2021 Wells Fargo Championship Power Rankings

Rory McIlroy Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club
Rory McIlroy tees off on the 7th tee during the third round of the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club on May 4, 2019 in Charlotte, NC. (Photo by Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

With the second major championship of the year quickly approaching, the PGA Tour’s elite are mostly in attendance this week at famed Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina, with nine of the top 15 in the Official World Golf Ranking set to tee up at the Quail Hollow Championship.

The event just dates back to 2003, but has seen considerable drama with seven playoffs in 17 editions. It is also well-known for being the site of two of four-time major champion Rory McIlroy’s most dominant Tour victories: a four-stroke win in 2010, and a seven-stroke annihilation in 2015.

Rory might not be playing his best, but he will still be among the most feared at Quail Hollow this week, which was among the courses not played last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The field is strong, but there are a few players we like more than the rest:


15. Keegan Bradley

Keegan Bradley
Keegan Bradley lines up a putt on the 7th green during the third round of the Valspar Championship on the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort on May 01, 2021 in Palm Harbor, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood via Getty Images)

The former major champion was in position to get onto the winner’s board for 2021 when he held the 54-hole co-lead at the Valspar Championship last week, only to see his chances go up in smoke after hitting his approach into the water on Sunday’s 13th hole, leading to a runner-up finish to Sam Burns.

Still, it is promising to see Bradley back in regular contention, having also made a run (again, until Sunday) at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March.

The 34-year-old still cannot putt, but he is hitting his irons extremely well, ranking 7th on Tour in strokes gained: tee-to-green.

World Rank: 74
Odds To Win: 66/1
PGW 2021 Rank: N/R


14. Cameron Tringale

Cameron Tringale
Cameron Tringale plays a shot from the 12th tee during the second round of the RSM Classic at Sea Island GC on Nov 22, 2019 in St Simons Island, GA. Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The 33-year-old has been quietly phenomenal in 2021, especially as of late, as his T3 in last week’s Valspar Championship was his third finish of T13 or better in his last four starts.

Tringale boasts the Tour’s ninth-ranked scoring average, and ranks in the top 50 in five of the six strokes gained categories. He was stellar on the greens at Innisbrook, which bodes well for his chances at Quail Hollow, where he has posted a number of quality rounds in the past, but has struggled with consistency from round to round.

He has risen from 103rd to 65th in the OWGR this year, and a first-career victory would really get him out from under that radar.

World Rank: 65
Odds To Win: 40/1
PGW 2021 Rank: N/R


13. Jason Day

Jason Day 2018 Wells Fargo Championship
Jason Day celebrates after winning the 2018 Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, NC. Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

It is difficult to harbor much faith in the former World No. 1 coming off a 77-76 missed cut at The Masters, but Day’s most recent Tour victory came at Quail Hollow, as the two-stroke winner of the 2018 Wells Fargo also posted three rounds in the 60s in defense of that championship.

Statistically, he has played better than his season results (just one top 10 since November) would indicate, scoring in the positive, albeit just barely in strokes gained: approach-the-green for the first time since 2016.

His ranking of 18th in strokes gained: tee-to-green is comparable to his career bests.

World Rank: 59
Odds To Win: 50/1
PGW 2021 Rank: N/R


12. Corey Conners

Corey Conners RBC Heritage
Corey Conners talks with his caddie on the 9th tee during the second round of the RBC Heritage on April 16, 2021 at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

It says a lot about the recent form of the 29-year-old Canadian that the T21 he posted at last week’s Valspar Championship actually felt like a bit of a disappointment. That 5-under effort comprised four rounds of even-par or better, but was still the worst showing in his last six stroke-play events, as he had chased a T8 at The Masters with a T4 at the RBC Heritage.

Ranking 8th on Tour in both driving accuracy and greens in regulation, Conners has just been too good tee-to-green to believe he will not find himself a part of the Wells Fargo story despite a T42 in his only start in the past five years here.

World Rank: 37
Odds To Win: 33/1
PGW 2021 Rank: 22


11. Webb Simpson

Webb Simpson at the 2020 RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links
Webb Simpson lines up a putt on the 15th green during the first round of the RBC Heritage on June 18, 2020 at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head Island, SC. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Webb rarely misses a cut on the PGA Tour, which is not surprising when you consider that he ranks 5th on Tour in driving accuracy and 11th in greens in regulation, AND he putts tremendously (18th on Tour in strokes gained: putting). His fifth-ranked scoring average has been good enough to have him ninth in the OWGR, and keeps him a consistent threat week in and week out.

