GOLF analyst Lewis Blain (@LewisBlainSport) shares his betting thoughts ahead of the Wells Fargo Championship.
Wells Fargo Championship | 6th-9th May 2021 | Sky Sports
We're only two weeks away from the next major on the golfing calendar, the US PGA Championship, but we've got a star-studded field heading to Quail Hollow for the Wells Fargo Championship.
Four of the OWGR's top five make the trip to North Carolina for the first edition of this tournament since 2019, where Max Homa clinched his first PGA Tour title.
This course is quite brutal in terms of length, measuring over 7.500 yards despite only being a par-71, so clearly, bombers are at an advantage whilst being able to get up-and-down when missing the green is also crucial.
Justin Thomas would be my pick of the favourites at 11/1 but I do not wish to get involved at such short odds this week as this tournament has thrown up a few surprises. However, if you can pair him up with a go in the USPGA, then that's an appealing double.
Instead, we'll start the staking plan with the local boy, Will Zalatoris (28/1 William Hill)
, who is surely going to win sooner rather than later. As a Wake Forest graduate, he will know this track better than most and it couldn't be a better fit for him really. He's taken some time off, but it was only two starts ago that he finished runner-up at the Masters – some feat.
There are plenty of similarities to be had with Augusta National – risky but rewarding holes over water, elevated greens. A high-ball flight from close irons is often a neat recipe to success, which is why JT has enjoyed success here and is quite rightly amongst the faves. The same goes for Zalatoris, though and he's a stud on the way up.
He should go well tee-to-green and I am not put off by the price despite that elusive win still escaping him.
I'm finding it very hard to ignore Cory Conners (30/1 SkyBet)
, given he is in the form of his life. Also continuing the trend from Augusta, where he finished T8, the Canadian has been well backed in recent weeks and is surely close to another win.
He has enjoyed some big finishes in 2021, including a third at the API and seventh at the PLAYERS. He was also recently fourth at Harbour Town amongst many other top-10 finishes.
Conners hasn't lost strokes tee-to-green in 14 straight events and the same goes on approach. His poor around-the-green numbers last week are concerning but I am hoping that's a mere anomaly. That said, if he keeps hitting greens, he will only need his putter to behave.
Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson (60/1 Betfred)
makes the list, too. He's also won the Genesis three times, where Homa has since clinched his second tour win. If that form holds strong, then it makes Bubba a very nice each-way play down in this next bracket of players.
He does appear to be in good nick, recording a 13th last time out at the Valspar, shaking off the rust from his previous appearance which was some three weeks prior. We know he has the sort of ball-flight to breed success here and that combined with his form on correlating courses is enough to get onboard.
Emiliano Grillo (60/1 William Hill)
is playing some really nice stuff right now and I like his fit for Quail Hollow. That's backed up by the fact he was ninth here in 2018, where he was pretty slick tee-to-green and his plenty of GIRs.
The Argentine is a frustrating player and one that really should have added a second PGA Tour title to his Frys Open win in 2015 by now. A T3 in Houston is a good comparable track and recent form that includes a runner-up at Harbour Town last month is also encouraging.
Before that, he managed eight in Mexico and posted top-25s at Bay Hill and TPC Scottsdale. If anything is to let him down then it'll be on and around the greens but here's hoping we catch him on a fruitful week.
We'll end the sheet with two long-shots in Lanto Griffin (125/1 SkyBet)
and Aaron Wise (125/1 SkyBet).
Lanto is out of sorts right now, managing back-to-back missed cuts, but he's very good off the tee and has the length to match. As a Houston Open winner, he should take a liking for Quail Hollow. We know from his handful of top-15s in 2020 and 2021, including the Zozo, Sony Open, the Farmers and the season-ending BMW, that he can contend with some of the best.
Wise has a runner-up finish here in 2018 but has struggled in the last 18 months or so. He could have a thing for the same courses as he followed up a top-10 at the Mayakoba in 2018 with a runner-up finish there in 2020. He has another T18 at Quail too, further adding weight to that point.
At three-figure prices, they are worth a go.
Wells Fargo Championship – Will Zalatoris (28/1 each-way William Hill)
Wells Fargo Championship – Cory Conners (30/1 each-way SkyBet)
Wells Fargo Championship – Bubba Watson (60/1 each-way Betfred)
Wells Fargo Championship – Emiliano Grillo (60/1 each-way William Hill)
Wells Fargo Championship – Lanto Griffin (125/1 each-way SkyBet)
Wells Fargo Championship – Aaron Wise (125/1 each-way SkyBet)