2021 CJ CUP Round 2 Odds, Buys, Fades: 3 Picks, Including Viktor Hovland
Alex Goodlett/Getty Images. Pictured: Viktor Hovland.
It was clear in the early tee times that there would be some good scores available at The Summit Club on Thursday. The surprise was more about the players who find themselves at the top of the leaderboard going into the second round of the CJ CUP.
Robert Streb stormed out to 7-under in his first six holes before adding five more birdies and a single bogey on his way to an 11-under 61. He was later joined in double digits under par for the day by Keith Mitchell, who will start Friday’s round just one shot back.
The scoring average in total was more than three strokes under par across the field. While Streb and Mitchell led the way, there were plenty of good scores and it appears this will be a weekend where we could see some players get in the mix with one really low round, possibly from a bit off the radar.
Let’s take a look at who stands out in the Strokes Gained metrics from the opening round and see if we can find some value down the leaderboard.
Click here to see the full odds board, courtesy of DraftKings.
|Harold Varner III||+6000|
|Erik van Rooyen||+8000|
|Kyoung Hoon Lee||+9000|
|Seong Hyeon Kim||+40000|
|Si Woo Kim||+50000|
|Byeong Hun An||+100000|
|Han Byeol Kim||+400000|
Strokes Gained Explanation
Strokes Gained can give golf bettors, DFS players and fans way more detail on how a golfer is 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, ball-striking and 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 just not getting putts to drop. Likewise, players with high SG: Putting numbers may regress moving forward.
3 Golfers to Buy in Round 2
My first buy isn’t someone who is going to jump out for betting value, as he is currently the low man on the PointsBet board at +900, but I think it is merited for Viktor Hovland. He put together a great round of 7-under on Thursday, and the scary part is that he didn’t have his normally sharp approach play.
Hovland actually lost strokes to the field on approach in the first round, despite missing just two greens in regulation. He just didn’t quite put together the iron play we are used to seeing from the Norwegian, who ranked 15th in Strokes Gained: Approach last season.
I expect we will see Hovland bounce back in this category on Friday, which could position him for a late tee time on Saturday.
The first round of these tournaments at a new course, I always try to look for some key data that tells us what may or may not be important. In looking at the top of the leaderboard they all clearly had great days ball striking and on the greens, but three of the top four players lost more than a half stroke around the green.
That tells me that the short game around the greens may not be a big factor this week, which is helpful for a poor player around the green like Hovland and Joaquin Niemann.
Niemann is someone who has elite ball striking and has really improved on the greens, especially bentgrass, but he ranked 138th on TOUR in around the green play. He was able to gain strokes in that category on Thursday as he put together 2.43 Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green.
Niemann gained strokes in each metric during a 5-under round, and I see some value in buying the Chilean in all markets, including at +4100 to win on FanDuel.
If we want to dig really deep, we could do worse than the newly found confidence of South African Erik van Rooyen. His win at the Barracuda Championship seems to have turned him into a different player. He rolled that win into back-to-back top-seven finishes in the FedExCup Playoffs to close the season, and he has started strong this week at the CJ CUP.
We often see players who finally capture a first win and subsequently roll it into more success in the following months. EVR did that to close the season and was able to do well enough to control his future by qualifying for the TOUR Championship. He is 5-under through the first round at this event, and +8000 at BetMGM is worth a look for the value after gaining 1.59 shots on approach in the first round.
3 Golfers to Fade in Round 2
The old adage is that it’s really difficult to follow up a great round with another one, and I’m going to buy in on that for Friday. We won’t see any numbers that really jump out for a fade in the data for Robert Streb, who flashed for just three top-20 finishes following his win at the RSM Classic last fall.
Streb just isn’t a player I expect to stick around at the top of the leaderboard on Friday, especially as he sleeps on a lead with a number of big names lurking behind him. He could certainly keep it rolling in the second round, but I’ll take my chances early that he will have trouble staying in the mix as the tournament goes forward.
I’ll go for a similar play against Keith Mitchell in the second round, as he too put together a great round but was even more reliant on his putting. He was the hottest putter of the day, gaining more than 4.5 strokes on the field with his flat stick.
We have seen this type of play in flashes from Mitchell, but he usually has trouble sustaining it across four rounds. I am taking the chance that he will continue to find struggles with his consistency going into the weekend at The Summit Club.
Talor Gooch is a more traditional fade for Friday since he lost strokes in both ball-striking categories in the opening round. He had to rely on more than two strokes gained on and around the greens on Thursday in his 5-under round of 67.
Gooch has been a popular player in DFS and some betting markets early in the season and if that trends to be the case again on Friday, we may be set to get some nice leverage with a fade.
StrokesGained Data for All Players in Round 1
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