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Wells Fargo Championship: Odds, favorites and sleeper picks

Justin Thomas taps strong vibes at Quail Hollow, Max Homa offers value, and Harold Varner III should contend on his home course

For Sam Burns, it must have felt like an eternity for his first PGA Tour victory, considering so many close calls amid a solid start to his professional career.

All of those chances made him ready for the Valspar Championship last week, and he took advantage of an Innisbrook Resort Copperhead Course that suited his eye. The Shreveport, La., native used a dazzling second-round 63 to propel him into contention and ultimately outduel Keegan Bradley on the weekend. The weight has been lifted from Burns, and it should be no surprise if the 24-year-old propels himself to more success.

It was a week to forget for the picks. Favorite Corey Conners just missed out salvaging a top-20 finish by a stroke; sleeper Henrik Stenson barely made the cut and finished back in the pack; and midrange choice Emiliano Grillo frustratingly missed the cut after a first-round 66.

Major tournament prep now begins with the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, N.C., which hosted its own PGA Championship back in 2017. The 2022 Presidents Cup site is highlighted by the "Green Mile,” one of the toughest three-hole finishing stretches on Tour. This week will include 10 of the top 15 players in the world plus 2019 Wells Fargo winner Max Homa, who will be the defending champion because the 2020 event was canceled due to COVID-19.

According to William Hill, world No. 2 Justin Thomas was listed as the favorite this week, at 10-1. No. 3-ranked Jon Rahm was a 12-1 choice, followed by U.S. Open winner Bryson DeChambeau, at 16-1. Rory McIlroy, a two-time Wells Fargo winner, and Xander Schauffele were 18-1 picks.

For our favorite, we’re going with 2017 PGA champion Justin Thomas at 10-1. There is no value with Thomas, but he is by far the most trustworthy player of the top five at Quail Hollow right now. Thomas was the favorite last week heading into the Valspar and finished T-13 while leading the field in strokes gained tee-to-green. Thomas should enjoy returning to the site of his only major championship and be relaxed on the greens.


For a midrange pick, Max Homa looks good at 35-1. The defending champion heads into the Wells Fargo Championship having finished in the top 25 six times in his past eight starts, notably with four top-10s, including a victory at the Genesis Invitational. Just last week, he was in contention heading into Sunday and finished T-6. Look for Homa to continue his stellar start to 2021 at a course that he favors.

For a sleeper, there is solid value on North Carolinian Harold Varner III at 66-1. In his most recent start, Varner tied for second at the RBC Heritage, his fourth top-20 finish of the season. Varner is a member at Quail Hollow and ranks 33rd in total strokes gained. Like Burns, Varner owns a number of close calls as he seeks his first victory on the PGA Tour. Varner also has been playing well, and he should contend at a course that he likely knows better than any other on Tour. Don't be surprised to see Varner in contention.

2021 picks scoreboard:

Winners: 3
Top 10s: 8
Top 20s: 9
Misses: 27

Here are some notable odds, according to William Hill:

Justin Thomas 10-1
Jon Rahm 12-1
Bryson DeChambeau 16-1
Rory McIlroy 18-1
Xander Schauffele 18-1
Viktor Hovland 20-1
Webb Simpson 25-1
Tony Finau 28-1
Patrick Cantlay 28-1
Patrick Reed 30-1
Will Zalatoris 30-1
Corey Conners 30-1
Sungjae Im 33-1
Joaquin Niemann 35-1
Cameron Tringale 35-1
Abraham Ancer 35-1
Max Homa 35-1
Brian Harman 40-1
Jason Day 40-1
Russell Henley 45-1
Shane Lowry 45-1
Tommy Fleetwood 45-1
Keegan Bradley 50-1
Bubba Watson 50-1
Stewart Cink 55-1
Rickie Fowler 60-1
Emiliano Grillo 66-1
Harold Varner III 66-1
Harris English 66-1
Matt Wallace 66-1
Lucas Glover 70-1
Kevin Streelman 80-1
Brendan Steele 80-1
Gary Woodland 90-1
Matt Jones 90-1
Brendon Todd 100-1
Joel Dahmen 100-1
Maverick McNealy 100-1
Francesco Molinari 100-1
Cameron Davis 100-1
Talor Gooch 100-1
Keith Mitchell 100-1
Sebastian Munoz 125-1
Adam Hadwin 125-1
Ian Poulter 125-1
Ryan Moore 125-1
Denny McCarthy 125-1
Carlos Ortiz 125-1
Matthew NeSmith 125-1
Erik Van Rooyen 125-1
Russell Knox 125-1
Charl Schwartzel 125-1
Aaron Wise 125-1
Luke List 125-1
Phil Mickelson 125-1
Lanto Griffin 125-1
Nick Taylor 150-1
Kyle Stanley 150-1
Sepp Straka 150-1
Camilo Villegas 150-1
J.T. Poston 150-1
MacKenzie Hughes 150-1
Harry Higgs 150-1
Zach Johnson 150-1
James Hahn 150-1
Patton Kizzire 150-1
Jhonattan Vegas 150-1
Michael Thompson 150-1
Tom Hoge 150-1
John Huh 150-1
Tom Lewis 175-1
Scott Stallings 175-1
Vaughn Taylor 175-1
Pat Perez 175-1
Richy Werenski 175-1
Rory Sabbatini 175-1
Troy Merritt 200-1
Henrik Norlander 200-1
Byeong Hun An 200-1
Jason Dufner 200-1
Chez Reavie 200-1
Kyoung-Hoon Lee 200-1
Nate Lashley 200-1
Chase Seiffert 200-1
Wyndham Clark 200-1
Adam Schenk 200-1
Sam Ryder 200-1
Doc Redman 200-1
Adam Long 200-1
Patrick Rodgers 250-1
Roger Sloan 250-1
Brice Garnett 250-1
Rafa Cabrera Bello 250-1
Chesson Hadley 250-1
C.T. Pan 250-1
J.B. Holmes 250-1
Danny Lee 250-1
Tyler McCumber 250-1
Andrew Putnam 250-1
Brian Stuard 300-1
Bronson Burgoon 300-1
Cameron Percy 300-1
Akshay Bhatia 300-1
Bo Hoag 300-1
Robert Streb 300-1
Mark Hubbard 300-1
Vincent Whaley 300-1
Ben Martin 300-1
Brandon Hagy 300-1
Will Gordon 300-1
Ryan Armour 300-1

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