Wells Fargo Championship picks 2022: Why our caddie LOVES Tony Finau this week
Sadly, the Mexico Open was another week of ifs, ands, buts and a whole lot of coulda-shoulda-wouldas for our experts. Cameron Champ came up just short, a disastrous Sunday triple bogey ending his chances and allowing Jon Rahm to pick up the predictable victory. We’ll save you the “we’re close” routine this week.
That said, if you’re tailing us on top 10s, it was another solid week. But we’re here to hit winners, and it’s time we did so at the Wells Fargo Championship, which features another lackluster field and a clear solo favorite in Rory McIlroy. Keep in mind, this year’s event is at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm, so McIlroy probably shouldn’t be as big of a favorite as he is when you factor in the lack of course history.
RELATED: Wells Fargo Championship picks 2022: Our data scientist paints the brutal picture of Sergio Garcia’s stats
A quick look at the leaderboards the last two times TPC Potomac held a PGA Tour event would indicate this should be a wide-open, up-for-grabs type of tournament. Driving accuracy and iron play will be key, hence why Kyle Stanley and Francesco Molinari won here in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
Though most of our experts don’t expect this to be a bomb-and-gouge fest, our anonymous caddie is taking one of the longest hitters in the field. He likes Tony Finau’s ball-striking from last week—plus the momentum off a 63—to ride Finau to another victory. One of our handicappers doesn’t agree…
Scroll down to see who we like this week at the 2022 Wells Fargo Championship.
Wells Fargo Championship picks 2022: Our Experts’ Outright Predictions
Anonymous Caddie Picker of the week: Tony Finau (25-1, DraftKings) — This is a ball-striker’s course, and Finau led the field in Mexico in SG/tee to green, gaining nearly 15 strokes. Tone is a momentum golfer, and nobody has more momentum entering this field than him.
Pat Mayo, DraftKings/Fantasy National, Mayo Media Network analyst: Corey Conners (16-1, DraftKings) — The Canadian ball-striker arrives at a great setup for his game while playing some great golf. I’m willing to take the short price.
Brandon Gdula, FanDuel/numberFire managing editor: Corey Conners (17-1, FanDuel) — TPC Potomac should reward those who hit it straight and hit greens in regulation, which are the things Corey Conners does—statistically—better than anyone else in the field. He’ll need to have a solid week out of the bunkers, a stat where he’s a baseline player, but everything else sets up well.
Rick Gehman, data scientist and RickRunGood.com founder: Tyrrell Hatton (37-1, FanDuel) — Hatton plays a style of golf that is generally more volatile than his peers, but I’m happy to embrace that when considering his outright number. in 2022, Hatton has played 10 events worldwide and earned seven top-25 finishes along the way with four top 10s. I believe he offers more win equity than his similarly priced peers.
Stephen Hennessey, Golf Digest dep. managing editor: Sepp Straka (65-1, FanDuel) — Sepp Straka won the Honda Classic a few months ago on a demanding driving and precision course—which are the skills players will need this week. Yet Straka can still be found at pretty long odds, though you have to shop around. He’s only 40-1 on DraftKings … this is a big week to shop for the best line.
Christopher Powers, Golf Digest assistant editor: Cameron Young (41-1, FanDuel) — Simply put, I had to bet on the giant odds discrepancy between sportsbooks on Young (he’s 28-1 on one and 41-1 on FanDuel), not to mention the fact I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I miss out on his maiden win. Outside of the Masters and the Players, he’s not had a bad week on the PGA Tour this season. Given the fact his game has traveled just about everywhere this season, I see no reason he can’t contend again at TPC Potomac.
Lee Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Rory McIlroy (+750, FanDuel) — After his fantastic flourish to finish second at the Masters, McIlroy will be chomping at the bit to tee it up at TPC Potomac this week. He ranks first in FanShare Sports’ course-suitability ranking and comes into this event ranked first in the field for SG/total over the past two years and fourth for SG/total over the last two months.
