2022 Arnold Palmer Invitational Final Round Odds & Picks: Scottie Scheffler Poised for Push at Bay Hill
Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR via Getty Images. Pictured: Scottie Scheffler.
- Billy Horschel and Talor Gooch are tied atop the leaderboard entering Sunday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
- Some of the world’s best are at the top of the leaderboard, with Viktor Hovland one shot back and Scottie Scheffler two behind.
- Chris Murphy breaks down the players he’s backing on Sunday at Bay Hill.
2022 Arnold Palmer Invitational Odds
Odds via PointsBet.
|Charles Howell III||+30000|
Saturday at Bay Hill played out just as we anticipated, as the morning players had an edge before the winds came in just as the leaders started their rounds. There was a definite flip in the leaderboard as many players that went out early were able to post rounds under par, and will now go into Sunday with late afternoon tee times.
No player took more advantage of his better draw than Scottie Scheffler, who shook off three straight bogeys to close his front nine and shot a bogey-free 31 on the back. He will tee off in the penultimate pairing alongside 36-hole leader Viktor Hovland, who went in the other direction on Saturday. The Norwegian shot a 3-over 75 after a closing nine 40 to relinquish his spot atop the standings.
Billy Horschel and Talor Gooch took advantage of the struggles by Hovland as they mostly held their ground on the day. Horschel escaped with a one-under round while Gooch shot even par. They will be the final pairing on Sunday of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, with a one shot lead over Hovland and two strokes better than Scheffler.
There are still eleven players within five shots of the lead going into the final round and with winds expected to be a factor once again on a course that is drying out quickly, it is still anyone’s tournament. We’ll try to dial in on a champion for Sunday with the knowledge that the longshots and early tee times could still play a part before it’s over.
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 3
I bought in on Scottie Scheffler in this post before the third round at +9000, and I’ll look to ride him to the finish. He got the better end of the draw with an earlier tee time on Saturday, but he did most of his work across the back nine in some of the windy conditions.
The former Texas Longhorn tied for the round of the day on Moving Day, as he started with a couple of quick birdies but gave them both back plus one on a three bogey stretch to close out his front nine. He shook it off across the back and hole an important eagle on the par-5 16th to get himself into position going into Sunday.
Scheffler had the best round of the day in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green, and now he ranks fourth in the field in that metric across the first three rounds. He’s tied for tops in the field with Martin Laird in SG: Approach on the week and all of that paired with his ability in the wind has me buying him for the win on Sunday.
This is an eerily similar situation to what resulted in his first career win in Phoenix just about a month ago. Now, he has a chance to quickly capture number two.
It is great to finally see Gary Woodland starting to return to the form that made him the 2019 U.S. Open Champion at Pebble Beach. He has struggled seemingly since that time to find his game again, but the signs have been there for him early this year. His work produced results last week at the Honda as he posted a T5 finish, and now he is in that same position heading into the final round of the API.
Woodland gained shots on the field in every metric on Saturday and posted a second straight round of better than a stroke gained on the field with his approach. We know that he is another player that can handle the wind and will battle for the win on Sunday.
The big concern with Woodland is how he can get loose at times with his driver, and that could be an issue in the final round pressure of Bay Hill. I will also be interested to see him in this spot for the first time in a long time to see how he handles it all, but even if he falls short on Sunday the signs are encouraging for Woodland going forward.
If I am looking for a longshot that can make a move like Scheffler on Sunday, it’s hard for me to go beyond the players at 2-under. I think we could see someone put together a great round of 4- or 5-under and hope that the final groups stumble once again.
The player that stands out with some of that potential in the final round is Corey Conners. He’s someone that when right, we know is a pure ball striker who shouldn’t have to worry too much about the wind getting to his game. The Canadian has finally started to show some of that form this week and especially on Saturday where he gained 3.41 strokes tee-to-green with 2.95 of those coming with his ball striking.
If he can come out and hit fairways and greens on Sunday, he will give himself enough looks to post a number for the leaders to try to beat. Conners is +12000 on FanDuel and that, to me, is worth a gamble.
3 Golfers to Fade in Round 3
Talor Gooch showed a lot of grit on Saturday at Bay Hill, as he grinded his way to an even par round to go into Sunday with a share of the lead. He wasn’t great on the day with his irons, losing strokes to the field, but his short game more than made up for those shortcomings. Gooch gained 2.26 shots on the field around the green, which saved him as he hit just seven greens in regulation.
Gooch’s issues on approach are my big concern for Sunday as the pressure and winds rise once again. Gooch has one just one event in his career, which came during the fall at the RSM Classic. This is certainly a big step up for him and if he doesn’t turn his game around with the irons, it’s hard to see him maintaining his spot at the top of the leaderboard.
As good as Rory McIlroy was in the opening round on Thursday, he was equally poor in all facets of his game tee-to-green on Saturday. He lost 3.21 shots to the field in that category in the third round, with 2.48 of those being lost with his ball striking. It is bringing back the memories of the weekend struggles Rory has had in recent years that we had hoped were behind him with his two recent TOUR wins.
Instead, that has come up once again as he struggled Saturday and it’s hard to know if he will be able to flip the switch back on for the final round on Sunday.
One player that benefited greatly from the morning tee time on Saturday was Nick Watney. He started his day at 2-over and was able to navigate his way through before the winds to post a 3-under 69.
Watney is a player looking to climb his way into a good finish as he has just one finish inside of the top 25 in the past couple of years on TOUR. He will be feeling the pressure for those results and will now have to do so in the tougher conditions in the final round. His numbers look good from Saturday, but I’ll be most interested to see how he handles what is a big moment for him to create a resurgence in his career.