The PGA Tour returns to North Carolina. Quail Hollow is a venue which last hosted the 2017 PGA Championship. The course was set up slightly different than normal for that week and we expect it to be back to its usual conditions for this week. The rough was much tougher to play from last year, meaning that missing fairways often led to big trouble. This year it will not play nearly as difficult, with early spring conditions allowing easier contact from off the fairway.
Last year this championship was held at Eagle Point Golf Club so those results are of less significance. The field is absolutely stacked with 8 of the World’s Top 15 in attendance as well as a resurgent Tiger Woods. This should be a great event and in being awarded hosting rights, shows that Quail Hollow truly is one of the great golf courses. The course will provide a true Tee-2-Green test.
A 7,550 yard Par 71 with very hard to hit fairways, and overseeded Bermuda grass greens., means that players will need to use a Driver off the tee a lot. Furthermore any golfer you back will need to cope with greens that are generally slightly faster than tour average. With a lack of rain in the area recently, the course looks like it will be very firm. This could reduce the advantage 'bombers' generally have, but we still think Distance is still an important criteria. It's likely that players who gain strokes off the green will perform well this week.
Key stats we are looking at this week:
Daniel Berger @ 66/1 Coral , BoyleSports 7 places e/w 1/5 odds
A solid all-round player who is quietly putting some consistent form together. He has Top 20s in 6 of his last 9 starts. 15th in SG:T2G and 3rd in Par4 450-500 yard scoring bode well for a player who should enjoy these conditions. 14th in this field over the last 2 years in Bermuda putting and he actually leads the field in total strokes gained on courses with Bemuda. A solid putter generally these greens should really suit him and his improved scrambling this year could help him save a few pars to maintain momentum. He will be hoping he can add to his 2 PGA Tour wins this week.
Luke List @ 66/1 SkyBet 8 places e/w 1/5 odds
List has come so close to winning this season many feel the win is just around the corner. 3 Top 10s in his last 7 tournaments; he shaved the hole on the 18th at The Heritage to miss a playoff by 1 stroke and lost a playoff to world number 2 Justin Thomas at The Honda Classic in February. A real bomber: he leads this field in Driving Distance, SG:OTT and SG:T2G over the last 12 months. 3rd in 200+ proximity and Par 5 scoring he can use his length to set up easier approach shots. This year his chipping is much improved and we have seen him make some extraordinary recovery shots. Putting often lets him down but he has performed well on overseeded Bermuda in the past which is a strong sign as just an average putting week would give him a great chance.
Gary Woodland @ 90/1 Bet365 5 places e/w 1/4 odds
Another long driver who has been up and down this season. Woodland has struggled since winning The Phoenix Open in February missing 3 of 5 cuts, but his driving has stayed at an elite level and this could be the course to get him back on track. 9th in SG:T2G and 200+ yard proximity and 1st in GIR bode well here and he has a strong history at Quail Hollow since 2014. 18th, 4th, and 24th were his finishes, as well as 22nd at The PGA last year. This shows Gary knows the layout well. Hard to hit fairways help his game and overseeded greens have brought out some of his best putting in the past.
JB Holmes @ 100/1 SkyBet 8 places e/w 1/5 odds
JB, a former winner of this event looks worth chancing @ 100/1. Always a great driver and strong ball striker, he has struggled to put consistent play together mainly due to putting, because he has lost strokes on the greens in 8 straight tournaments!! He knows this layout though and has putted extremely well on these greens. Since 2014 when the Bermuda was introduced he has gained 12.8 strokes in 3 tournaments which is phenomenal.
Xander Schauffele @ 100/1 Unibet 6 places e/w 1/5 odds
X continues to be underrated. Arguably the best driver on tour he is an elite Par 5 scorer who also ranks 19th in this field in Par 4 450-500 yard scoring and is a sneaky good scrambler. Long driver heavy courses will always suit him and we know he can win in strong fields after his Tour Championship success at the end of last season.
Jamie Lovemark @ 100/1 SkyBet 8 places e/w 1/5 odds
Another long driver, Lovemark is 20th in the field in SG:T2G and 22nd in Par 4 450-500 yard scoring. He has made 7 cuts in a row since getting his driver back on control and is an excellent scrambler which should help him limit mistakes. His approach play has been superb over the last 2 months and the wildcard is the putter, however we are placing less emphasis on putting here as a number of lower ranked putters have won this tournament in recent years.
Lucas Glover @ 100/1 SkyBet 8 places e/w 1/5 odds
Another former winner of this event, Glover has been one of the tour’s elite ball strikers and worst putters over the last 2 years. This season his approach play has not been as stellar but his putting has improved. His driving remains outstanding, gaining strokes in 10 straight events. He played well in the team event last week and the key this week will be avoiding costly mistakes. Improved putting will help as he has gained strokes on the greens in 3 straight events and Bermuda has always been his preferred surface. Found the water on 18 2 years ago to finish 8th so hopefully he can go slightly better this week.
Keith Mitchell @ 250/1 Bet365 5 places e/w 1/5 odds
Mitchell looks worth a flutter at really high odds here. His driving has been outstanding recently gaining a crazy 12.3 strokes off-the-tee in his last 3 events. His chipping has been superb as well leading to Top 10s in 2 of his last 4 events.