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Wells Fargo Championship 2022 Longshot Picks: Francesco Molinari Headlines 3 Sleepers

Wells Fargo Championship 2022 Longshot Picks: Francesco Molinari Headlines 3 Sleepers article feature image
Credit:

Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images. Pictured: Francesco Molinari.

  • Rory McIlroy is an overwhelming favorite this week at the Wells Fargo Championship.
  • Without much course familiarity at TPC Potomac, this could be a week where we get an upset winner.
  • Shane McNichol breaks down three longshots he sees value in this week below.
Click arrow to expand 2022 Wells Fargo Championship odds via PointsBet

2022 Wells Fargo Championship Odds

Golfer Odds
Rory McIlroy +800
Corey Conners +1800
Matthew Fitzpatrick +2200
Tony Finau +2200
Abraham Ancer +2500
Gary Woodland +2500
Russell Henley +2500
Seamus Power +3000
Tyrrell Hatton +3000
Keegan Bradley +3300
Marc Leishman +3300
Cameron Young +4000
Max Homa +4000
Patrick Reed +4000
Paul Casey +4000
Si Woo Kim +4000
Sergio Garcia +4500
Doug Ghim +5000
Webb Simpson +5000
Keith Mitchell +5500
Matt Kuchar +5500
Brian Harman +6000
Jhonattan Vegas +6000
Joel Dahmen +6000
Sepp Straka +6000
Aaron Rai +6600
Adam Long +6600
Jason Day +6600
Kevin Streelman +7000
Matt Jones +7000
Matthew NeSmith +7000
Troy Merritt +7000
Cheng-Tsung Pan +8000
Martin Laird +8000
Russell Knox +8000
Alex Smalley +9000
Anirban Lahiri +9000
Denny McCarthy +9000
Kyoung-Hoon Lee +9000
Lanto Griffin +9000
Mark Hubbard +9000
Ryan Armour +9000
Brandon Wu +10000
Brendan Steele +10000
Cameron Davis +10000
David Lipsky +10000
Dylan Frittelli +10000
Lucas Glover +10000
Luke List +10000
Branden Grace +12500
Francesco Molinari +12500
Greyson Sigg +12500
JT Poston +12500
Kurt Kitayama +12500
Nick Taylor +12500
Rickie Fowler +12500
Sung Kang +12500
Tyler Duncan +12500
Adam Svensson +15000
Beau Hossler +15000
Brian Stuard +15000
Chad Ramey +15000
Doc Redman +15000
Kramer Hickok +15000
Matthew Wolff +15000
Matthias Schwab +15000
Nate Lashley +15000
Taylor Moore +15000
Mackenzie Hughes +17500
Stephan Jaeger +17500
Andrew D. Putnam +20000
Andrew Novak +20000
Brice Garnett +20000
Chase Seiffert +20000
Chez Reavie +20000
John Huh +20000
Lee Hodges +20000
Michael Thompson +20000
Peter Malnati +20000
Rory Sabbatini +20000
Sam Ryder +20000
Scott Piercy +20000
Stewart Cink +20000
Zach Johnson +20000
Adam Schenk +25000
Austin Smotherman +25000
Ben Kohles +25000
Bill Haas +25000
Bo Hoag +25000
Brandon Hagy +25000
Bryson Nimmer +25000
Callum Tarren +25000
Cameron Percy +25000
Charl Schwartzel +25000
Charley Hoffman +25000
Danny Lee +25000
Hank Lebioda +25000
Harry Higgs +25000
Hayden Buckley +25000
James Hahn +25000
Joseph Bramlett +25000
Justin Lower +25000
Kevin Chappell +25000
Kevin Tway +25000
Luke Donald +25000
Matt Wallace +25000
Peter Uihlein +25000
Roger Sloan +25000
Satoshi Kodaira +25000
Trey Mullinax +25000
Vaughn Taylor +25000
Wesley Bryan +25000
Dylan Wu +30000
Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra +30000
Henrik Norlander +30000
Jim Herman +30000
Jonathan Byrd +30000
Kiradech Aphibarnrat +30000
Vincent Whaley +30000
Chesson Hadley +40000
Jacob Bridgeman +30000
Ryan Blaum +40000
Austin Cook +50000
Ben Martin +50000
Bo Van Pelt +50000
Brandon Matthews +50000
Brett Drewitt +50000
Camilo Villegas +50000
Curtis Thompson +50000
David Skinns +50000
Dawie Van Der Walt +50000
Jared Wolfe +50000
Jim Knous +50000
Johnson Wagner +50000
Jonas Blixt +50000
Joshua Creel +50000
Kelly Kraft +50000
Larkin Gross +50000
Martin Trainer +50000
Max McGreevy +50000
Michael Gligic +50000
Morgan Hoffmann +50000
Nick Watney +50000
Paul Barjon +50000
Richy Werenski +50000
Scott Gutschewski +50000
Seth Reeves +50000
Seung-yul Noh +50000
William McGirt +50000
Turk Pettit +50000
Tommy Gainey +50000
Drew Nesbitt +50000
Norman Xiong +50000
Nicholas Thompson +50000
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Typically, the Wells Fargo Championship is held at Quail Hollow in Charlotte. With that track preparing to host this fall’s Presidents Cup, the PGA TOUR instead took a trip up the I-95 to TPC Potomac in Maryland.

