No offense to Sam Burns or Keegan Bradley, but their full control of the top of the leaderboard at the Valspar Championship last weekend was a perfect excuse to go do something else rather than watch that tournament. The depth of talent on the PGA Tour is a blessing and a curse; there are a lot of great players, but there are so many that in some weeks, an unrecognizable player wins.
The Tour moves north this week to Charlotte, North Carolina, so let’s see where the value lies as we dive headfirst into our picks and predictions for the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club.
The field at the Wells Fargo this week is one of the strongest we have seen since the Masters. Of the top four players in the current Official World Golf Ranking, only Dustin Johnson is taking this week off. Justin Thomas (#2 in the world), Jon Rahm (#3) and Xander Schauffele (#4) are all teeing it up at Quail Hollow. So are Patrick Reed (#7) and Webb Simpson (#9). We should see some great golf this week.
Two years ago, Max Homa came into the Wells Fargo ranked No. 417 in the world. Now? He's on the fringe of making the U.S. Ryder Cup team. His year-over-year progression and improvement as a pro has been incredibly impressive. pic.twitter.com/nBM4Z9uQJa
— Kyle Porter (@KylePorterCBS) May 3, 2021
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VALUE PICK: MAX HOMA TOP 20 (+175)
Max Homa has long been one of the best golf follows on Twitter. In recent months, though, he is rightfully becoming more well known for being a great player. Ranked 39th in the world, Homa was one shot out of the lead going into the final round at the Valspar last weekend before a disappointing +3 final round dropped him into a tie for sixth. Homa won this event in 2019, so he is still the defending champion since this tournament was shelved in 2020 due to the pandemic. Given Homa’s history at this event and his recent form (he won at Riviera in February and finished in the top 10 at Bay Hill in March), getting him at +175 just to crack the top 20 feels like a gift.
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LONG SHOT PICK: WILL ZALATORIS TOP 5 (+650)
Will Zalatoris is a young man on the ascendancy. His second-place finish at the Masters in April announced him as one of the game’s surging talents. At 24 years of age, Zalatoris is presently ranked 28th in the world and it feels like that’s not his ceiling. Zalatoris wasn’t in the field for the Wells Fargo two seasons ago because he was still laboring on the Korn Ferry Tour.
— Wake Forest Magazine (@wfumagazine) April 28, 2021
He isn’t especially likely to wind up back there any time soon. Off the course, Zalatoris announced his recent engagement on Instagram. This life heater he is riding may carry him to a high finish this weekend at Quail Hollow.
WELLS FARGO CHAMPIONSHIP PICK: JUSTIN THOMAS (+900)
Justin Thomas is the quintessential chalk pick here, but that doesn’t make it a bad idea. Thomas was 13th at the Valspar last week without his best stuff. It was only seven weeks ago that he won the Players Championshp.
Justin Thomas bogeys 18 for a 67 and said it easily could’ve been a 63. “If I’m putting well this week I’m winning this tournament, without question.” pic.twitter.com/3B2rJcMTJl
— Will Gray (@WillGrayGC) May 1, 2021
Thomas’ 21st place finish at the Masters in April was a disappointment, but he still has 10 top 15 or better finishes in his last 12 starts, with only one missed cut in that time. This is a boring pick, but cashing at +900 might turn out to be pretty exciting.
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