2021 Palmetto Championship Final Round Buys & Fades: Buy Harris English to Overtake Chesson Hadley (June 13)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images. Pictured: Harris English.
We knew coming into the week that there would be some unfamiliar names on the first page of the leaderboard at the Palmetto Championship. That certainly has come true, with Monday Qualifier Tain Lee at one point having the solo lead on Saturday before it was taken back by 36-hole-leader Chesson Hadley.
Hadley is a name that many know, but he too is a big surprise since he missed four straight cuts and six of his last eight coming to Congaree Golf Club. He has played great golf this week, though, and stretched his lead to four shots on Saturday night before the horn blew following his tee shot on the last hole due to inclement weather.
Harris English was seemingly the only other player in the last few tee times that played well throughout his round on Saturday, and he has a 10-foot putt on the 18th green remaining to make up another shot. Barring anything crazy, he will join Hadley in the final pairing on Sunday.
I fully expected Dustin Johnson to come out and take hold of this event on Saturday. It looked like that would be the case as he erased his two-shot deficit after just two holes, tying Hadley for the lead. Their rounds went in different directions from there, as the World No. 1 struggled to get anything going and didn’t find another birdie until the 15th hole. Johnson will tee off on his last hole of the day once they get back on the course, six shots back of the lead and needing a birdie to shoot even par for his round.
Strokes Gained Explanation
Strokes Gained can give golf bettors, DFS players and fans way more detail on how a golfer is truly playing 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 4
The player with the best chance to chase down Hadley on Sunday is his likely playing partner, Harris English. He will begin the final round most likely somewhere between three and five shots back and could make things interesting if he can duplicate his play from the third round.
English was arguably the best and most steady player in the round on Saturday, gaining strokes in all metrics during his day. He didn’t post a bogey until the 17th hole, where a poor tee shot was made worse by a bad approach, but even then he nearly saved the par.
It’s always about ball striking for the former Georgia Bulldog, and he’s gaining more than two shots on the field in that category on average per round this week. He will also be right there to put the pressure on Hadley and if he can take advantage of those early scoring holes, it may get close in a hurry on Sunday.
The best number for English going into Sunday is +325 at PointsBet.
Tyrrell Hatton has to feel like he is playing with house money even being remotely in contention going into Sunday.
While most players were tearing up the first several holes on Saturday, Hatton posted a double bogey at the par-5 second. He was able to get both shots back on another par 5 at the fourth with an eagle. Hatton only posted pars over the next 12 holes before eagling the drivable par-4 15th. He followed that with another eagle on the 16th to get him to 7-under for the week.
Hatton had the extremely rare, if ever done before no birdie, 4-under round with no bogeys, three eagles. It was strange to say the least but he finds himself in a tie for fifth, seven shots back of the leader.
The Englishman outgained the rest of the field by 1.74 shots tee to green on Saturday. It was undoubtedly a product of his hole outs but while those results aren’t sustainable, I think he will come out firing on Sunday. Unless a full collapse happens from Hadley, Hatton isn’t likely to win, but he is a play in matchups and DFS for Sunday Showdown contests.
If I am going down further to find players for matchups, DFS or even better placing position bets, my first target would be Kevin Chappell.
It’s really encouraging to see the week he has put together, having shown recent flashes of the form we saw a few years ago before an injury derailed his career. This week, he has done it for three straight days, ranking him second only to Hatton in strokes gained tee to green on the week.
Chappell posted a 2-under 69 on Saturday to climb into a tie for 20th, and position himself just two shots out of the top 10. He gained more than three strokes on the field with his ball striking in the third round, but lost more than half a stroke on the greens. We know he has the talent, and if he can just find the putter a bit on Sunday, he will make a move up the leaderboard for what could be his first Top 10 on TOUR since 2018.
3 Golfers to Fade in Round 4
It’s rare that we see large leads blown on Sunday’s on TOUR, but it happens. Chesson Hadley could ask his Saturday playing partner as Johnson is one of a group of players that lost six shot final round leads, and there is certainly no questioning Dustin’s pedigree.
Sunday afternoon we will see Hadley step to the first tee with a lead likely between 3 and 5 shots, seeking his first TOUR win since 2014. My concern for Hadley and really my fade is on the crux of his play from Saturday. He lost strokes to the field in all three tee to green categories during the first 17+ holes, but was white hot with his putter. He was the best player in the field on the greens in the third round as he gained 3.6 shots with his flat stick.
If that putter doesn’t stay in peak form, he may get bitten quickly by his squirrely play tee to green and open the door for others to make a move. Hadley is my bold fade for the final round as the stats line up for a struggle for him to close out the Palmetto Championship.
I clearly put the hex on Dustin Johnson going into Saturday after he was the lead in back to back buys for me after the first two rounds. I will really put that to the test on Sunday as he reverses not only out of the buys, but into a final round fade.
DJ was back to the player that has appeared lost with his game over the last couple of months as he simply couldn’t get anything going on Saturday. He lost 3.16 shots on approach in the third round, nearly a half shot putting, and 1.17 strokes lost tee to green. It was pretty ugly all around for the World No. 1 and unfortunately he doesn’t bounce back quickly when he’s lost to this extent.
Looking back through some of the data, when DJ loses more than a stroke on approach in a single round, he doesn’t bounce back and gain strokes the next day. It takes him some time to work through these types of issues with his swing, so I don’t expect him to stay in the mix on Sunday and if it’s not there out of the gates, I could see him checking out mentally with the U.S. Open on deck. Saturday had to be a big disappointment for Johnson who was seemingly building momentum, and looking for his first professional win in his home state.
The final fade for Sunday is another player currently in the top 10, but appears to be barely holding it together. Pat Perez came out with a couple of early birdies to put his name within a few shots of the lead before the wheels started to come off tee to green.
Perez put his tee shot in the water at the par-3 7th, leading to a bogey and he never bounced back. He would tack on two more bogies to put him back at even par on the day as he didn’t have a birdie after the fifth. He lost 1.88 shots tee to green on the round, and really needed a solid putter to avoid it getting worse. If he can’t find something in his warmup on Sunday, he will be dropping further down the board in the final round.