Wells Fargo Championship
Eagle Point Golf Club
Past Champion: James Hahn
With the regular venue of the Wells Fargo, Quail Hollow, hosting the PGA Championship later this year, the event has moved to Eagle Point Golf Club in Wilmington, NC. The change of scenery sure will not disappoint, with the Tom Fazio design being touted as Augusta-esque with its perfectly manicured blades of grass, white sand bunkers, and surprisingly hilly terrain given the flat North Carolina land the course is built on. While Eagle Point has never hosted a PGA Tour event, the early reactions from the players are full of high praise for its beautiful design and condition.
Finishing hole at Eagle Point Golf Club. pic.twitter.com/wKbdQLta6Q
— Zac Blair (@z_blair) April 30, 2017
— bowdo (@bowdo83) April 30, 2017
This being the last tuneup before the “5th Major”, the Players Championship, next week, the field has some big names such as Dustin Johnson, who is making his first start since his back injury, which kept him out of the Masters, as well as Jon Rahm, Adam Scott, Phil Mickelson, and Patrick Reed. Granted DJ is the only player inside the Top 10 in the OWGR, the field is strong enough to make for an exciting week of golf.
Fore Wells Fargo Storylines
While 99% of the field is seeing this course for the first time, Webb Simpson and Carl Pettersson are members of Eagle Point, so they may have a slight advantage over the rest of the field. With Simpson on the record as saying he has played the course over 150 times, including just recently, it will be interesting to see if his knowledge of course layout will jolt him up the leaderboard this week.
Is DJ really back?
After an alleged slip and fall that kept him out of the Masters, Johnson is back this week and I don’t know what DJ to expect. Do we get the World No.1 DJ, who has won 3 of his last 3 starts? Or do we get a rusty DJ who is just tuning up for The Players next week? I am going with the latter, as he is my Fade of the Week for Draftkings for the sole fact that the whole slip and fall drama has so many question marks (Also way overpriced). I will be ready to hop back on the DJ train next week after I get a week to see how he responds.
I wouldn’t go as far as Steven Bowditch did in calling Eagle Point, Augusta Point, however the similarities are certainly there. Featuring the same green grass, white sand bunkers, and pines surrounding the course, the look and feel is eerily similar. Featured as #100 on Golf Digest latest America’s Greatest Courses list, I fully expect Eagle Point to be added to the PGA Tour schedule in the future, even before replacing Quail Hollow once again in 2021.
Spring in Full Swing
With The Players next week, and the U.S. Open on the horizon, this week at the Wells Fargo Championship should be a good indication of how players are coming into form for the main stretch of the PGA Tour season. As we get into the meat of the Tour schedule expect to see the best players in the world at the top of their game. Some great golf tournament ahead, starting this week at Eagle Point.
2017 Wells Fargo Championship Prediction
Paul Casey (+1800)
As I stated in my Right in the Fairway segment, I love Paul Casey this week. Granted Eagle Point is hosting a PGA Tournament for the first time there is not much to go off of, but through research a few aspects about the course that I find important are tough approach shots with hazards involved and unexpected angulations in the fairways, as well as the greens. In terms of the difficult approach shots Casey ranks 14th in GIR and 8th in scrambling to compensate for the possible missed green. Also, as an Englishman with a links background, as well as someone who has found success at Augusta, the change in elevation and contoured greens should be an advantage for Casey this week. Even though you need to go back to 2009 to find Casey’s last win on Tour, the 13 time European Tour winner, has the ability to win and coming off 6th and 9th place finishes in his last two starts #Nice, Casey is in great form to get a win this week at the Wells Fargo Championship.
Dark Horse of the Week
Emiliano Grillo (+5000)
A fantastic ball striker who I think has decent value coming into the week. If his ball striking is up to par this week I can see him attacking these difficult approach shots that Eagle Point has to offer.
Enjoy this weeks action and follow Fore Right on Twitter for live updates and highlights.