It has been four years since the PGA TOUR hosted a tournament at this venue, dating back to the 2018 Quicken Loans National.

Following Jon Rahm’s win as a heavy favorite last week at the Mexico Open, Rory McIlory takes center stage against a field lacking many of his peers. There are a host of players in the top 50 in the world eyeing this weekend as an opportunity to compete for a win, but this course and this field also set up nicely for a darkhorse to emerge.

Looking further down the board, these three look poised to make a run toward the top of Sunday’s leaderboard.

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Kevin Streelman +8000

Compared to the typical PGA Tour course, TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm favors those who can keep the ball in the fairway off the tee.

The Course Fit Tool from the analytics gurus at DataGolf makes that quite clear. It also provides the courses on Tour that most closely fit that same profile. Looking across past performances at TPC Potomac and its near relatives, Streelman stands out as a player to watch this week.

That makes sense, given his placement in the top ten in driving accuracy so far this season. That’s nothing new for Streelman, who has always been a fairway finder and performed well on courses that demand that skill.

When this venue hosted the PGA Tour in 2017 and 2018, Streelman earned finishes of T17 and T32. The list of venues similar to TPC Potomac are a checklist of some of his other favorite spots. At TPC River Highlands, Streelman has a win, a solo second and two other top-10s. At Sedgefield Country Club, he has two top-10s, including last year.

Francesco Molinari +12500

When looking for a longshot, past performance on the course is a huge factor.

Francesco Molinari has played one tournament at this venue. He won that tournament, the 2018 Quicken Loans Invitational, by eight strokes, thanks to a door-slamming Sunday 62.

That’s a small sample size, but he’s worth a look at as high as 125-1. On top of that single week, he has historically been a very accurate driver of the golf ball. When he was playing his best, that was the hallmark of Molinari’s game. He ranked sixth on the PGA Tour in driving accuracy in 2017 and led the TOUR by hitting 77% of fairways in 2015.

If his swing can find that zone again this week, he should be in position to contend. That proposition is far from fantasy. Molinari has made five of his last seven cuts, with a top-10 at The American Express in January.

Sung Kang +20000

If you value history at the tournament venue more than recent form, Kang has to be on your card this weekend. He was one of just four players to finish in the top 20 in both 2017 and ’18 at TPC Potomac.

TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm hosted the Quicken Loans in 2017 and 2018. Hosting this week's Wells Fargo Championship.

Players to finish top-20 there in both '17 + '18
Rickie Fowler
Charles Howell III
Sung Kang
Marc Leishman

— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGolf) May 2, 2022

Not only did he do so, he was in the top five in both of those tournaments. Go one step further: Kang finished T6 at a Web.com event at this course back in 2013. We’re digging awfully far here, but we need to in order to outweigh Kang’s recent play.

Kang made the cut last week in Mexico, finishing T51 for his first made cut after four straight misses. He hasn’t had a top-10 finish on any tour since the COVID-19 shutdown in March 2020.

It feels unlikely he’d snap out of that funk and into the winner’s circle this week, but he’s an attractive play as a flyer given the odds, for a top 5 (+3500) or top 10 (+1600).

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