Value to be found at wild Wells Fargo

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

It's rather evident at this point that the Wells Fargo Championship has not gone to plan.

A star-studded field was shredded by the cut line. Jon Rahm missed the weekend for the first time in a year, and he had plenty of company. Bryson DeChambeau *thought* he missed the cut and ended up with a hefty jet fuel bill. The brilliance of Phil Mickelson's opening round is but a distant memory.

The one superstar that has performed through 54 holes is the one no one was expecting it from. That would be two-time champ and Quail Hollow course record holder Rory McIlroy, who has shown few signs of the wayward game that plagued him at TPC Sawgrass and Augusta National while moving into the final pairing. Midway through the third round, McIlroy's win probability at Data Golf was nearing 50 percent. But he cooled down the stretch and now trails Keith Mitchell by two shots.

Mitchell is another surprise story in Charlotte. A week ago he was shooting a final-round 82 at Innisbrook en route to a dead last finish. He hasn't had a top-10 finish since Bay Hill - in 2020, not 2021. But here he sits, two clear of the field and within reach of a second Tour title despite starting the week ranked No. 249 in the world.

PointsBet Sportsbook makes McIlroy a slight favorite over Mitchell, with former U.S. Open champ Gary Woodland next on the board. Woodland is tied with McIlroy, two shots behind Mitchell, and all three are looking for their first win in more than a year. There are questions surrounding each: Mitchell has been erratic this year and has to stare down McIlroy in the day's final tee time. McIlroy doesn't have the best record in his most recent brushes with the lead on Sunday, while Woodland has been hampered by injury and poor form in the two years since Pebble Beach.

Odds to win Wells Fargo Championship (via PointsBet)

+200: Rory McIlroy

+275: Keith Mitchell

+500: Gary Woodland

+1200: Luke List

+1600: Viktor Hovland

+2200: Patrick Reed

+2500: Abraham Ancer

It creates a situation where there could be some value down the board, given that this tournament has been chock full of curve balls through 54 holes. Here are two players that I think could surprise in the finale at Quail Hollow and potentially steal the trophy:

Scott Stallings (+3000): Stallings is a guy I had circled last week in Tampa, where he was in the mix through two rounds before faltering over the weekend. He has shined brightly this week on the greens, ranking fifth in SG: Putting despite entering the week ranked 154th this season in the category. That's usually a sign to shy away in terms of live buys, but I like the fact that Stallings wins more than he should. He's got three Tour titles to his credit, the most recent coming in come-from-behind fashion on another brawny course at Torrey Pines in 2014. He also followed up that title defense with a playoff loss, so he can handle a big ballpark. With 12 players within five shots of the lead (and 11 players between 4 under and 7 under), I'm looking for a player who won't flinch down the stretch and one who understands the pressures of being near the lead. While it's been a few years for Stallings, I think the veteran is worth a nibble at this price given he has broken par all three days while riding a hot putter and is trailing just four players to start the final round.

Jason Dufner (+8000): Dufner had a wild opening round, one in which he gained more than 5.5 shots on the field with his irons and lost more than 4.4 of them back on the greens. The approach play has remained stellar, as he still leads the field in SG: Approach for the week, while he ironed out the putter in a big way Saturday while rolling in nearly 123 feet worth of putts. It's a promising turnaround for a veteran who's among the best iron players on Tour when his game is clicking. Dufner has a major championship to his credit and four other wins to his credit, the most recent being the 2017 Memorial. He's part of the logjam at 4 under, five shots behind Mitchell, but if you're grabbing some value in the field you're essentially banking on Mitchell faltering from the pole position. That means that Dufner starts the day only three shots behind McIlroy and Woodland, with just four other players (including Mitchell) ahead of him in the standings. He's another player who I expect to fire at some pins in an effort to spark a run up the leaderboard, and with his irons clearly performing well this week I think he'll have plenty of chances on the greens. He'll need to put like he did Saturday (and not like he did Thursday) to have any shot, but at this price it's worth a small investment.

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner, and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.