Savage. That’s the only word I have to describe what happened at the Country Club on Saturday in the third round of the 2022 US Open.
Every time we thought we’d see someone take control of the third major of the season, they quickly let it slip away and brought the field back into the tournament. That’s all without mentioning the two-time major winner and 36-hole co-leader who simply had nothing with his game.
It all really started with an eagle hole on Scottie Scheffler’s par-5 eighth. as he jumped to 6 under with a two stroke lead. He barely missed a birdie chance on the 9th and appeared to be on cruise control. However, seemingly out of nowhere, he went five times in the four-hole sequence from 11th to 14th and lost his lead.
Will Zalatoris and Matt Fitzpatrick then took the lead before Fitzpatrick bogged the final hole to fall to a par at 4 under with Zalatoris.
Finally, it was Jon Rahm’s turn as he took the lead at 5 under 17 and looked set to extend that lead to the final round as he sought back-to-back US Open wins. Instead, he left his second shot in the fairway bunker on the 18th and then buried his next shot in the green bunker. He would finish with a brace and fall one shot behind the leaders entering Sunday’s final round.
I’d be lying if I said I had any idea who was going to win this thing on Father’s Day, but we’ll dive in and see which players stand out as buys before the final round.
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 4
There are very few occasions where I sit down on a Saturday night and just stare at the blank screen trying to find my buys and fades. It’s definitely one of those times because this tournament could take many different directions and honestly, I don’t know who’s going to step in and take it.
How many times can we Zalatoris come so close and not win? It looks like it’s his time and he certainly has the ability to hit the ball to get in position to make enough putts to win this event. He’s listed right after Fitzpatrick on the odds board and I’ll try my luck there. Zalatoris was just in this place last month and it looks like this might be the time he finally shuts it down.
My first inclination, however, is that it is Rory McIlroyit’s time. He’s had some really tough times in this tournament and kind of stays there – just three strokes off the lead. He also shot a final round 62 last Sunday and will have those good vibes to build on as he seeks to win his first major in eight years.
I’m buying him on the potential to do more and put in his best run of the week because he just hasn’t done his best since Thursday. McIlroy has made enough clutch putts to keep him in this tournament and I have a feeling he is going out with his best Sunday at the Country Club.
Another player who turned out to be clutch on Sunday is Sam Burns. He has continually put up strong final rounds, as evidenced by his three wins this season. I’m going to double down on the recent LSU grad as he held his round together on Saturday despite not giving his best approach.
Burns gained just over half a stroke from the field with his irons in the third round, but it was a hot putter that kept him in contention. The difference with Burns and some of the other names at the top is that he truly is an elite putter, as he ranks 16th in that metric this season. He also ranks fourth approaching and if he gets those two things together in the final round, he could definitely win his first major.
3 golfers to disappear in round 4
I lose Matt Fitzpatrick. It hasn’t bit me in the United States yet and until it does for the first time, I will continue to be on the other side.
The Englishman started his third round with a bogey and was in further trouble to start his final nine, but three birdies from four holes on his way home allowed him to bogey the last and retain a share of the lead. As you may have heard one or fifty times this week, Fitzpatrick won the US Amateur on this same course in 2013. He will be looking to match Jack Nicklaus as the only players to have won both the US Amateur and the US Open on the same course. Track. I think it will only add pressure on a guy who frankly hasn’t handled it well when he’s held this position in the past.
Above we mentioned a few guys who have been playing really well on recent Sundays. Joel Dahmen is at the other end of this spectrum. He was one of SG:Total’s worst last-round players in recent events. Dahmen struggled to close out the weekend strong and especially in round four.
His slide started on Saturday when he posted a 4 of 74, but really the ball-striking numbers were still solid. His problems mainly concerned his play on and around the greens. If he can keep hitting the ball tomorrow he can hang on near the top 10, but history says he could have some scares on Sunday that come into play in the final round.
Aaron Wise was a player I really liked coming into the week as his ball striking was coming together and he seemed to be peaking. He was certainly in the mix heading into Saturday, but he posted a second round where he lost shots on the ground on the approach. He’s not a player who’s going to argue often when he relies solely on the short game and that’s where he’s tending at this stage. Wise could definitely find him in the final round, but with several rounds showing difficulty hitting the ball, that’s enough for me to fade on Sunday.