2021 RSM Classic Final Round Picks & Betting Preview: Talor Gooch Set to Secure First Win
Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images. Pictured: Talor Gooch.
Once again, the day belonged to Talor Gooch at the RSM Classic as he stretched his lead heading into the final round to three shots over the rest of the field. He was able to navigate tough conditions that led to an over-par average across the field.
Gooch was able to post a 3-under round on Saturday as he ranked in the top five in the field tee-to-green in the third round. He will be joined in the final group on Sunday by Sebastian Munoz and Seamus Power, both of whom will start the round from three shots back. Tom Hoge is another shot further back, with Luke List, Scott Stallings and Mackenzie Hughes at 11-under and five shots behind. The biggest name still on the outer edges of contention is Webb Simpson, as he was one of the big movers on Saturday behind 5.57 shots gained on the field on approach.
The wind for the final round looks to be a bit more settled, but it will still be a factor in deciding the final champion of the year. Let’s take a look at the strokes gained data from day three on St. Simons Island to see if we can find one last winner before the TOUR takes a break until January.
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 4
We have seen Talor Gooch play so well this fall, he certainly deserves to be rewarded with a win, and I think we see him get it done on Sunday. He has been the best and most consistent player in this field all week, and the only reason we have to believe he may slip up is solely around the pressure of the situation.
Gooch played really poorly from the final group on Sunday in Mexico at the Mayakoba Championship, but that may serve as good experience for him tomorrow. He has gained more than two strokes on the field tee-to-green across his two rounds on the Seaside Course, and he was sharp in most areas of his game on Saturday.
He will take a lot of the pressure off of himself if he can find more fairways than the six he hit in the third round. Still, he was able to turn that into 14 greens in regulation, and he has rolled the ball well on the greens all week. I am in on Gooch getting his first career TOUR win on Sunday, and at -110 on BetMGM we’re getting some decent odds.
If Gooch were to falter, I would rather look beyond Munoz and Power for value to bet. There are just too many other players that come into the picture if we see the leader stumble, so I would rather grab betting value than one of his playing partners.
I noted yesterday that I almost went to Luke List for Round 3, and I will go that direction for Sunday. He is +2200 on FanDuel to pull off his first career win, and this could be a good scenario for him where he will need to play aggressively but without the pressure of being in the lead or even the final group.
List continued to play well on Saturday as his ball-striking was in great form, and he is now averaging more than two shots gained in that metric across his rounds on Seaside. He bounced back well in the middle of his back nine today after back-to-back bogeys seemed to derail him, but he closed it out with four straight birdies to get back to within five of the lead for the final round.
The name that most players will be looking out for down the stretch on Sunday is Webb Simpson. He was one of the pretournament favorites and has worked his way back into the mix after gaining six strokes on the field tee-to-green on Saturday.
Simpson will start the final round six shots back, so he will certainly need some help from Gooch to have a chance, but if that door opens he is just as likely as any of the other chasers to work his way towards a win. Webb has a second and a third at this tournament in his career, and he will be comfortable with everything he sees in the final round. He’s on the outside, but still in the mix to take it down, and he looks to be a great play in all other markets for the final round.
3 Golfers to Fade in Round 4
It has been nothing short of a magic act for Scott Stallings this week, and I am going to go back to the fade for him on Sunday. He continues to be one of the few players on the first page of the leaderboard that has consistently missed a number of fairways and greens. Stallings has stayed hot on and around the greens so far, but I am going to play against that variance once again. He ranked outside of the top 100 on TOUR in putting last season, so we have plenty of reason to believe he may lose the magic touch in the final round.
The last two fades for Sunday are going to check in just inside of the top 10 at 10-under for the week. They are both great stories as Korn Ferry graduates, but it’s hard to see David Skinns and Taylor Moore holding their positions. They both lost strokes to the field in each metric of ball-striking on Saturday and were two of the worst players in the entire field on approach.
Skinns gained more than three-and-a-half strokes on the field on and around the greens on Saturday to hold his position. It was a similar story for Moore who lost nearly three strokes to the field ball-striking, but he gained more than two back with his short game. Both players will be feeling the pressure to gain points in the FedEx Cup on Sunday as they know the importance of this swing for their overall seasons. If they can’t get things going in a better way in the final round with their ball-striking it will be a struggle for them to be able stay in the top 20, much less the top 10.
StrokesGained Data for All Players in Round 3
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