Wells Fargo Championship Fantasy Preview

My esteemed colleague told you that weather would not be a factor in New Orleans, and he was correct, for three days. You can never count on the weather geeks to properly inform you, lesson learned. It seems like every week on tour this year the weather has played some sort of factor. On Sunday tee times were moved up to early in the morning and the players went off both tees so that they could make sure to get the final round in. Billy Horschel said afterwards that his whole career he always comes out after rain delays and plays his best golf. He said that he really started to notice it in college and it continued to prove true on Sunday in New Orleans. Play was delayed after Billy Ho had completed six holes, and coming out of the rain delay he birdied his next six holes. He then played his next five holes +1, then before his last hole of the tournament came another rain delay, and coming out of that rain delay? A finishing birdie.

Terrible Green Conditions at Quail Hollow

Weather has already wreaked havoc on Quail Hollow, with the rough and the greens suffering at the course this year. The PGA had to come in and help out the greenskeepers last week to get sod onto the greens on holes 8 and 10. Before last week these two greens were not really greens, merely dirt mounds. Quail Hollow already has a reputation of being a difficult course to putt on, and adding two greens that are going to be completely different speeds than the other 16 is only going to increase the importance on putting. Make no bones about it, this is a very difficult course, and is likened to a major championship course in difficulty. Quail Hollow boasts an impressive list of winners, and has always been known as a ball strikers course. This year that is going to be even more important as the rough is extremely patchy due to the cold weather in Charlotte to date this year. When you are picking out your winner be sure to find someone that is a great ball striker and a good putter. The finishing stretch of holes here is arguable the toughest on tour, if you don’t have some serious stones you will lose your lead here on the last 3 holes, known as the Green Mile, on Sunday.

Group A: Rory McIlroy has a feast or famine record here. He won in 2010 after making the cut on the number, but came through with a course record 62 on Sunday for the victory and last year he lost in a playoff to Rickie Fowler. Sandwiched in between those top two finishes was a MC. Bill Haas is the kind of ball striker you are looking for here at Quail Hollow, and the nine cuts made in a row doesn’t hurt either. Haas has 5 top ten finishes this season, so he’s as safe a play as an. Brendon de Jong is a horse for the course, and he has quietly been putting together a solid season. Brendon also has the length and the short game to compete here.

Group B: Webb Simpson. If you don’t have Webb in your lineup this week you are going to lose points to the competition. Webb Simpson is a member at Quail Hollow and calls Charlotte home. Simpson was once a guy said to love golf more than anybody else and since winning the US Open last year he admittedly lost his love for the game. But a few weeks ago, with a big assist from his wife, he regained his love for the game and promptly finished tied for 1st, losing to Graeme McDowell in a playoff. Nick Watney Streaky putter, arguably the streakiest on tour, and when the putter is hot Watney is always near the top of the leaderboard. Watney is always a solid ball striker and has a good history here, that along with his putter heating up and good results lately points to a good showing from him this week. Lucas Glover and Sean O’Hair both are horses for this course, and Lucas Glover finding his form last week doesn’t hurt his cause, but his wife being due to give birth any day now is a major cause for concern.

Group C: This group has been the toughest to decided which guys to go with week in and week out this year. There are lots of great choices here this week, good luck deciding! Rickie Fowler Got his first, and only, win on tour here last year, and he has a great track record here. It will be tough to keep him off your roster this week. D.A. Points is the guy I am going to pair with Rickie this week. Last year here he lost to Fowler in a playoff, and Points has been absolutely hot to trot the last few weeks. Lost by a stroke last week to Billy Ho and he bested Billy Ho the week before the Masters to win in Houston. Hot golf is hot golf, and DA is hot. Combine that with good vibes from Quail Hollow from last year and there should be good results for him this week. If you want to roll with Lee Westwood this week I wouldn’t argue with you. He has a good record here and is one of the best ball strikers on tour, he just doesn’t make enough putts for my taste this week.

Keepers

ExpertKeeperWhy the Pick?YTD
The 19th HoleWebb SimpsonA lot of people will choose Charlotte’s Webb and for good reason. He’s having a terrific season with solid numbers, he’s playing with confidence, he lives right by the course, and he finished 4th here last year. Avg Finish: 35th
Future of FantasyLee WestwoodWestwood already sucks at putting so the municipal-grade greens won't affect him much. He'll be laughing when everyone has to try winning without reliable putting... Something he does every week. Avg Finish: 30th
Jake GaerWebb SimpsonPlaying on his home course and coming off a loss in a playoff two weeks ago, Webb has found his joy for the game again, with an assist to his wife. It will help sleeping in his own bed and having his family close.Avg Finish: 25th

Sleepers

ExpertSleeperWhy the Pick?YTD
The 19th HolePeter TomasuloHe’s on his last medical exemption start and he needs this to retain status…and after his play last week he may just have a fighting chance.Avg Finish: 59th
Future of FantasyLuke GuthrieAnother guy that can't putt, but he can hit greens in regulation and is money when he gets rolling. He has 8 Top 25's in 17 career starts. He could break his PGA Tour Win virginity this weekend. Avg Finish: 55th
Jake GaerPeter Tomasuloplayed well lately, and is using his last medical exemption, where he needs a top 3 finish. He's playing for everything this week, so I expect him to give himself an opportunity to make the necessary coin this week. Whether he can finish strong on Sunday when the pressure is all on his shoulders could be an issue. But I'm rolling the dice on him.Avg Finish: 36th

Top 15 for the 2013 Wells Fargo Championship

1. Rory McIlroy
2. Sergio Garcia
3. Lee Westwood
4. Rickie Fowler
5. Phil Mickelson
6. Brendon de Jonge
7. Bill Haas
8. Robert Garrigus
9. Nick Watney
10. Webb Simpson
11. Bubba Watson
12. Hunter Mahan
13. Luke Guthrie
14. Jordan Spieth
15. John Senden

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