Wells Fargo: Round two preview and 3-ball betting tips from Ben Coley

Last Updated May 04 2018, 15:47Golf
Ross Fisher
Ross Fisher

Ben Coley has a trio of three-ball fancies for round two at the Wells Fargo Championship.

Banker

Tony Finau did phenomenally well to fight back for a round of 69 on day one of the Wells Fargo Championship, and he's a rock-solid bet to once again win his three-ball.

Ryan Moore (73) and Greg Chalmers (71) weren't far behind, but given that Finau double-bogeyed both par-threes on his outward nine and found two hazards in a disastrous run, he was probably value for an even greater margin of superiority.

Having arrived in fine fettle following a near-miss in the team event in New Orleans, along with the fact that he's threatened to win all year and that his record at Quail Hollow is blemish-free with three cuts made in three visits, he's expected to keep moving in the right direction having recovered from two-over to two-under with four birdies over his closing 10 holes.

It was noticeable how much long, high-hitting players were at an advantage on Thursday and that should only increase as these firm greens turn rock-hard, and Finau is at a massive advantage over both Moore and Chalmers in that department.

The former is nevertheless a danger as his rededication to the sport appears to be bearing fruit, but his long-game will need to improve markedly if he's to keep up with Finau. As for Chalmers, he was seventh here 15 years ago but has none next to nothing at the course since and his expected score would be in the region of 75 today, a target Finau should have little trouble outperforming.

Next best

Ross Fisher showed signs on Thursday that he's edging back into form at just the right time, and he's a solid fancy to outscore Jamie Lovemark and Ben Martin once more.

Fisher's fine run towards the end of 2017 means he holds an excellent chance of returning to the European Ryder Cup side and while a spring slump was far from ideal, he looks to be exiting it just as points earned on the European Tour are set to be worth significantly more.

On Thursday, he carded a two-under-par round of 69 to continue an excellent record in this event, which includes 10th place when last he played it, and the only blemish on his Quail Hollow CV came late last year under the very different conditions of a major championship.

When playing here in the spring, Fisher has barely put a foot wrong and there was much to like about the way he made progress yesterday, before coming unstuck like so many before him over the closing Green Mile.

Fisher still had four shots in hand over Martin and six over Lovemark and 17/10 that he wins this three-ball again is too big. The concern prior to the tournament would've been some fairly humdrum recent form, but it appears a second-round 67 at the Heritage marked the turning of the tide.

Lovemark and Martin have both been making cuts without threatening and neither has made much of an impression at this golf course in the past.

Treble

For the final selection, it could pay to roll the dice a little and back US Open champion Brooks Koepka to beat Tiger Woods and Patrick Reed.

Koepka made a low-key return to action in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans following an injury which has kept him out all year, but there was plenty to like about Thursday's one-over 72, which could so easily have been 70 had he made both seven-foot par putts at 17 and 18.

Those bogeys saw him finish one behind both playing partners but he headed up the last tied with Woods and one ahead of Reed and, with scope for further progress as he feels his way back into tournament mode, 11/4 that he presses on and beats them today looks great value.

Koepka shot 72 despite hitting one of 14 fairways which shows how dangerous he may well be if tightening up from the tee box and his power advantage over Woods and Reed could make the difference.

Posted at 0940 BST on 04/05/18.

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