2016 Wells Fargo Championship Picks, Including the Driver-Off-The-Deck BOLD Play of the Week #isitThursdayyet

Following a seemingly never-ending, storm-infested, sloshy week in the bayou, the PGA Tour treks onward to the Tar Heel state for this week’s Wells Fargo Championship.

This week’s host course is Quail Hollow, which notably will be playing host to the 2017 PGA Championship.  No question about it, it’s one of the Tour’s purest, toughest tests, as at 7,575 yards with thick rough and trees galore it’s no wonder that its winner’s list includes some of the game’s top players, including defending (two-time) champ Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk (returning to action this week).  It also includes some outliers like Joey Sindelar, Lucas Glover and Derek Ernst, so yeah, a mixed bag to be sure.

It was a wet, miserable week last week at the Zurich Classic and other than my Lockzilla on Chris Kirk posting a solid t-5th (second straight top 5 finish for my Lockzilla pick btw), it was a week to forget.

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

LOCKZILLA (Last week: Kirk t-5th)

Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson
– Back-to-back missed cuts may make you think that the 45-year-old is suddenly slumping, but have no fear, as Lefty loves him some Quail Hollow.  He’s a career 12 for 12 in cuts made here, with half of those going for top 5 finishes, including a run of 3rd, t-11th, t-4th here the past three years.  Add in that he’s been playing some solid golf this season, including runner-up at Pebble Beach, solo 5th at Doral and t-13th at the Shell Houston Open and he’s not showing his age just yet.  No question that he’d love to add a victory into the mix at this revered venue, and it shouldn’t surprise anyone whatsoever if Phil finds the winner’s circle this week.

SEMI-FLIER (Last week: Keegan MC)

Gary Woodland
Gary Woodland
– This country strong, soon-to-be-32-year-old has seemingly had a downer of a year by his standards, but has made 10 of 11 cuts and sits inside the top 100 on the FedEx Cup Points list.  I liken his position this week to that of Ryan Palmer just two weeks ago at the Valero Texas Open, where many gamers shied away from Palmer because of recent “poor form,” when in fact he was, you guessed it, just like Gary—10 out of 11 cuts made on the season with 3 top 25s but no top 10s.  Well guess how many top 25s but no top 10s Gary has so far this season.  Yep—3.  Now this is getting eerie!  Gary sports a solid 5/5 record here over the years, including t-18th and t-4th here the past two showings.  Palmer went on to finish t-4th at the Valero two weeks ago and I expect Gary to post a very similar result this week.

HOSEL-ROCKET BUST (Last week: Badds t-58th)

Kevin Kisner
Kevin Kisner– Last week I had Justin Rose in this spot, before last minute switching to Aaron Baddeley, whom ultimately struggled to a t-58th finish (Rose was the big time bust of course, as he missed the cut).  Well, this week I’m calling for Kevin Kisner as the BUST of the week.  The Kis has zero top 20 finishes since the Sony Open in mid January, and sorry folks, but the hot streak that we saw from last fall through Jan was more of an aberration than the Kisner norm.  And nope, the fact that he finished t-6th here two years ago does nothing to change my mind, in fact it’ll just add more gamers on his side, which I’m predicting will be a weekend off.

DRIVER-OFF-THE-DECK-BOLD-PLAY-OF-THE-WEEK (Last week: M Hoffmann t-72nd)

Henrik Norlander
Henrik Norlander
– An extra dash of BOLD here this week as I’m rolling with the other Swedish Henrik…who oddly enough boasts a better record here than his world-beating fellow countryman (the other Henrik is only 2 for 5 here with no finishes inside the top 55).  Ok, I realize that the younger Henrik has only played here once, a t-16th finish three years back, but good vibes should be flowing his way for sure this week when also considering that he just got in the field as first alternate when Branden Grace pulled out.  Roll with the other Henrik this week and thank me later.


Joel Harrington

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