Wells Fargo Championship golf betting modeling strategy and handicaps – New York Post

Jon Rahm justified his short price by winning at the Mexico Open and now we turn our attention to the Wells Fargo Championship.

The event, which normally takes place at Quail Hollow Country Club, will relocate for this year to TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm, a 7,100-yard Par-70 that previously hosted the 2017 & 2018 Quicken Loans National.

Defending champion Rory McIlroy (+750) arrives as both the only top-10 player in the field this week and the consensus favorite. Other notables include Corey Conners (+2000), Matt Fitzpatrick (+2200) and Tony Finau (+2200).

But before we dive into plays for the week, we’ll begin as always with a statistical modeling strategy for the event. Beyond the five factors listed, I’m also adding qualifiers of rounds on Par 70’s at courses shorter than 7,200 yards.

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Statistical Factor #1 – Strokes-Gained: Approach (22 percent emphasis)

Like most weeks, approach play will be key in deciding finishing position. However, given the relative shortness of the course, I believe the emphasis needs to be that much higher.

At the 2017 and 2018 Quicken Loans National, the eventual winners ranked fourth and first in the field for SG: Approach and both gained at least six strokes on the field in that category. Additionally, the fact fairways are narrower here than the average tour setup will force players into some lengthy iron shots.

Per datagolf.com, 54.9 percent of all approaches in the 2018 Quicken Loans National came from between 150 and 225 yards with 23 percent of that total coming from between 175 and 200 yards. Plus, SG: approach had a 61 percent correlation with SG: total at that event.

Here are the leaders in SG: approach over the last 36 rounds as well as their betting odds for the week:

Odds provided by BetMGM

  1. Russell Henley (+3300)
  2. Russell Knox (+8000)
  3. Webb Simpson (+4000)
  4. Lucas Glover (+12500)
  5. Adam Svensson (+15000)

Statistical Factor #2 – Good Drives Gained (21 percent emphasis)

Whereas driving distance was emphasized last week in Mexico, accuracy is the name of the game this week in Maryland.

As previously referenced, the fairway widths at TPC Potomac measure only 30.1 yards, about 3.5 yards shorter than the average tour setup, per datagolf.com. As a result, players who either miss the fairway or put a foul ball in play will likely not fare well at this course.

Plus, there’s a strong correlation between winning at TPC Potomac and success in this metric. Francesco Molinari, the 2018 Quicken Loans winner, ranked second in good drives gained while Kyle Stanley, the 2017 Quicken Loans winner, ranked first in the category.

Here are the good drives gained leaders across the last 36 rounds as well as their betting odds this week:

Odds provided by FanDuel

  1. Paul Casey (+3500)
  2. Ryan Armour (+15000)
  3. Brian Stuard (+15000)
  4. Webb Simpson (+4000)
  5. Adam Svensson (+15000)
Webb Simpson
Webb Simpson
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Statistical Factor #3 – Strokes-Gained: Par 4’s (20 percent emphasis)

TPC Potomac has only two par 5’s to pair with four par 3’s, so players will need to be solid on Par 4’s to win this week.

Plus, it’s not as if these holes are particularly short. Of the 12 Par 4’s on course, six sit between 450 and 500 yards while all but three of the 12 holes are at least 400 yards. There will likely be some scoring opportunities at the drivable 14th (299 yards on the scorecard), but for the most part these holes are designed to provide a test.

Overall, all but three of the 12 par 4’s played over par for the week at the 2017 and 2018 Quicken Loans Nationals while only six of 18 holes played under par for the week.

With that said, here are the 36-round leaders in SG: Par 4’s as well as their betting odds this week:

Odds provided by DraftKings

  1. Webb Simpson (+4000)
  2. Russell Henley (+3400)
  3. Rory McIlroy (+750)
  4. Patrick Reed (+4000)
  5. Corey Conners (+2000)
Wells Fargo Championship betting strategy
Corey Conners
AP

Statistical Factor #4 – Bogey Avoidance (16 percent emphasis)

It’s difficult to call whether this event will prove a high- or low-scoring one, but I believe this stat is pivotal.

Much like good drives gained, there’s a strong correlation between success at TPC Potomac and bogey avoidance. Just at the 2017 Quicken Loans National — where 7-under was the winning score — the two playoff participants avoided nearly six bogeys that week, good for second-best in the field.

In 2018, Francesco Molinari avoided north of nine bogeys for the week, easily first in the field for the week. At a course where two-thirds of the holes play over-par for the week, a few key par saves could prove decisive in picking a winner.

Here are the bogey avoidance leaders across the last 36 rounds with betting odds for the week:

  1. Russell Henley (+3400)
  2. Matt Kuchar (+5000)
  3. Webb Simpson (+4000)
  4. Rory McIlroy (+750)
  5. Si Woo Kim (+5000)
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Statistical Factor #5 – SG: Par 4’s (450-500 Yards) (13 percent emphasis)

This merely serves as an add-on to the general category, but given the overall difficulty of these six holes, I want to model out players that don’t perform well from this distance.

The six holes that fit this range — holes six, seven, eight, eleven, fifteen and eighteen — rank amongst the seven most difficult holes on the course and are the six-most difficult Par 4’s on the track. Plus, all but one of six have seen at least a 20 percent bogey rate for the week.

Thus, players who can make par or better will gain a significant advantage on the field. Here are the 36-round leaders in this category as well as their betting odds for the week:

  1. Joel Dahmen (+6600)
  2. Russell Henley (+3400)
  3. Seamus Power (+4000)
  4. Tyrrell Hatton (+3300)
  5. Rickie Fowler (+12500)

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Statistical Factor #6 – Strokes-Gained: Par 3’s (8 percent emphasis)

By no means the most important stat this week, but I feel it’s worth including.

Half of the four Par 3’s rank inside the nine most difficult holes while all play over par or under 0.1 strokes under par based on historical data. Additionally, much like good drives gained and bogey avoidance, this stat carries weight in deciding a winner. Molinari and Stanley ranked second and fifth, respectively, in this category at the 2018 & 2017 Quicken Loans Nationals.

Further, just in 2018, six of the top-eight in this category wound up finishing inside the top-10 overall. With that in mind, here are the 36-round leaders in this category with their betting odds for the week:

  1. Keegan Bradley (+3500)
  2. Denny McCarthy (+10000)
  3. Abraham Ancer (+3000)
  4. Russell Henley (+3400)
  5. Branden Grace (+10000)
  • original source here