2015 Wells Fargo Championship picks + predictions, plus the Driver-Off-The-Deck BOLD Play of the Week #isitThursdayyet

Following a scintillating finish to the PLAYERS Championship, the PGA Tour treks slightly northward to the Tar heel State for this week’s Wells Fargo Championship. This week’s host course is Quail Hollow—which will play host to the 2017 PGA Championship— is a big boy ballpark, as it can play up to 7,562 yards from the tips and is lined with thick rough and trees galore.  The stretch of 16, 17 and 18 won’t quite draw the attention that those same holes did at TPC Sawgrass last week, but the closing stretch dubbed “The Green Mile” is annually one of the toughest closing stretches on the PGA Tour.  Note to the field- get your scoring done prior to the closing stretch, otherwise goodnight.

A rough showing for my picks last week at the PLAYERS Championship overall as only my Driver-off-the-Deck BOLD play of the week Marc Leishman was able to crack the top 25 (t-24th).  My Hosel-Rocket BUST of the week Martin Kaymer also was pretty spot on as he struggled to finish t-56th.

Now, let’s hop into some picks for this week:

LOCKZILLAS (Last Week: Westwood MC, McDowell t-56th)

Justin Thomas
Justin Thomas
– This short-in-stature long-bombing young buck faded to a 75 on Sunday at the PLAYERS following his sizzlin’ 65 on Saturday, but that doesn’t suddenly mean that he’s playing badly.  The ensuing t-24th place finish was his 9th top 25 on the PGA Tour this season and his third straight.  Two events prior he proved that he can compete on a tight, short track in finishing t-11th at the RBC Heritage; but in general, I love his game for big ballparks such as Quail Hollow, where he is a first-timer.  As I mentioned a couple weeks ago at the Zurich Classic, he’s unquestionably extra-motivated by his good buddy Jordan Spieth’s recent success.  Look for the hot streak to continue as he finds his way into contention again this week.

Ryan Moore
Ryan Moore
– A horse-for-course to be sure, Moore’s worst finish here the past three years is a t-18th last year, which he preceded with finishes of t-6th and t-5th the two years prior.  I’m not concerned about his sudden blip (MC at PLAYERS and sour WGC Match Play showing) as he’s been known to rediscover form quickly over the course of his career when he shows up at familiar tracks (see his MC at the Shriners prior to winning the CIMB Classic earlier this season).  All his recent blip will do is keep him under-the-radar more, all to our benefit.  One last note is that he and his Washington state roots are surely looking forward to the upcoming first ever U.S. Open in the Pacific Northwest (Chambers Bay in Washington), so there will surely be some added motivation between now and then to get his game ripe and ready.

SEMI-FLIER (Last Week: Hoffmann MC)

Ryan Moore
Brendon de Jonge
– 80-62.  Other than LOL, the only way to spell an 18 stroke difference between Thursday + Friday is B-R-E-N-D-O-N de J-O-N-G-E (EIGHTEEN strokes!).  He can be volatile at times no doubt, but this Quail Hollow resident is a birdie-making machine that is bound to break through at some point (yes, I realize I’ve been saying that for years now).  That big bounce back here last year extended his made cut streak here to 6 straight, and the t-6th was his second top 10 at the tourney (solo 4th in ’10).  Other than a wrong-side-of-the-draw at the Valero Texas Open, de Jonge hasn’t missed a cut since the Northern Trust Open way back in February.  Since then he’s racked up five top 25s, including a t-5th at the Shell Houston Open last month.  Expect for the local resident to make some noise on the leaderboards again this year.

HOSEL-ROCKET BUST (Last week: Kaymer t-56th)

Henrik Stenson
Henrik Stenson
– The former FedEx Cup champ was mighty grooved heading into the season’s first major, only to become derailed by a violent flu bug.  Henrik still managed to scrape out a t-19th at the Masters and last week notched a t-17th at the PLAYERS, but is no doubt not feeling the mojo like he was just over a month ago.  With a rough course history at Quail Hollow (3 straight missed cuts) plus a downward trend with his current form, I’m calling for the current world #3 to play his way into a weekend off.

DRIVER-OFF-THE-DECK BOLD PLAY OF THE WEEK (Last Week: Leishman t-24th)

Kevin Kisner
Kevin Kisner
– Undoubtedly playing the best golf of his young career, the Kis is primed and poised for his inevitable breakthrough into the winner’s circle.  Getting tackled in a playoff by a resurgent Jim Furyk at the RBC Heritage and ultimately just being clipped by Rickie Fowler’s freight train to destiny’s island with a t-28th at the Zurich Classic sandwiched in between and yep, talk about a truckload full of momentum sure to unload again sooner than later.  The Kis also will feel extra confident knowing that he finished t-6th here last year, which at the time was easily his highest ever PGA Tour finish.  Lock and load all the Kis again this week.

#isitThursdayyet

Joel Harrington
@joel4deepgolf

Comments

  1. What? No mention of Kisner’s caddie’s calves ?!

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