Past results: Golf Digest's betting panel had another strong season in 2020-’21, correctly predicting 14 winners in the last 28 events of the year. We’re already off to a hot start in the new season, too, with Christopher Powers nailing Scottie Scheffler’s win at the Waste Management Phoenix Open at 29-1 and then backing it up with Joaquin Niemann at 60-1 to win at Riviera. A few weeks earlier, Pat Mayo correctly predicted Luke List’s victory at Torrey Pines at 70-1. Rick Gehman also hit Sam Burns (16-1) at the Sanderson Farms Championship in the fall, as well as Viktor Hovland (19-1) at the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba. Brandon Gdula also hit on Hovland at Mayakoba, and Stephen Hennessey cashed on Hideki Matsuyama (12-1) at the Zozo Championship.
Listen to Golf Digest's weekly betting podcast, "Be Right," (above) where we interview the industry's leading experts (and sometimes tour pros) to help you make your bets and pick your fantasy lineups. And be sure to subscribe to "Be Right" wherever you get your podcasts!
Wells Fargo Championship picks 2022: Sleepers/Dark Horses Who Could Win
Caddie: Webb Simpson (50-1, DraftKings) — He’s been in poor form, but a closer look reveals he’s been close. He was in the top 10 after two rounds in Tampa and was T-14 entering Sunday in Augusta. Getting healthy, plus two weeks off should bode well for him.
Mayo: Si Woo Kim (40-1, DraftKings) — Do I ever need an excuse to bet Si WOO Kim? If I did, he thrives on shorter courses where off-the-tee is still important, and that’s what we have this week.
Gdula: Joel Dahmen (70-1, FanDuel) — Dahmen is like a light version of Corey Conners: an accurate ball-striker. However, the short-game woes are more pronounced, and his sand save numbers are worrisome. That said, his putting stats should trend up eventually, based on his success from five-to-10 feet.
Gehman: Brandon Wu (100-1, DraftKings) — Wu’s PGA Tour career began with a whimper, missing 10 of his first 11 cuts. However, it appears that he’s found something or is getting more comfortable, or both. His T-2 at the Mexico Open marked his fifth straight weekend with all finishes coming inside the top 33. He has two top-three finishes during that stretch and has gained strokes on approach in four straight measured starts. That’s a much more favorable stat profile than we saw earlier this year.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Aaron Rai (80-1, DraftKings) — Rai is top 20 in this field in Fairways Gained and GIR Gained over the past 36 rounds, per Fantasy National. He’s proven to be one of the best ball-strikers in this field, and he’s playing great golf. The guy knows how to win, as proven on the DP World Tour, and you might be buying at his ceiling before he starts winning on the PGA Tour.
Powers, Golf Digest: Beau Hossler (100-1, DraftKings) — As my esteemed colleague Stephen Hennessey pointed out on our Be Right podcast this week, driving accuracy will be key at Potomac. That makes Hossler a disgusting bet considering he ranks 206th out of 209 qualifying players in that category. And yet, the last time a PGA Tour event was played at this course, he finished sixth. If you take out that woeful performance at Harbour Town, Hossler was playing very well of late, though he was relying on some seriously good putting. This week’s greens are bentgrass, which is Hossler’s preferred putting surface.
Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Paul Casey (41-1, FanDuel) — Thanks in large part to his dart-like approach game on smaller courses, Casey comes into this event ranked second in the FanShare Sports course-suitability ranking.
Wells Fargo Championship picks 2022: Players to Fade This Week (who will disappoint)
Caddie: Marc Leishman (20-1, DraftKings) — Nobody’s questioning the caliber of Leishman. But he hasn’t had a top 10 since the short-field Kapalua … and there are many other guys with more form entering the week.
Mayo: Tony Finau (25-1, DraftKings) — There is WAY too much trouble for Finau to find on this course.
Gdula: Rory McIlroy (+750, FanDuel) — It’s not that I think Rory is an awful play, but this course is going to reward accuracy over power, and that puts more golfers in the mix. I think his odds are too short given his past wins in this event came at a different course, so I’m looking to start the card a little longer this week.
