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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wells Fargo Championship - One-and-done

There's been plenty of action at the Wells Fargo Championship before the first tee is in the ground in the opening round. Namely, a number of elite players have withdrawn, and frankly I can't blame them.

I've thought about this from all angles, and I really can't decide who the inconsistent greens will favor. Every scenario involves ball-striking being a big key. Rob Bolton had a nice thought today on the Rotoworld chat that Europeans could benefit. If they do, look out for Nicolas Colsaerts. I'm curious to see how guys not far removed from the mini tours perform. They have the most recent experience with sub-standard greens. 

I'm of the thought that local knowledge will be a huge advantage tee to green, but could be a hindrance on the putting surfaces. You know what I mean if you stop and think about it. Many of you are like me and frequently play at one particular course. When you have a 30-footer you don't even take the time to look at it from all angles. You know it breaks left-to-right by more than it looks or right-to-left by less than it looks and you have a rough idea as to the speed. You step in and lag it up to tap-in range and head to the next hole. The Webb Simpson's of the world could normally do that here, but now they have to second guess what they know about the greens. Maybe even talk themselves out of what they know to be true.

I wouldn't be surprised if the 8th alternate in the field wins this week, or if Rory McIlroy wins.

All that to say, for the one-and-done I'm going with Bill Haas. He knows Quail Hollow very well and has twice finished fourth. It's about an hour-and-a-half from his front door in Greenville, SC to Quail Hollow and don't think he hasn't made that trip a few times over the years on non-tournament weeks. His strength is his ball-striking and he's long enough to perform. The question will come down to his play on the par-5s. It killed him at the Masters.I don't have Webb Simpson available, but expect plenty of people to go that route. I said in my power rankings Monday that he (Simpson) was the chalk, but that this may be a good week to go against the chalk and I stand by that strategy for most gamers.

For my two-and-done, I'm burning Rory McIlroy for the first time. I made this decision before his interview, but I liked that he reportedly said something to the tune of it being his ball-striking that wins tournaments for him more than the putter. That's the attitude it will take to win this week. Maybe the putts fall, maybe they don't, but I'm going to strike it the best I can.

Best of luck to all this week!

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