighth place. A top 10 but short of the two-way T8 would yield a start at next week’s AT&T Byron Nelson where he could continue to chase STM. Short of that and his only realistic method of entry into an event would be via open qualifying. There are nine more of those chances beginning with the AT&T Byron Nelson. Worst case, he’s a virtual lock to qualify for the Korn Ferry Tour Finals since his non-member equivalent of FedExCup points would slot him 142nd among members. As it concerns his fit at the Wells Fargo Championship, the 23-year-old is 13th on TOUR in greens hit and T3 in par-5 scoring. Only seven of his 22 rounds in individual competition have been lasered by ShotLink, so there’s not enough of a sample size to buy heavily into it, but it’s still impressive that he’s put himself in this position just nine months after sitting outside the top-1,000 of the Official World Golf Ranking. He’s currently 403rd.
Odds were sourced on Tuesday, May 4 at 5 a.m. ET. For live odds visit betmgm.
NOTE: Sleeper is a relative term, so Rob uses unofficial criteria to determine who qualifies. Each of the following usually is determined to be ineligible for this weekly staple: Winners of the tournament on the current host course; winners in the same season; recent major champions; top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking; recent participants of team competitions.