2022 BMW Championship Final Round Odds and Picks: Patrick Cantlay Set to Defend Title

2022 BMW Championship Final Round Odds and Picks: Patrick Cantlay Set to Defend Title article feature image

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) Pictured: Patrick Cantlay.

Patrick Cantlay, last year's BMW Championship winner, surged to the top of the leaderboard on Saturday at Wilmington Country Club. He had the round of the day with a 6-under 65 and moved his way to the solo lead at 12-under through three rounds.

It will be a familiar pairing for Cantlay on Sunday as he and good friend Xander Schauffele will tee it up together once again. Schauffele is tied with Scott Stallings at 11-under and is one shot back of the lead. World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler and Adam Scott are another shot further back while Collin Morikawa matched Cantlay's 65 to get to 9-under for the week. There are 14 players within five shots of the lead and although it may be a tough task for the players that far back, the ones within three will have a chance going into the final round.

Unfortunately, my call on Cameron Young was the worst of the day as he fell back on Saturday. He did have a better third round than his buddy Will Zalatoris, who was forced to withdraw with a back injury, bringing his status for the Tour Championship into question. The top 30 for that tournament will also be decided on Sunday at Wilmington Country Club, which creates all kinds of intriguing story lines for the final day of the BMW Championship.

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Strokes Gained Explanation

Strokes Gained can give golf bettors, DFS players and fans way more detail on how a golfer has 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, SG: Ball Striking and SG: 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 are just not getting putts to drop. Likewise, players with high SG: Putting numbers may regress moving forward.

3 Golfers to Buy in Round 4

Some may look at it as a negative that Cantlay had such a poor putting round as the "luck" of an eagle hole out really boosted both his approach numbers and his score in a round where he lost 1.49 shots on the greens. I will take the opposing view as he had gained nearly two strokes putting across the first two rounds and still holed 112 feet worth of putts on Saturday. I'm taking the approach that he got away with his worst putting day of the week and was able to turn it into his best score and take the lead going into the final round. I see he is also being given odds above his Data Golf projected win percentage (34%), so I'm buying the value at +225 on DraftKings.

Let's go for a third straight day of buying Morikawa. I really believe he has finally found what he was searching for much of the season as his ball striking has returned and, outside of an ugly putting day on Friday, his flatstick has followed. Morikawa now has two days gaining strokes on the field with the putter, though he may be lamenting some of those puts from Round 2. I still believe he could be right there contending for the win down the stretch on Sunday. If he can stay hot on the greens and put together another positive round, his iron play could put him in position to steal his first victory of the season late in the final round.

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The only player outside of Cantlay gaining a full stroke in both categories of his ball striking in each round this week is Corey Conners. The Canadian has shown his ball striking prowess each day this week and I expect that to continue Sunday. The Canadian will have every opportunity for a top-5 type of finish and with him sitting at 28th in the FedEx Cup standings going into Sunday, he'll need to keep pressing forward to keep his spot in next week's Tour Championship.

3 Golfers to Fade in Round 4

I'm taking the easy way out and avoiding any conversation around fades on Schauffele or Scheffler. Instead, I'll target Scott Stallings, who is seeking his first win since 2014. He has undoubtedly been on a great run of late with four top-13 finishes and three top 10s in his past five tournaments. Stallings was in the final group at the John Deere Classic, where he finished fourth with a final round 70. However, he was three shots behind to start that day. Now, Stallings is just one shot back and surrounded by more elite talent than in the past several events. The numbers are solid for Stallings, but it's just hard to see him stepping up in this moment — surrounded by all of these top players in the world — to even maintain his current position.

Denny McCarthy is a mainstay in this column as I often look to fade players who lack ball striking and rely on putting. That is the crux of McCarthy's game and it's why we can see him gain 4.54 strokes on the field in a round like he did on Saturday. While that's great, and he could certainly do it again, we have seen this week that ball striking is paramount and many of the players who relied on the short game have fallen by the wayside. I'll expect that same fate for McCarthy on Sunday as he is losing strokes to the field both off the tee and on approach this week.

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Hideki Matsuyama has had a rough year, which you wouldn't have expected considering he started with an impressive come-from-behind victory at the Sony Open. He really looked to be in great form and was a popular pick to contend leading into The Players Championship. Unfortunately, that is where the first real issue with his neck arose, which forced him to withdraw and he would ultimately fight that injury all year. There was even rumor of him having trouble finishing practice rounds early this week and although he started well, his game seems to be fading. Matsuyama has regressed every day with both aspects of his ball striking and if it weren't for a fantastic day around the greens, he wouldn't have had an even-par round on Saturday. It's fair to wonder if the drag of the long week is bringing back some issues with his neck. I'll be fading the 2021 Masters Champion in the final round.

StrokesGained Data for All Players in Round 3

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