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2022 Charles Schwab Challenge Round 3 Buys & Fades: Buy Jordan Spieth into Moving Day

2022 Charles Schwab Challenge Round 3 Buys & Fades: Buy Jordan Spieth into Moving Day article feature image
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Sam Greenwood/Getty Images. Pictured: Jordan Spieth.

The second round of the Charles Schwab Challenge saw better scoring than in the opening round. Three players separated at the top of the leaderboard as Scott Stallings, Beau Hossler and Scottie Scheffler are tied at 9-under through the first two rounds in Fort Worth, Texas.

Stallings had the round of the day with a 6-under 64, while Hossler and Scheffler had matching 65s en route to the top. They’ll be chased by some of the top names in the field as Patrick Reed is just one shot back, Viktor Hovland is two back at 7-under and Jordan Spieth is in position for a weekend move at 6-under.

Overall, Colonial Country Club — due to easier conditions with lighter winds — played nearly a full stroke easier on average as the field played it under par on Friday. There are now just 22 players within five shots of the lead as play heads into the weekend, making for a tighter group of contenders heading into Moving Day.

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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 3

The natural buy at the top of the board to start this week was Spieth with his track record at the Charles Schwab Challenge and that still holds true into the weekend. He’s four shots back, but I’d rather take an extra shot at slightly better odds on Spieth, who has the experience around this track, than on another star like Hovland.

Spieth is someone who has been known to make big moves on Saturdays, even during his down times. He is clearly on the way up with his game and seems to have finally found something on the greens after Round 2, which will make him a dangerous contender going into the weekend at Colonial County Club. I don’t expect his irons to continue to stay down over the next two days and if he finds it all in Round 3, we are likely to see him at short odds from one of the final tee times.

Mito Pereira introduced himself to the world last week at the PGA Championship and it was fair to wonder how he would respond coming off of a crushing loss on the 72nd hole. He came out of the gates slow Thursday, but put together a great round on Friday with a 4-under 66.

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The Chilean had everything going well in the second round, but it was his irons that carried him as he gained more than three shots on the field on approach. Mito was flat putting on Friday and I think we can expect a good putting round from him at some point this weekend on his preferred Bentgrass putting surface. I’m willing to take a shot at +6000 from just five shots back heading into the weekend to see if he can put himself in position again going into Sunday.

The longshot value I see going into the weekend is with Australian Matt Jones. We haven’t seen him play overly well in the past several tournaments, but he seemed to have found something during his 4-under 66 on Friday. His 2.97 shots gained on approach are a good sign for a player who tends to run streaky with his game. This course certainly could fit as his ability on approach can match up with anyone when he is on and at +19000 on FanDuel, he is worth a shot to cut into his five-shot deficit going into Saturday’s third round.

3 Golfers to Fade in Round 3

I’m doubling down going into Saturday on Pat Perez who went backward with his ball striking in the second round, but climbed up the leaderboard with a 4-under 66. Perez is the one who sticks out the most at the top as he is losing strokes to the field off the tee and is merely field average on approach. This course will not allow many players to get by without better play with their irons and I think that will start to catch up to him across the next two rounds.

Max McGreevy is the surprise name in the top 10 this week as he has missed four of his past five cuts and nine of twelve this season. I am going to fade his ability to stay near the first page of the leaderboard in part due to his lack of experience in this position. However, to his credit, the one really good turnout he had this year, he was runner-up in Puerto Rico. It’ll be interesting to see if he can stay composed and continue the good play he has shown this week, or if the pressure of the moment becomes a lot for him to handle this weekend.

I was a buyer on Russell Knox coming into the week and I felt pretty good as he got off to a hot start Thursday. He had the lead at 4-under during one portion of the first round, but he faded down the stretch of the opening round and it seems his ball striking is struggling to come back. Knox is a player who relies on elite ball striking to stay in the mix as his putter is generally the weakest part of his game. My concern is that he was merely field average in both metrics of his ball striking on Friday, which could put him in trouble to stay within the top 20 the rest of the way.

Strokes Gained Data for All Players in Round 2

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