Gehman: Marc Leishman (20-1, DraftKings) — I worry about the upside of Leishman, especially when asked to pay this price. He’s currently in a stretch of 12 events where he has produced exactly one top-10 finish—a T-10 at the Tournament of Champions. The last time he won an individual stroke-play event was the 2020 Farmers Insurance Open, nearly two-and-a-half years ago. Over the last 24 rounds, he’s gained just 0.26 strokes per round, 53rd in this field, per the RickRunGood.com golf database.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Tyrrell Hatton (20-1, DraftKings) — Among the favorites, Hatton is the most obvious fade. He’s 137th in this (not-so-great) field in Fairways Gained over the past 36 rounds, which puts him at 87th in my model. If you believe you’ll need to hit fairways at TPC Potomac, he’s a dangerous play.
Powers, Golf Digest: Matt Fitzpatrick (20-1, DraftKings) — I’d like to see Matt Fitzpatrick actually win a PGA Tour event / legitimately contend down the stretch before I bet him at 20-1 or below.
Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Abraham Ancer (28-1, FanDuel) — Ancer comes into this event ranked just 72nd for SG/total over the past two months and just 127th for Opportunities Gained over the same period. There are players in far better form available at far better prices than the Mexican this week.
Wells Fargo Championship picks 2022: Matchups
Caddie: Denny McCarthy (+100) over Adam Long (DraftKings) — As you’ve read above, I’m big on following the momentum. And though Adam Long played nicely in Mexico, he faded on the weekend. He’s super inconsistent in general, and Denny McCarthy is from the area and has been a better ball-striker over the past year. I think you’re getting the better player at plus-money.
Mayo: Sergio Garcia (-120) over Patrick Reed — I will gladly fade Reed at a course where it’s tight off the tee.
Gdula: Tyrrell Hatton (-102) over Abraham Ancer (FanDuel) — I get preferring Ancer at a course that emphasizes driving accuracy, but Hatton has an advantage literally everywhere else right now, specifically clutch putting ranges. He’s better out of the sand, and that should matter a lot this week with the bunkering.
Gehman: Jhonattan Vegas (+100) over Webb Simpson (DraftKings) — We are still waiting to see Simpson break out of a slump that has been defined by injuries and lackluster results. Vegas is an elite player off-the-tee which should be a desired skill set in Maryland this week. I’m willing to pick on Simpson here at even money.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Russell Henley (-120) over Tyrrell Hatton (Bet365) — My only concern with Henley here is his (really) poor bentgrass putting numbers, but we’ve seen historically bad putters figure it out at TPC Potomac, so I’m willing to look past that. Henley rates out so much better in the ball-striking categories over their past 36 rounds, per Fantasy National, that I’m willing to lay the juice.
Powers, Golf Digest: Troy Merritt (+100) over Sergio Garcia (DraftKings) — Garcia’s calling card — his iron play — has not been up to his standard lately. Merritt, meanwhile, has gained on approach in two of his last three starts, which includes a top-12 finish at Harbour Town and a top-four finish at Valero.
Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Matt Kuchar (-125) over Aaron Rai (Betfair) — I really like Kuchar this week. Rai on the other hand comes into this event ranked just 92nd in the field this week for SG/total over the last two months. He also ranks just 98th for SG/putting on bentgrass greens over the last two months.
Matchup Results from the Mexico Open at Vidanta: Caddie: 1 for 1 (Woodland (-130) over Munoz); Mayo: 1 for 1 (Finau (-120) over Ancer); Gdula: 1 for 1 (Munoz (-105) over Tringale); Gehman: 1 for 1 (Finau (-120) over Ancer); Hennessey: 1 for 1 (Finau (-120) over Ancer); Alldrick: 1 for 1 (Woodland (-114) over Tringale); Powers: 0 for 1
Matchup Results from this season (Wins-Losses-Pushes): Mayo: 19-4-4 (up 14.45 units); Caddie: 15-10-2 (up 4.19 units); Powers: 14-10-3 (up 3.71 units); Alldrick: 15-11-1 (up 1.9 units); Gehman: 10-13-4 (down 3.82 units); Gdula: 12-15-0 (down 3.82 units); Hennessey: 12-14-1 (down 5.33 units)
Wells Fargo Championship picks 2022: Top 10s
Caddie: Abraham Ancer (+330, DraftKings) — This course suits his game way better than last week in Mexico. Accuracy and premium on irons should be in Ancer’s wheelhouse, and he says he’s 100 percent healthy now.
