Wells Fargo Championship First-Round Leader Tips: Make it Moore

American Ryan Moore
Ryan Moore can get off to a flyer

The PGA Tour heads back to North Carolina and Dave Tindall has three each-way picks to be First Round Leader at the Wells Fargo Championship...

"Moore is no stranger to low scores on day one. He's been the first-round leader in two of his last 31 starts after topping the R1 leaderboard at the Barracuda Championship in August 2020 and Memorial Tournament in June 2019."

Each-way terms: 1/5 odds, 6 places

Weather forecast for Quail Hollow: It's a rather chilly start for the early tee-times and they'll have slightly windier conditions too although nothing too severe. By the afternoon, temps will have risen to the early 70s.

First-round leader history:

2020 - no tournament
2019 - 66 Joel Dahmen, Rory McIlroy
2018 - 65: John Peterson
2017 - 67: Kevin Kisner, Thorbjorn Olesen (US PGA)
2017 - 66: Francesco Molinari (at Eagle Point)
2016 - 65: Andrew Loupe, Steve Wheatcroft
2015 - 65: Robert Streb
2014 - 66: Angel Cabrera

Strategy: It looks as if the afternoon starters get warmer conditions and less wind so there's an advantage there. I'll play three with p.m. tee-times.

Make it Moore

The idea that the same player can make fast starts in the same tournament has been a theme in the last few weeks.

For the fourth time in his career, Justin Rose emerged as the first-round leader at Augusta National after firing a 65.

And last week at the Valspar Championship, Keegan Bradley made what is now an annual fast start. A 64 gave him the 18-hole lead for the second time in the last five appearances and his other end-of-round-one positions were 6-5-6.

So, having twice had a piece of the first-round lead at Quail Hollow, I'm going to hope Ryan Moore follows suit and hits the ground running again this year.

Moore is no stranger to low scores on day one. He's been the first-round leader in two of his last 31 starts after topping the R1 leaderboard at the Barracuda Championship in August 2020 and Memorial Tournament in June 2019.

And we have very recent evidence of him finding an early groove after a 66 put him second after Thursday's play in last week's Valspar Championship.

Pleasingly, he has an afternoon tee-time at 2.00pm so all the ducks appear in a row.

Back Moore at 90/1.

Side with Schwartzel

Another 90/1 shot with an afternoon tee-time I like is former Masters champ Charl Schwartzel.

The South African has found some form again after T26 at Augusta, a second place alongside Louis Oosthuizen in the Zurich Classic pairs event and T21 in last week's Valspar Championship.

A 65 on day two put him in contention in Florida so he was left to rue a Saturday 74 that ended hopes of a challenge.

But the overall signs are good, he sounds much happier with his game and now he heads to a course where he made the top 10 on his last appearance in 2018.

Schwartzel enjoys tree-lined tracks and was fourth after 36 holes here three years ago.

He starts out from the 10th tee at 1.49pm so will hopefully get the best conditions. Schwartzel likes the sun on his back and I wouldn't have put him up in the colder a.m. climes.

Don't blink over Cink

I've put up Stewart Cink in my outright preview as he looks overpriced at 55/1.

The same argument applies for FRL as he's an industry-high 75/1.

When Cink won the RBC Heritage he started off with 63 on day one and I'm hoping for some more early magic here.

Quail Hollow is a place he likes (three top 10s and a further pair of top 25s) and check out his R1 positions in his last four visits: 1-4-4-34.

Cink's first-round lead came courtesy of a 65 and, in his current form, he's more than capable of emerging with the low score this Thursday.

Not that he needs a confidence boost but being paired with Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed shows that Cink's two-win season means he's now being put in marquee groups.

That trio start at 12.54pm.

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