2022 Wells Fargo Championship Odds, FRL Picks: Troy Merritt, 3 Others Have First-Round Leader Potential
Julio Aguilar/Getty Images. Pictured: Troy Merritt.
Click arrow to expand 2022 Wells Fargo Championship odds via PointsBet
2022 Wells Fargo Championship Odds
|Si Woo Kim||+4000|
|Andrew D. Putnam||+20000|
|Bo Van Pelt||+50000|
|Dawie Van Der Walt||+50000|
The weather this week at TPC Potomac for the Wells Fargo Championship looks quite unpredictable at the moment. There’s likely going to be a good deal of rain on Friday and we may get a washout, but the first-round-leader (FRL) market looks like it won’t be affected.
Wind will be mostly a non-factor throughout the day on Thursday, so I don’t anticipate a morning/afternoon draw bias. In 2017 at TPC Potomac, we had co-leaders after the first round with one each from the morning and afternoon. Then in 2018, the FRL came from the afternoon.
We typically see a morning bias on the PGA TOUR in terms of first round leaders, but I think it’s truly a tossup this week.
2022 Wells Fargo Championship FRL Picks
Paul Casey (+5500)
If Casey tees it up on Thursday, there’s no reason to believe he isn’t healthy enough to play well. If he didn’t think he could compete this week, he wouldn’t have made the trip.
The Englishman has been a pretty quick starter throughout his career, and we’ve seen him lead some big events after the first round, like the 2020 Masters. In his past 36 rounds, he ranks eighth in the field in Strokes Gained: Total in the first round.
The course fit couldn’t be much better for the 44-year-old, and he should keep the ball in play on this tree-lined difficult track. Throughout his career, Casey has been a green-in-regulation machine, which will be key to success at TPC Potomac.
Troy Merritt (+7000)
Merritt arrives at TPC Potomac in fantastic form, having finished fourth and 12th in his past two starts. Most of his damage has been done with the putter, which I find to be a positive sign for his FRL prospects. A hot putting round can catapult a player to a hot start, and he’s gained 9.9 and 5.0 strokes putting respectively in the two aforementioned tournaments.
Also, Merritt ranks third in the field in Strokes Gained: Putting on Bentgrass greens.
Brendan Steele (+7000)
The main skill set I’ve looked to target this week is strong overall drivers of the golf ball. Few in this field fit that description better than Brendan Steele.
In his past 24 rounds, the three-time PGA TOUR winner ranks second in the field in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee and third in Good Drives Gained. He hits the ball far without sacrificing accuracy. That will give him a massive advantage at TPC Potomac, which can be a difficult track to put the ball in the fairway.
If the course plays tough Thursday, Steele has the right type of game to keep things steady and stay off of the bogey train.
Tyler Duncan (+10000)
TPC Potomac is a course that Tyler Duncan should thrive on. He has the rare combination of skills that include both Fairways Gained and Strokes Gained: Off the Tee. He is terrific with the driver, which will no doubt be a weapon around this course.
Last week, Duncan didn’t play well in Mexico, but no one should have been surprised by that. Vidanta Vallarta was a bombers’ paradise, and Duncan will never be able to keep up with the Jon Rahms and Cameron Champs of the world on a nearly 7,600-yard golf course.
In his 12th-place finish at Harbour Town a few weeks ago, Duncan closed his tournament with a final-round 65 for the second-lowest round on the course. If he gets the putter rolling once again this week, he’s the kind of player who can go really low.
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