The PGA TOUR will head north to Charlotte, N.C. this week for the 2021 Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow. If last week’s field at the Valspar was light on depth, this one certainly makes up for it as 10 of the top 15 players in the world will be in the field with the PGA Championship on the horizon.
It will take a special effort for a longshot to beat out this field, but Quail Hollow has been a happy hunting ground for sleepers in the past. In fact, three of the last seven winners here (Max Homa, Derek Ernst and James Hahn) started the week at least 300/1.
Here are our favorite longshot bets for the 2021 Wells Fargo Championship:
Doc Redman (+20000)
Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.
I haven’t been able to quit the good doctor since becoming enamored with his ball-striking numbers last summer, but an opening-round 81 at Harbour Town three weeks ago sure helped. That was the wake-up call I needed to stop betting Redman – or so I thought. Then he closed with a 3-under 68 at Innisbrook, a round which featured the best tee-to-green numbers of anyone in the field. That was enough to pull me back in.
I think Redman is ready to replicate a performance which saw him finish top-30 in eight of 12 events at one point last year.
Matt Wallace (+8000)
Matt Wallace stands out as a player who has really turned his game around in recent weeks. It is very clear he has found something in his game, and we know the talent is in there for the multi-time winner on the European Tour.
Wallace has gained over 21 strokes tee to green in his last two measured events, and in the two tournaments in between he had a respectable top-35 finish at The Masters and a good showing in the team event at the Zurich.
I think he is overpriced for his talent and form coming into this week, and I’ll happily bite on the chance this could be the week for his first win stateside.
Charl Schwartzel (+15000)
Charl is playing some great golf of late. After a narrow playoff defeat while paired with Louis Oosthuizen at the Zurich Classic, the South African put together another nice finish with a 21st-place finish last week at The Valspar Championship. Charl gained an impressive 4.6 strokes on approach on the week and seems to be rounding into good form.
The former Masters winner also has some good recent history at Quail Hollow, as he finished 9th there in his most recent appearance (2018). This season we have seen players like Stewart Cink and Martin Laird break years-long winless streaks; Schwartzel fits the mold of another veteran who could join the club.
Carlos Ortiz (+13000)
Ortiz has missed four of his past five cuts, but prior to that was playing the best golf of his young career. He bagged his first of what will likely be multiple PGA TOUR victories at the Vivint Houston Open, and then proceeded to contend at Mayakoba and at the Waste Management. He also posted a T-29 at Torrey Pines.
Even during this poor stretch he’s been really strong off-the-tee, which is one of the more prominent stats this week. He ranks 19th in that department across his past 24 rounds and has now gained strokes OTT in 20 of his past 24 measured rounds. We know he’s one of the better putters on TOUR and if he can find some semblance of an approach game this week he could rebound quite nicely.
He’s played Quail Hollow three times, making the cut twice while posting a T-19 back in 2015. He should be familiar enough with the course and at 130/1 I’ll gladly take my chances.
Brendan Steele (+12500)
Francesco Molinari is on the board at FanDuel for +13000, so he’s tempting. (Also gotta love odds-based context as the Italian wouldn’t qualify as a Sleeper at my day job.) Only a click shorter at DK (where Molinari has the same line), Steele is coming in exponentially hotter. He’s also familiar with and has had success at Quail Hollow.
All you want is a chance out of your longshot, but if he’s balanced throughout his bag with an emphasis on keeping his ball in play and hitting it tight, you invest the units with more conviction.
Emiliano Grillo (+7000)
Grillo was amongst the leaders after the completion of round one week last week at the Valspar. A very poor second round led to an unfortunate missed cut, but one bad round shouldn’t scare us away from one of the hotter golfers on tour in recent weeks. Grillo ranks 2nd in this field over the last 24 rounds in strokes gained off the tee, and 5th in birdie or better percentage.
Both will be key stats this week in order to make a run at the top of the leaderboard. I think there is value in this number at +7000.