Mayo: Kevin Streelman (+700, DraftKings) — Streels has a piece of the course record here, shooting a 62 here in 2018. He also finished top 20 in 2017—his recipe matches what you need here: FAIRWAYS. He’s top 10 in this field over the past 36 rounds in Fairways Gained, per Fantasy National.
Gdula: Russell Henley (+300, FanDuel) — Henley is super accurate and has elite irons, so there’s not much to worry about with him. The recent bentgrass putting is a little concerning, yet he has the juice to finish top 10 here with his tee-to-green play.
Gehman: Matt Kuchar (+450, DraftKings) — Kuchar is in the midst of a solid stretch of golf and now heads to TPC Potomac, which should be a relatively good setup for him. He’s earned back-to-back top-three finishes and three consecutive top 20s. This golf course will ask for precision, not necessarily length, which should help Kuchar continue that success this week.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Matthew NeSmith (+800, DraftKings) — My esteemed colleague Chris Powers made NeSmith his “max whale play” as a top-20 play on our “Be Right” podcast this week. He’s been on a top-10 heater in this column … I’ll glad try to ride his coattails.
Powers, Golf Digest: Matthew NeSmith (+800, DraftKings) — While I worry that NeSmith’s not much of a bentgrass putter, I think he can mask that at a course where great iron players like himself can still contend. See: Stanley, Kyle in 2017.
Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Matt Kuchar (+450, DraftKings) — Make no bones about it, Kuuuuch is back! Kuchar will be teeing it up this week off the back of back-to-back top-three finishes on the PGA Tour. His razor-sharp short game and solid approach game means he also ranks sixth in the FanShareSports Course Suitability Ranking this week.
Top-10 results from the Mexico Open at Vidanta: Gehman: 1 for 1 (Cameron Champ +450); Powers: 1 for 1 (Cameron Champ +450); Alldrick: 1 for 1 (Aaron Wise +350); Everybody else: 0 for 1
Top-10 results from this season: Powers: 10 for 27 (up 33.05 units); Alldrick: 9 for 27 (up 32.8 units); Mayo: 4 for 27 (down 1.45 units); Gehman: 5 for 27 (down 0.8 units); Caddie: 7 for 27 (down 6.6 units); Hennessey: 5 for 27 (down 7.78 units); Gdula: 1 for 27 (down 23.6 units)
Wells Fargo Championship picks 2022: One and Done
Gehman: Matt Fitzpatrick — We haven’t seen Fitzpatrick since his missed cut at the RBC Heritage, where he lost 3.27 strokes putting in just two rounds. That’s the second-worst putting performance of his career, per the RickRunGood.com golf database, and unlikely to happen again. Prior to the Heritage, he had piled up eight top 20s in nine starts. There’s no reason to save Fitzpatrick, so using him here with the third-shortest betting odds, seems rather appropriate.
Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Kevin Na; Sanderson Farms Championship: Mito Pereira. Shriners: Abraham Ancer. CJ Cup: Louis Oosthuizen. Zozo Championship: Hideki Matsuyama. Bermuda Championship: Seamus Power. Mayakoba: Abraham Ancer. Houston Open: Sam Burns. RSM Classic: Scottie Scheffler. Sentry TOC: Sungjae Im. Sony Open: Corey Conners. American Express: Talor Gooch. Farmers Insurance Open: Tony Finau. AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Daniel Berger. Waste Management Phoenix Open: Viktor Hovland. Genesis Invitational: Xander Schauffele. Honda Classic: Billy Horschel. Arnold Palmer Invitational: Rory McIlroy. Players Championship: Jon Rahm. Valspar Championship: Dustin Johnson. Valero Texas Open: Charley Hoffman. The Masters: Brooks Koepka. RBC Heritage: Patrick Cantlay. Mexico Open: Aaron Wise.