Following a T12 at The Masters with a T9 at the RBC Heritage, a good week at Quail Hollow would not be unprecedented, as he was a distant runner-up to Rory McIlroy at the 2015 edition, and had three rounds in the 60s in the most recent Wells Fargo (T18, 2019).

World Rank: 9
Odds To Win: 25/1
PGW 2021 Rank: 33


10. Stewart Cink

Stewart Cink and Reagan Cink Wins the RBC Heritage
Stewart Cink and his caddie and son, Reagan Cink, react as they approach the 18th green during the final round of the RBC Heritage on April 18, 2021 at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

It would normally be difficult to have much confidence in a 47-year-old at this venue, but Cink’s 2021 resurgence has been unreal. His four-stroke romp three weeks ago at the RBC Heritage was his second of the season, after not having won since 2009.

Cink leads the Tour in greens in regulation and gained nearly 14 strokes to the field tee-to-green his last time out. Simply put, he is just dialed-in at the moment, and it probably does not matter that he has a missed cut and a T72 in his last two Wells Fargo starts.

World Rank: 43
Odds To Win: 66/1
PGW 2021 Rank: 21


9. Xander Schauffele

Xander Schauffele 2021 Masters Tournament Augusta National Golf Club
Xander Schauffele talks with his caddie, Austin Kaiser, on the first hole during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 11, 2021 in Augusta, GA. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

The World No. 4 is hoping that a week partnered with Patrick Cantlay at the recent Zurich Classic of New Orleans (they finished T11) cleared his head enough from his recent Masters letdown to contend this week at Quail Hollow.

With his waterball tee shot on 16 at Augusta, Schauffele might have officially gone from “big game hunter” to really having mental issues late on the big stage. That T3 could be considered encouraging however, as he had had three mediocre starts in a row after nine straight finishes of T17 or better.

Course history is not in his favor this week, with a T72 in his only Wells Fargo start (2018), and the only missed cut of his 15-start major career coming at Quail Hollow (2017 PGA Championship).

World Rank: 4
Odds To Win: 18/1
PGW 2021 Rank: 8


8. Will Zalatoris

Will Zalatoris 2021 Masters Tournament Augusta National Golf Club
Will Zalatoris reacts to his putt on the sixth green during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 11, 2021 in Augusta, GA. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

The 24-year-old Wake Forest product was smart to take the last two events off, as he clearly hit a wall late at the RBC Heritage, a week after becoming the Tour’s next big thing when he finished runner-up to Hideki Matsuyama at The Masters.

In his last nine stroke-play events, Zalatoris has finished T22 or better seven times, and has just one missed cut in 15 starts this season, basically his first playing regularly on the Tour (six starts in 2018 was his previous most, and he did not play on Tour at all in the 2019 or 2020 seasons).

His lanky physique has not had much negative effect on his distance, as he averages more than 307 yards off the tee, and he ranks 8th on Tour in strokes gained: tee-to-green.

Zalatoris got engaged during his two weeks off, which might not mean anything, or could just add to the overall great feeling of his life at the moment.

World Rank: 28
Odds To Win: 33/1
PGW 2021 Rank: 15


7. Patrick Reed

Patrick Reed Winged Foot Golf Club 2020 U.S. Open
Patrick Reed waits alongside caddie Kessler Karain before hitting his shot from the 14th tee during the second round of the 120th U.S. Open Championship on September 18, 2020 at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The Tour’s best putter was surprisingly a dud on the greens in two rounds at Innisbrook last week, where he missed the cut at the Valspar after rounds of 70 and 72.

Reed was T8 at The Masters in his previous start though, where really just one mediocre round kept him out of the mix.

He won at Torrey Pines earlier this year, and has shown good form at Quail Hollow before, opening 67-69 at the 2019 edition before a difficult weekend pushed him down to T28, a year after posting a T8.

World Rank: 7
Odds To Win: 28/1
PGW 2021 Rank: 12


6. Viktor Hovland

Viktor Hovland
Viktor Hovland watches his drive on the 12th tee box during the second round of the WGC-Workday Championship at The Concession on Feb 26, 2021 in Bradenton, FL. (Photo by Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

The 23-year-old’s mini-slump appears to be over, as a field-low Sunday 65 at last week’s Valspar Championship allowed Hovland to finish T3, his fifth top five finish in 15 season starts. His 22 birdies led the field at Innisbrook, and he gained close to nine strokes to the field from tee to green.

Hovland has yet to play Quail Hollow competitively, but he has shown proficiency on unfamiliar courses in his stellar two year Tour career, finishing runner-up this year at both Torrey Pines and The Concession.

