2022 British Open Third Round PrizePicks Plays: Justin Thomas Among 5 Saturday Picks
(Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/R&A/R&A via Getty Images) Pictured: Justin Thomas.
Cameron Smith shot a bogey-free 64 on Friday and holds a two-stroke lead at 13-under par following the second round of the Open Championship. Now, we look forward to Saturday’s third round, which features plenty of prop angles to attack on PrizePicks.
Below, I give out my five PrizePicks flex plays for the third round of the 2022 Open Championship. For those unfamiliar with flex plays in golf, different combinations of overs and unders generate different payouts.
Using the five plays below, getting five-of-five correct registers an 11x payout, four-of-five correct registers a 2x payout and three-of-five correct registers a 0.4x payout.
Justin Thomas: Round 3 Under 69.5 Strokes
Justin Thomas is T46 at 2-under par after shooting a 70 on Friday. Saturday is a great opportunity to buy low on Thomas as he has failed to get under this total in each of the first two rounds.
That being said, the only part of Thomas’ game that is holding him back is his putting as he currently ranks 132nd amongst the field in SG: Putting. Once those putts start to fall, Thomas should be able to shoot up the leaderboard as he ranks fifth in SG: Off-the-Tee and 10th in SG: Tee-to-Green.
Thomas’ approach metrics are right around average, so the putting is really the only thing that needs to improve this weekend if he wants to move up the leaderboard. This fact especially rings true as Thomas also ranks ninth in Greens in Regulation percentage.
Additionally, Thomas is teeing off with the first wave on Saturday and those who have teed off in the first half of the day have fared better than those who tee off later in the afternoon.
I would not play this total lower than 69.5.
Tommy Fleetwood: Round 3 Under 70.5 Strokes
The other golfer we are backing on Saturday is Tommy Fleetwood, who is T36 at 3-under par after shooting a 69 on Friday.
I think the Englishman is poised for another solid round as he is also teeing off with the first wave Saturday. Like Thomas, Fleetwood’s metrics are good, but he is being held back by his putting.
If he gets a few more putts to drop, then Fleetwood should be able to get under this total once again. Fleetwood’s usual problem is with his driver, which is pretty much nullified at the Old Course.
The rest of his game has been good this season and I expect Fleetwood to keep improving his play over the weekend.
I would play this number down to 70.
Matt Fitzpatrick: Round 3 Over 69.5 Strokes
While we are backing a few golfers above, we are also fading a few guys in the third round. Matt Fitzpatrick is T12 at 6-under par after shooting a 66 on Friday and he is the first of three golfers we are fading Saturday.
The third round is a good opportunity to sell high on Fitzpatrick after he had an absolutely dominant Friday. Fitzpatrick’s metrics suggest he might have out-kicked his coverage in the second round and could face some regression over the weekend.
None of Fitzpatrick’s metrics matchup with his current position as he ranks 29th amongst the field in SG: Around-the-Green, 56th in SG: Approach-the-Green, 26th in SG: Off-the-Tee and 15th in SG: Tee-to-Green. Fitzpatrick’s putter was on fire in the second round and this play is based on some expected regression in that department as his putter has been the weakest part of his game all season.
I would play this total up to 70.
Patrick Cantlay: Round 3 Over 69.5 Strokes
The second golfer we are fading in the third round is Patrick Cantlay. Currently, Cantlay is T8 at 7-under par after shooting a 67 on Friday.
Cantlay’s metrics do not align with his current position as he ranks just 19th in SG: Around-the-Green, 14th in SG: Approach-the-Green, 40th in SG: Off-the-Tee and 12th in SG: Tee-to-Green. Cantlay is also in the second wave and could see a dip in his score.
While those metrics are not too far behind his current position, we only need Cantlay to replicate his Thursday performance where he shot a 70. In that round, Cantlay teed off with the second wave.
I would not play this number above 69.5.
Adam Scott: Round 3 Over 70 Strokes
The last golfer we are fading Saturday is Adam Scott, who is T8 at 7-under par after shooting a 65 on Friday.
Scott had a much better second round as he had the benefit of teeing off with the first wave. However, Scott will be in the second wave Saturday — just as he was when he shot a 72 on Thursday.
Additionally, I expect some further regression from Scott as his putting has kept him afloat. Amongst the field, Scott ranks fourth in SG: Putting.
If even just a few of those rolls do not drop, then Scott should drop down the leaderboard as he ranks just 45th in SG: Around-the-Green, 45th in SG: Approach-the-green, 28th in SG: Off-the-Tee and 24th in SG: Tee-to-Green.
I would play this total up to 71.5.