It looked like we were headed for a final group with two of the more well liked players in the world as Jordan Spieth and Tommy Fleetwood were the top two throughout much of Saturday. However, Adam Schenk had different thoughts as he closed his day with birdies on two of his final three holes to take a one-shot lead into the final round.
Schenk will be seeking his first win Sunday at Innisbrook and will have to do so alongside Spieth. Fleetwood and Spieth will start the round one shot back of the leader and the later will play alongside Webb Simpson, who is just two shots back after a solid 3-under round on Saturday.
There are 15 players within four shots of the lead, but with low scores tough to come by, it may be a smaller group that we should consider in the hunt for the win. No player shot better than a 4-under 68 in the third round and the only player to pull that off was Patton Kizzire. This will narrow our field for Sunday, but let’s take a look and see if anyone sticks out with a good combination of strokes gained trends and odds for the final round.
Strokes Gained Explanation
Strokes Gained can give golf bettors, DFS players and fans way more detail on how a golfer has truly played by measuring each shot in relation to the rest of the field.
Using the millions of data points it collects, the TOUR calculates how many shots on average it takes a player to get the ball in the hole from every distance and situation. If a player beats those averages, he’s gaining strokes on the field.
Every situation in golf is different. Strokes Gained measures how players perform relative to the situation.
In this piece, we’ll touch on a variety of Strokes Gained metrics:
- Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee
- Strokes Gained: Approach
- Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green
- Strokes Gained: Putting
- Strokes Gained: Ball Striking (which is Off-the-Tee + Approach)
- Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green (which is Ball-Striking + Around-the-Green)
In general, SG: Ball Striking and SG: Tee-to-Green are the most stable long term, while putting is more prone to volatility.
You can often find live-betting advantages by identifying golfers who are hitting the ball well, but are just not getting putts to drop. Likewise, players with high SG: Putting numbers may regress moving forward.
3 Golfers to Buy in Round 4
Everyone has to have that breakthrough moment at some point if they are going to become a TOUR winner and while I wouldn’t be surprised to see if happen for Schenk or Fleetwood, I would just put my money in Spieth’s direction.
We’ve seen Spieth start to gain ground with his game over the past month and he put himself in contention for a win just a couple of weeks ago at the Arnold Palmer. He now finds himself in the final pairing and was the best of the final few players in SG: Ball Striking on Saturday.
Spieth’s play off the tee and on approach is always the key to his game as we just expect him to create magic on and around the greens. DataGolf makes Spieth a rightful favorite going into Sunday, giving him a 24% win probability and that aligns pretty well with the +300 odds available at BetRivers.
If I’m going down the board a bit, my play would be on Taylor Moore. He was one of my favorites in my first look last Sunday and he’s continued to play well, positioning himself just two shots back going in the final round. He didn’t have his typical sharp ball striking on Saturday as he lost strokes to the field on approach, but he held it together through a hot putter that gained more than two shots in his 2-under round.
I don’t expect to see Moore struggle on approach Sunday and if he can keep the putter going, he could certainly have his name in the mix going into the Snake Pit. FanDuel is giving us a +1000, which is a decent number to see him try to post a number for the final groups to try to beat.
Nick Taylor will always be a player I believe in after he was one of my more memorable pre-tournament outright hits a few years ago at AT&T Pebble Beach. He’s flashed that winning upside a couple of times this year, most notably as he battled Scottie Scheffler on Sunday at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. I don’t expect Taylor to get in the mix for his second career win, but I do like him to take a shot at the top 10. The Canadian is just two shots short of that placement going into the final round and at BetMGM, where all ties are paid in full, +400 is a nice number for his potential to close that gap on Sunday.
Strokes Gained Data for All Players Through Round 3 (Average Per Round)
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