Hennessey: Troy Merritt — I’m sure Corey COnners will be the most popular One and Done play, so I’ll zag a little bit with Merritt, who’s coming off a fourth-place at the Valero and a 12th at the RBC … and boasts a win just 45 minutes down the road at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club.
Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Emiliano Grillo; Sanderson Farms Championship: Carlos Ortiz. Shriners: Abraham Ancer. CJ Cup: Collin Morikawa. Zozo Championship: Takumi Kanaya. Bermuda Championship: Seamus Power. Mayakoba: Aaron Wise. Houston Open: Sam Burns. RSM Classic: Brendon Todd. Sentry TOC: Xander Schauffele. Sony Open: Marc Leishman. American Express: Sungjae Im. Farmers Insurance Open: Daniel Berger. AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Lanto Griffin. Waste Management Phoenix Open: Viktor Hovland. Genesis Invitational: Will Zalatoris. Honda Classic: Russell Knox. Arnold Palmer Invitational: Keith Mitchell. Players Championship: Cameron Smith. Valspar Championship: Shane Lowry. Valero Texas Open: Chris Kirk. The Masters: Justin Thomas. RBC Heritage: Russell Henley. Mexico Open: Gary Woodland.
Powers: Keegan Bradley — It’s a #TeamNoPutt week this week, which means Keegan Bradley should be near the top 10 or inside of it come Sunday afternoon.
Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Brendan Steele. Sanderson Farms Championship: Mito Pereira. Shriners: Aaron Wise. CJ Cup: Talor Gooch. Zozo Championship: Joaquin Niemann. Bermuda Championship: Patrick Rodgers. Mayakoba: Jhonattan Vegas. Houston Open: Marc Leishman. RSM Classic: Corey Conners. Sentry TOC: Daniel Berger. Sony Open: Kevin Na. American Express: Seamus Power. Farmers Insurance Open: Luke List. AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Cameron Tringale. Waste Management Phoenix Open: Bubba Watson. Genesis Invitational: Adam Scott. Honda Classic: Billy Horschel. Arnold Palmer Invitational: Chris Kirk. Players Championship: Xander Schauffele. Valspar Championship: Sam Burns. Valero Texas Open: Charley Hoffman. The Masters: Brooks Koepka. RBC Heritage: Matt Fitzpatrick. Mexico Open: Abraham Ancer.
About our experts
Pat Mayo is an award-winning video host and producer of long- and short-form content, owner of the Mayo Media Network and host of The Pat Mayo Experience. (Subscribe for video or audio.) Mayo (@ThePME) was named 2021 Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writing Association, while also being a finalist for Podcast of the Year and Golf Writer of the Year. Mayo won the 2020 FSWA Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year and Golf Writer of the Year awards, along with the Fantasy Sports Trade Association Best Sports Betting Analyst award in 2020. He was finalist for four FSWA Awards in 2020 (Best Podcast, Best Video, Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year). Mayo is on the board of governors at www.fantasynational.com.
Brandon Gdula, managing editor and analyst for NumberFire, a FanDuel daily-fantasy analysis company, recently won the 2018 FSWA Golf Writer of the Year. Gdula also co-hosts the DFS Heat Check podcast.
Rick Gehman is the founder of RickRunGood.com and the RickRunGood YouTube Channel, is one of the industry’s leading experts on golf DFS and gambling. Gehman is co-host of the First Cut Podcast and appears regularly on the Pat Mayo Experience golf podcasts. Follow him on Twitter: @RickRunGood.
Lee Alldrick of FanShare Sports started out writing an article highlighting the best bargain plays for fantasy golf under his twitter handle @DKGolfBargains. His success at this prompted FanShare Sports to enlist him as a guest writer, which evolved into him writing the weekly Under The Radar article. As a U.K.-based expert, Alldrick’s insight into European Tour regulars and low priced, low owned plays has provided an invaluable edge for readers when it comes to DFS GPPs.