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2017 Wells Fargo Championship: Odds, Picks, and Prop Bets

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The PGA Tour heads up to North Carolina this week for the Wells Fargo Championship. There’s a strong field this week; six of the world’s top-20 players will be in attendance.

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson headlines the field and is joined by Jon Rahm, Adam Scott, and Alex Noren. This will be Johnson’s first start since his freak injury in Augusta. He’s had a few weeks off at this point so he should be well rested and the rust will be minimal. Also among the storylines this week is Phil Mickelson’s quest for a W at the Wells Fargo Championship. Lefty has finished in the top-12 in 11 of his 13 starts but is yet to capture the trophy.

  • Tournament Record – 267 by Rory McIlroy (2015 at Quail Hollow)
  • Single-Round Record – 61 by Rory McIlroy (2015 at Quail Hollow)

The Course

The Wells Fargo Championship has moved to Eagle Point Golf Club for the year as Quail Hollow preps for the PGA Championship. The par-72 course will play more than 7,400 yards including an additional 500 yards that were added specifically for this tournament. The course plays like a classic coastal course with slight elevation changes and undulating bent grass greens. It also features large, perfectly placed bunkers awaiting errant tee shots. Driving length and accuracy will be placed at a premium this week.

Odds

Past Champs in the field:

  • Vijay Singh +35000
  • Jim Furyk +8000
  • Lucas Glover +6600
  • Derek Ernst +30000
  • JB Holmes +4000
  • James Hahn +12500

Favorites:

  • Dustin Johnson +450
  • Jon Rahm +1200
  • Adam Scott +1800
  • Paul Casey +1800
  • Phil Mickelson +2000
  • Kevin Kisner +2500
  • Bill Haas +3300
  • Daniel Berger +3300
  • Webb Simpson +3300
  • Wesley Bryan +3300

Picks

My Pick – I’m not exactly coming in with a hot take on this one. I’m going with Dustin Johnson (+450) this week. I don’t love the odds, but until he loses, I’m going with DJ every time he’s in the field. Sticking with the hot hand is the way to go this week. DJ hasn’t played in four weeks so he may have cooled off a bit, but he’s won his last three starts, he’s the No. 1 player in the world and he’s separated himself from everyone else. I just can’t pick against that.

Value Pick – I’m going with Wesley Bryan this week at +3300. Bryan hasn’t been the best off the tee this year, but the rest of his game has been firing on all cylinders. Bryan got his first Tour win a few weeks ago at the RBC Heritage and I think the floodgates might open. After he got his first top-10, he followed it up with two more in his next two starts. Now that he knows he can win, his confidence will be through the roof.

Long Shot – Alex Noren at +5000 is my long shot pick this week. Alex Noren is the No. 12 ranked player in the world. Going off at +5000 is close to a slap in the face. He hasn’t had the best year so far, but if he can put it all together, he has the game to win any given week. I can’t pass on these odds.

Props

Will there be a playoff – Yes (+275) No (-400); I’m going with “no” this week. I’d be surprised if we got to see playoffs in back-to-back weeks. There have been four playoffs in the last six years, but the event is at a new venue so I don’t think history will come into play this week. And I have a feeling Johnson is going to run away with it.

Reed (-150) v. A. Noren (+115); I have to take Noren here. As I said before, he’s the No. 12-ranked player in the world and is getting absolutely no respect this week. Reed hasn’t played well at all this year; he’s missed the cut in three of his last four starts and his only top-10 finish came at the Tournament of Champions back in January.

Hole-in-One – Yes (-115) No (-115); I’m going with “yes” this week. I don’t love the odds on this one, but with this many great players in the field, somebody is bound to get an ace. No. 2, a short par-3, plays well under 200 yards and with no room to bail-out, players are forced to take dead aim at the pin.

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Twitter @NickRitaccoGolf

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Tom1

    May 3, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    7400 yards! wouldn’t see that twenty years ago.

  2. ooffa

    May 3, 2017 at 9:17 am

    Does each competitor get an account at Wells Fargo, even if the don’t want it?

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Tiger changes driver-weight settings, shoots even-par 70 at Honda Classic

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After missing the cut by four strokes at the 2018 Genesis Open last week, Tiger Woods is back at it again this week at the Honda Classic; it’s the first time he’s played in back-to-back PGA Tour events since 2015.

Opting for something other than driver off the tee much of the day, Woods made one double bogey, one bogey, and three birdies en route to an even-par 70.

It’s no secret that Woods has been struggling off the tee of late, especially with the driver. He’s hitting just 35 percent of fairways on the year, and he has already made one driver shaft change (going from a Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 70TX to a Matrix Ozik TP6HDe ahead of the Genesis Open). According to photos on Thursday, it appears Woods has also changed the weight settings in his TaylorMade M3 for a bit more forgiveness and fade-bias (as pictured above). At the Genesis Open and the Farmers Insurance Open, Woods had the M3 driver weights in the forward position, which moves CG (center of gravity) forward and tends to lower spin.

