Wells Fargo 2022 Overview
The Wells Fargo takes place at a new venue but not the first time the PGA Tour has been here to TPC Potomac. TPC Potomac hosted the Tiger Woods Foundation’s Quicken Loans National in 2017 & 2018 . It’s a course with plenty of professional golf tournament history, located almost opposite its famous neighbour Congressional Country Club, and it proved to be a potent addition to the current PGA Tour, we return this year after a 4 year hiatus. Over the last 12 years, the course has hosted PGA Tour, web.com, and a Senior Major Championship so we know it meets the needs to challenge the worlds best.
A short course by PGA Tour standards but don’t let that lead you into a false sense of security. This course has been likened to a US Open type set up, extremely demanding off the tee with tight and narrow fairways facing the players, the challenge won’t stop there with tough rough and tiny greens to attack with their second shots.
TPC Potomac is short 7,107 yards, many players may have arrived under the false impression that this course could be completely overpowered, but that is not the case. It became clear early on that the Par 70, which got harder and faster throughout the four days, was the difficult course we had anticipated when hosting the Quicken Loans National in 2017/18 . TPC Potomac has only one reachable par-5, and with three of the four par-3s measuring 190 yards or more, the short holes provide little respite. Throw in six par-4s that are over 450 yards long. Green complexes in this area feature Bentgrass and are particularly small, averaging only 4,265 sq.ft, they better bring their short game this week! When Kyle Stanley won his second PGA Tour title here it was done by topping the GIR stats for the week. Kyle missed 17 greens in four rounds, demonstrating that if you want to win around here, you must have a scrambling game to make par when you inevitably miss greens. With a elite field this week I expect the same as tournament organisers set this up to test each and every part of the players game.
This week will be a test of patience and mental aptitude as much as well as a test of skill. I’m extremely excited about this event and it could provide clues to some of the Major championships that are fast approaching. Let’s see if we can dissect the key skill sets required and find the winner.
Key Skills Set Required
- SG T2G – A short course by PGA TOUR standards but don’t be fooled, it seems this is a real tee to green test testing every club in the bag. The test has even been likened to a US Open, therefore I want to look players with solid T2G stats over the past 24/36 rounds, showing me they will having confidence in their swing on this demanding layout.
- Driving Accuracy– All of the reports suggest this is a really challenging test off the tee for players, and when reading player quotes from Quicken loans in 2017 and 18 it appears that driving accuracy is a huge asset. The majority of the quotes state that playing from the fairways is a distinct advantage, as it is the most PGA tour courses but particular here at TPC Potomac.
- GIR gained – We can see from previous events held at this course hitting green’s in regulation is a recipe for success. They are extremely small and scrambling will certainly come into play but the player who lifts the trophy comes Sunday evening almost certainly be in the top 10 for greening regulations gained on the week. I want players on side who have shown they are doing this over the past 4/6 weeks.
- SG Around the Green/Scrambling – So far we have established the greens are small, it could be like a US Open test and therefore it’s a no brainer to look for players who have a outstanding short game around the greens and scrambling. Whoever wins this tournament will have had to get up and down consistently to survive. We can see that when looking at Kyle Stanley back in 2017 when he led the green in regulation stats missed 17 greens over the four days so despite being the best iron play on the week he still had to battle hard around the greens.
- Par 4 Scoring – 12 par 4’s on show this week and only three of them averaging under par on the scorecard during the 2017/18 quicken loans tells us the challenge that faces the players this week. Often it’s par 5 scoring that separates the player on these demanding layouts however there are only 2 of those this week and only 1 of those will be reachable by all the players. For me par 4 scoring will be key. I want to pay particular attention to player who have handle the challenges par 4mover the past 3/4 months of the season.