World Rank: 15
Odds To Win: 20/1
PGW 2021 Rank: 16


5. Max Homa

Max Homa Wins Wells Fargo Championship
Max Homa fist pumps as he makes a putt on the 10th green during the final round of the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club on May 5, 2019 in Charlotte, NC. Photo by Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

A man who figures to see a significant chunk of change from the Tour’s new social media initiative, the 2019 Wells Fargo champion was in position to defend his Quail Hollow title off another win, as Homa was just one stroke off the 54-hole lead at last week’s Valspar Championship, before a Sunday letdown meant a T6.

With six top 10s in his last nine Tour starts, we would be inclined to overlook what happened in that final round at Innisbrook. He gained nearly 10 strokes to the field with his putter at that three-stroke 2019 win.

World Rank: 41
Odds To Win: 40/1
PGW 2021 Rank: 17


4. Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy 2021 Masters Tournament
Rory McIlroy reacts to his shot from the third tee during the first round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 08, 2021 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Rory and Quail Hollow have been one of the most reliable and prolific player-course partnerships in recent history, with the 31-year-old setting the course record during both his four-stroke 2010 victory and his seven-stroke 2015 obliteration.

McIlroy’s other showings here have included a playoff runner-up in 2012, and a T8 in the most recent edition, where he was just two off the 54-hole lead.

Unfortunately, the pride of Northern Ireland is much less of a slam dunk this week, given how removed from his best form he is.

In his last start, Rory missed the cut at The Masters, one of three missed cuts in his last six starts (Genesis Invitational, THE PLAYERS Championship), after 30 consecutive made cuts worldwide.

If the now World No. 15 is going to figure it out again, Charlotte is the best place for him to go, but as we have stated several times with him lately, he just seems to be playing with absolutely no confidence right now.

World Rank: 15
Odds To Win: 18/1
PGW 2021 Rank: 34


3. Bryson DeChambeau

Bryson DeChambeau Wins the Arnold Palmer Invitational
Bryson DeChambeau takes an iron out of his bag on the 10th hole tee during the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club on Mar 7, 2021 in Orlando, FL.. (Photo by Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

It is probably a good thing that DeChambeau has had three weeks to reset after The Masters, where he shockingly had three rounds of 75 or worse at a course he once said was like a “par 67” to him.

Even with those high rounds though, he sports the Tour’s second best scoring average, and leads in strokes gained off-the-tee and strokes gained: tee-to-green. His two wins in this season have him second in the FedExCup standings, and he figures to make a further push at an event where he most recently (2018) finished solo-fourth despite opening (coincidentally) with a 75.

World Rank: 5
Odds To Win: 14/1
PGW 2021 Rank: 4


2. Justin Thomas

Justin Thomas Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club
Justin Thomas tees off to start his round during 1st round action of the Wells Fargo Championship on May 03, 2018 at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, NC.(Photo by Doug Buffington/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

We had JT ranked No. 1 in our power rankings for last week’s Valspar Championship, and while the FedExCup points leader led the field in strokes gained: off-the-tee, strokes gained: approach-the-green, and strokes gained: tee-to-green, he never really got in the serious mix at Innisbrook, finishing T13.

It did not help much that he lost 6.5 strokes to the field putting, which usually is not a weakness for him, but his poor putting rounds have been REALLY poor lately.

The reigning PLAYERS Champion has a high Wells Fargo finish of T7 in 2015, and won at Quail Hollow when it hosted the 2017 PGA Championship, although these courses are practically unrecognizable as major venues.

World Rank: 1
Odds To Win: 11/1
PGW 2021 Rank: 1


1. Jon Rahm

Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas TOUR Championship
Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas get ready to hit on the 6th tee box during the final round of the TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club on Sep 7, 2020 in Atlanta, GA. (Photo by Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

The World No. 3 has only played this event once, finishing solo-fourth in 2017. Not that there is a course where he isn’t a fit, but Rahm’s game would seem to be especially cohesive with Quail Hollow, and the last time we saw him in an individual event, he was surging into Sunday contention at The Masters, following three consecutive rounds of even par (fresh off the birth of his first-born son) with a 6-under 66.

That field-low final round netted him a T5 at Augusta, one of five top-10s in his last six Tour starts.

Rahm is still blasting it off the tee, he is hitting greens… he has given no reason whatsoever to expect anything resembling an off week in Charlotte.

World Rank: 3
Odds To Win: 11/1
PGW 2021 Rank: 10


Next 5: Joaquin Niemann, Tony Finau, Patrick Cantlay, Abraham Ancer, Emiliano Grillo


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