GOLF

Looking for valor to chase Scott Piercy

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Scoring conditions were much better on Friday at TPC Twin Cities as the morning wave went below par. Even the afternoon saw conditions nearly two strokes better than the opening round. Many players took full advantage of this, but it was Scott Piercy who backed up his first-round 65 by going one better and posting a 64 on Friday. Needless to say, my second-round fade didn’t go too well, but we’ll be looking to do a little better as things head into the weekend.

Piercy will have a three-stroke lead over Emiliano Grillo on Saturday and Grillo is also two strokes ahead of Callum Tarren, who won the day’s round with an 8-under 63 as he charged the board from par . These three will play together on Saturday as the players leave early in the morning to try to avoid the storms expected in the afternoon. It will also keep everyone in roughly the same playing condition on moving day, eliminating any advantage that may have been available.

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Overall, there are just seven players within six headed shots, creating a very defined separation on the field. Still, with 36 holes to play, we shouldn’t eliminate many, especially with a player at the top who hasn’t had a good track record lately. Let’s see who stands out as the 3M Open heads into the weekend.

Shots gained Explanation

Strokes Gained can give golf bettors, DFS players and fans much more detail about how a golfer really played by measuring each shot against the rest of the field.

Using the millions of data points it collects, the TOUR calculates the average number of shots it takes for a player to put the ball in the hole, regardless of distance and situation. If a player beats these averages, he earns strokes on the field.

Every golf situation is different. The strokes gained measure the performance of the players in relation to the situation.

In this article, we’ll cover a variety of shots gained metrics:

  • Strokes won: off the tee
  • Strokes won: Approach
  • Strokes won: Around the green
  • Strokes gained: Putting
  • Strokes won: Ball strike (i.e. off the tee + approach)
  • Shots won: Tee-to-Green (i.e. Ball-Striking + Around-the-Green)

In general, SG: Ball-Striking and SG: Tee-to-Green are the most stable over the long term, while putting is more prone to volatility.

You can often find advantages for live betting by identifying golfers who are hitting the ball well, but simply not knocking down putts. Likewise, players with high SG: put numbers may regress in the future.

3 golfers to buy in round 3

I’m not really looking to take a bite out of the odds at the top of the table, but if I had to look at one player it would be Tom Hoge. He ranks top of the pack this week in SG: Ball Striking as he added to the 5.76 shots he earned on approach Thursday and continued to hit it well off the tee.

Hoge’s opportunities are lost on the greens at this point as he has lost shots to the field in each of the first two rounds with the flatstick. He’s a guy who’s already won this season and although he’s had some ups and downs since then, he generally stays in good shape during the weeks he has it. I expect him to stay in the mix as we go deeper into the weekend at the 3M Open.

Chesson Hadley is the top 10 player I would go for odds-wise. He had bounced back from a few early bogeys to climb to 6 under on the week through 17 holes before making a costly mistake at the par-5 18th. Hadley dunked one in the water as he tried to double-hit it from the fairway and lost 1.48 shots from the field with that swing alone. His closing bogey will no doubt leave a sour taste in his mouth, but the way he plays gives him some value at +7000 on BetRivers.

My latest purchase is probably too old to be considered for anything on the market, but Stewart Cink will be an essential guy for me everywhere else on Saturday. He ranks as the second-best player in the field with his ball hitting through two rounds, but is 138th in putting. He is the prototypical buy before Moving Day at 2 under the week and hopefully the positive momentum from Saturday’s last hole will carry him into the weekend for a low score.

3 golfers to fade on turn 3

The biggest shocker of the week is undoubtedly Scott Piercy and while I don’t see a scenario where this game will continue through the weekend, I won’t be putting another fade on the leader. Instead, I’m going to move on to another big clash with Robert Streb. He’s missed the cut in his last three events and in seven of his last nine tournaments, including the Barracuda, where he was well below the cut line in that alternate on-court event. Nothing suggested to expect that from Streb this week and I think we’ll start to see him fade away as we go into Saturday as he relies heavily on the short game to get him into his current position.

I thought we might see Sungjae Im move up the leaderboard on Friday once it was clear that scoring conditions would remain calm for the afternoon wave. He started making a few moves, but eventually backed off as his ball-striking waned. I hesitate to speak of a player as talented as we lack that in this area, but the numbers certainly show it. He lost shots in the field on the approach and tee-to-green on Friday. I could just as easily bounce back on Saturday, but his inconsistency, especially with ball striking, has been a constant concern lately and I’ll point out that’s the main reason for me going through to the third round.

Danny Willett is the other player who similarly stands out as Im for a crossfade on Saturday. He’s one of the lowest performers in SG: Tee-to-Green this week among the top 20 players. The difference with Willett is that he didn’t really make any big mistakes. Instead, he’s just been consistently bad, especially on approach. He only gained strokes from the field with his irons on eight approach shots on Friday, but bailed out with a putter that gained 5.48 strokes from the field.

Blows Data acquired for all players in round 2

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