Wells Fargo Championship: Moore a must at Quail Hollow

American Ryan Moore
Ryan Moore boasts course and current form
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We're back to regular 72-hole strokeplay on the PGA Tour this week and Dave Tindall picks out three bets in the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow...

"North Carolina was the scene of Moore's first win on Tour - the 2009 Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield - and he's taken the eye at Quail Hollow too."

Back Ryan Moore e.w. @ 50/1

Each-way terms: 1/5 odds, 7 places

Main Bet: Back Ryan Moore e.w. @ 50/1

Despite the strong and obvious competition he faces at the top of the market, there's no getting away from the fact that Ryan Moore looks good betting material at 50/1 this week - especially with those seven payout places.

North Carolina was the scene of Moore's first win on Tour - the 2009 Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield - and he's taken the eye at Quail Hollow too.

Twice, the American had held a piece of the first-round lead (2012 and 2013) and on both occasions he walked away with a top six finish.

He added another top 20 in 2014 and, when this venue was toughened up for the 2017 PGA Championship, a slightly out-of-form Moore battled away to post T13.

Back in 2013, he noted: "It's hard to stay sometimes why you play well on certain golf courses. I enjoy this area, and I enjoy this golf course. It's one of my favourite tournaments of the year.

"Sometimes just having a positive attitude about it going into it can make you play well. But I think something about it just kind of suits me. It suits my eye. I like the shots."

The greens were in a bit of a state that year but they're much improved having been revamped for last year's USPGA and Moore is much better on smooth, slick surfaces.

While his course and location form are solid and reassuring, his current play is impressing too.

Moore has four top 10s in his last nine starts, the latest coming via T7 in the Texas Open after he'd held the halfway lead.

Also T28 at Augusta National, the five-time PGA Tour winner has shed 20 pounds thanks to a new fitness regime and looks to have put ankle and shoulder injuries behind him.

With a new instructor also helping the feeling of a fresh start, Moore is bringing more to the table than normal right now and this looks a great place to cash in on a situation where all the planets look aligned.


Next Best: Back Louis Oosthuizen e.w. @ 40/1

One very strong trend at Quail Hollow is that major champions, even the less celebrated ones, have a great record there.

David Toms, the 2001 USPGA champ, was the inaugural winner at this week's venue in 2003 while surprise 2009 US Open winner Lucas Glover went on to win at Quail Hollow in 2011 having finished runner-up in the same season as his major victory.

There's the odd Joey Sindelar and Derek Ernst in there but most winners are proven major performers.

So how about Louis Oosthuizen, who won the 2010 Open Championship and can also boast the rather unwanted claim of having finished runner-up in all four.

He completed the set of second places at this very course last year and although Quail Hollow played differently in the USPGA, it's surely a decent pointer.

Oosthuizen had an arm problem that week but his rather fragile fitness seems okay again and he looks ready to shine on a course which seems to reward patient types.

In his last three starts, the South African has made the last 16 of the WGC-Dell Match Play, posted tied 12th in the US Masters after shooting four sub-par rounds and, most recently, teamed up with compatriot Charl Schwartzel to finish third in last week's Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

That latter result shouldn't be overplayed but he was clearly enthused by the event (Schwartzel seemed a little lukewarm) and looks ready to to kick on here.

I'll admit Oosthuizen can be hard to catch right and did miss the cut on his only start in this event in 2015 although he did sign for a second-round 70.

But I want good drivers of the ball this week and the World No. 30 is 7th in Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee and is hitting it long and pretty straight.

He'll need the putter to heat up a little but I don't expect this to be a birdie-fest as the examination paper this week is a par 71 measuring over 7,500 yards.

Take the 40/1.


Outsider Pick: Back Trey Mullinax e.w. @ 125/1

The front of the market offers plenty of options without doubt.

This was the scene of Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler's first PGA Tour wins and also the venue for Justin Thomas' breakthrough major win last summer.

New Masters champion Patrick Reed was runner-up to Thomas so he'll be oozing extra confidence too.

I'm expecting more good things from Tommy Fleetwood this week while Phil Mickelson has a great record down the years.

But I'll end with a more ambitious play on Trey Mullinax at 125/1.

A former team-mate of Justin Thomas, Mullinax has teed it up in just one major so far but excelled himself by finishing tied ninth in last June's US Open at Erin Hills.

That was a vast piece of property and the 6ft 4" Mullinax had the tools as he's currently the longest hitter on the PGA Tour (318.5 yards).

Also 27th for SG: Off-The-Tee, he's a decent enough putter too, ranking 59th in SG: Putting this season.

So far in 2018, he's displayed his talents with tied second at the Valero Texas Open and tied eighth in the Valspar Championship.

"Just a lot of confidence. I know my game's there, I'm playing really well," he said about what he'd taken away from his runners-up finish in Texas.

He'd set up his final-day challenge thanks to a stunning Saturday 62 and will have gained plenty from having a shot at a first PGA Tour win.

After finishing 137th on last year's FedEx Cup, Mullinax still only has conditional status but so far he's rising to the challenge whenever he gets starts.

One added little bonus is that his one Challenge Tour win also came in North Carolina, the 2016 Rex Hospital Open which he won with four rounds in the 60s.

With form of 8-22-2 in his last three strokeplay starts, the 25-year-old is worth a punt at 125s.

Patrick Rodgers is a right-to-left hitter who likes this course and could go well at 100/1 while great things are expected of young Joaquin Niemann, another at a three-figure price.

If you want to take it to 200s, Keith Mitchell has a second (Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship) and a T6 (Houston Open) in recent weeks and ranks 10th in SG: Off-The-Tee.


Dave's 2017/18 PGA Tour P/L (based on £5 ew per selection outrights, £10 win top 5s/10s)

Staked: £730
Returned: £1209.84
P/L: +£479.84

(After the Zurich Classic of New Orleans)

2016/2017:
P/L: +£1179.89

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