2021 Shriners Children’s Open Final Round Buys & Fades: Stick with Burns for Back-to-Back Wins

2021 Shriners Children’s Open Final Round Buys & Fades: Stick with Burns for Back-to-Back Wins article feature image

Alex Goodlett/Getty Images. Pictured: Sam Burns.

The course at TPC Summerlin has gotten progressively more difficult through each round this week, and Saturday was no different. It still won't be mistaken for a U.S. Open setup, but the scoring fest has slowed a bit, making things a little more difficult for players down the leaderboard to make a move.

Matthew Wolff was one player that didn't seem to notice much change in the course as he posted a 6-under 65 to move into the final pairing going into Sunday. His bogey-free round really didn't get going until the back nine where he went 5-under to take the solo lead before being passed by Adam Schenk. He will look for some revenge in the final round after falling short in a playoff at this same event last year.

Wolff will be paired on Sunday with the surprise of the week in Adam Schenk who hasn't shot worse than 66 this week. His best finish last season was a fourth at the John Deere in July, and it was his only top 10 of the season. Beyond the final pair is a couple of big names in Sam Burns and Sungjae Im, both of which will be looking to run them down in the final round.

Let's take a look at the Strokes Gained data from the third round to see who stands out for a shot to win on Sunday in Vegas.

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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:

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  • 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

It was honestly shocking to see Sam Burns stumble down the easiest holes at TPC Summerlin on Saturday, as he only made par at the short Par 4 15th, then splashed his approach from just 171 yards on the Par 5 16th leading to bogey. The dropped shot put him outside of the final pair, and he will once again look to take control from the penultimate group.

Despite his positioning on the scoreboard, the story is similar to last week at the Sanderson Farms where Burns is leading the field in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green by a decent margin for the week. His finish on Saturday didn't help those figures, but I am sticking with my buy from after the opening round and looking for the LSU alum to close out another win on Sunday.

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Last year, we saw a 9-under round from Peter Malnati nearly be enough to steal a win or force a playoff, but Sergio Garcia had different plans. It is very viable that a number of players could still be in the hunt, though I'll stop my buys for players to win around Lanto Griffin at three back.

The Virginia Commonwealth grad made the biggest move on Saturday with the low round of the day at 7-under. He moved from just inside the cutline to the top 10, but it wasn't a one-round wonder. It was the second straight round of gaining more than two shots on approach for Griffin. He seems to really have found something in his game this week, and he could be a player that goes out to post a number for the leaders to have to chase down.

The way scoring has been this week, I think there are some odds for finish positions that are too long for Sunday. Seamus Power is going to be my buy and example, but there are plenty of other spots to take a similar angle.

Power is currently 10-under in a tie for 24th, but just two shots from the top 10. He has a bunch of players to climb over to get to that point for sure, but with the opportunity to go low, his odds at +800 on DraftKings are simply too long. He's been the best player in the field on approach all week and just needs to find his game on the greens on Sunday to really be in the mix for a solid finish.

3 Golfers to Fade in Round 4

My first fade on Sunday is going to be on the leader. I just simply don't see Adam Schenk coming through with the win. He has never finished in the top 3 in his professional career, and if he has been in the final pairing on Sunday, it hasn't been enough to be comfortable.

I tried to fade Schenk going into his round on Friday, but he spurned me there, and while he may do it again, I am willing to take my chances. He's had just the right mix of a hot putter and good approach game to get into this position for the final round, so we won't see anything of this fade in the data. Instead, I am fading his ability to handle the moment on Sunday at TPC Summerlin.

I am going back to the Sunday fade on Aaron Wise. I did this last week and it worked out well, so we will run it back again. He simply hasn't closed out tournaments well as of late after getting off to hot starts, and I'll fade that weekend play until he shows otherwise.

Wise lost 2.47 shots on approach on Saturday during his even-par round. He was in contention to start the day at 12-under, but he now remains at that number and has a six-shot deficit. It may be hard for him to pick himself off the mat on Sunday after squandering another chance to contend.

Solely on principle I have to fade J.J. Spaun on Sunday. He has one of the craziest stat lines from his third round, and even though he isn't in the picture, I just have to highlight it.

Spaun shot a 2-under 69 on Saturday which is simply remarkable when you consider the 4.77 strokes he lost to the field tee to green. He lost more than three strokes ball-striking and still finished under par because he made it all up with 5.27 strokes gained putting. Just an incredible round from a strokes gained — or lost — perspective.

StrokesGained Data for All Players in Round 3

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