On Thursday, however, Woods hit a slew of long irons and fairway woods off the tee instead of drivers at the 7,100-yard par-70 PGA National… an approach that seemed to work. Well, he hit just 50 percent of the fairways on the day, but that means he’s trending upward.

One of the shots Woods hit with the driver was so far right it was literally laughable… but he managed to make par anyway.

Actually, his double-bogey 7 on the par-5 third hole (his 12th of the day) came after hitting the fairway; he was fumbling on and around the green after hitting his third into a greenside bunker. That blunder aside, three birdies and an even-par round at the always-difficult PGA National leaves Woods currently in T19, obviously well inside the cutline.

Do you think Woods will make the cut? Do you think he can contend to win the tournament?

See the clubs Tiger Woods has in his bag this week at the 2018 Honda Classic.

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Wednesday’s Photos from the 2018 Honda Classic

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GolfWRX is live this week from the 2018 Honda Classic at PGA National’s Champion course (par 70: 7,110 yards) in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

Related

The field this week is stacked at the top, and it includes defending-champion Rickie Fowler, 2017 FedEx Champion Justin Thomas, four-time major champion Rory McIlroy, and reigning Masters champion Sergio Garcia, who’s making his first PGA Tour start of 2018. Also in the field is Tiger Woods, who committed to play in the event just last week. Woods is coming off a disappointing missed cut at the 2018 Genesis Open.

Last year, Fowler won by four shots over Morgan Hoffmann and Gary Woodland, despite playing his final round in 1-over par.

Check out our photos from the 2018 Honda Classic below!

Wednesday’s Photos

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums.

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USGA, R&A to roll out new World Handicap System in 2020

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A new handicap system is here, or rather, it will be once the USGA and R&A begin to fully implement the World Handicap System in 2020.

The new system focuses on achieving three main objectives: 1) encouraging as many golfers as possible to maintain a handicap, 2) enabling golfers of different abilities, genders, and nationalities to compete fairly, and 3) determining the score a golfer is reasonably capable of shooting at any particular course anywhere in the world.

Currently there are six handicapping systems worldwide, owing to the existence of six handicapping authorities: Golf Australia, the Council of National Golf Unions (CONGU) in Great Britain and Ireland, the European Golf Association (EGA), the South African Golf Association (SAGA), the Argentine Golf Association (AAG) and the USGA.

The six handicapping authorities represent approximately 15 million golfers in 80 countries who currently maintain a golf handicap.

Under the new program, the USGA and R&A will oversee the World Handicap System and the governing bodies will be in charge of local administration.

The USGA presents the WHS as a better system that simplifies the existing structures. Not surprisingly, the organization believes the WHS will compel more golfers to maintain a handicap.

“For some time, we’ve heard golfers say, ‘I’m not good enough to have a handicap,’ or ‘I don’t play enough to have a handicap,’” USGA executive director Mike Davis said. “We want to make the right decisions now to encourage a more welcoming and social game.”

Davis sees the new system marching arm-in-arm with the revisions to (and simplification of) the Rules of Golf.

“We’re excited to be taking another important step – along with modernizing golf’s rules – to provide a pathway into the sport, making golf easier to understand and more approachable and enjoyable for everyone to play.”

Key features of the WHS include:

  • Flexibility in formats of play, allowing both competitive and recreational rounds to count for handicap purposes and ensuring that a golfer’s handicap is more reflective of potential ability.
  • A minimal number of scores needed to obtain a new handicap; a recommendation that the number of scores needed to obtain a new handicap be 54 holes from any combination of 18-hole and 9-hole rounds, but with “some discretion available for handicapping authorities or national associations to set a different minimum within their own jurisdiction.”
  • A consistent handicap that “is portable” from course to course and country to country through worldwide use of the USGA course and slope rating system, already used in more than 80 countries.
  • An average-based calculation of a handicap, taken from the best eight out of the last 20 scores and “factoring in memory of previous demonstrated ability for better responsiveness and control.”
  • A calculation that considers the impact that abnormal course and weather conditions might have on a player’s performance each day.
  • Daily handicap revisions, taking account of the course and weather conditions calculation.
  • A limit of net double bogey on the maximum hole score (for handicapping purposes only).
  • A maximum handicap limit of 54.0, regardless of gender, to encourage more golfers to measure and track their performance to increase their enjoyment of the game.

The USGA and R&A conducted quantitative research in 15 countries around the world. 76 percent of the 52,000 respondents voiced their support for a World Handicap System, 22 percent were willing to consider its benefits, and only 2 percent were opposed.

The research also helped model the tenets of the WHS, but, as mentioned, don’t tear up your GHIN cards just yet: We’ve only just begun the two-year transition period prior to the implementation.

To provide feedback to the USGA on the new World Handicap System, golfers can email the USGA at whsfeedback@usga.org, or see usga.org/whs for more info.

Additionally, the USGA created this FAQ.

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