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2022 Charles Schwab Challenge Round 4 Buys & Fades: Scottie Scheffler in Position to Cruise to 5th Win

2022 Charles Schwab Challenge Round 4 Buys & Fades: Scottie Scheffler in Position to Cruise to 5th Win article feature image

Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Scottie Scheffler.

Scottie Scheffler took during the third round of the Charles Schwab Challenge as he built a two-shot lead heading into the final round. The World No. 1 shot a 2-under 68 as other contenders struggled to stay around even par on the day. Of those near the lead through two rounds, only Scott Stallings was able to post a score of even par, which allowed Scheffler to build his lead.

He will be looking for his fifth win of the year on Sunday, a feat that was last achieved by Justin Thomas in 2017. It’s hard to imagine anyone will overtake the player who has not only been dominant with wins, but has also been stingy with the lead this season.

Stallings is joined near the top by Brendon Todd, who had the round of the day with a 5-under 65 and may pose the biggest threat to Scheffler going into Sunday. It’ll be interesting to see if anyone can truly challenge the top player in the world during the final round. Let’s see who has the best opportunity to make that happen.

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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

Scheffler has been the best player in the field this week and it really hasn’t been very close. He is gaining more than a shot per round on the rest of the field tee to green and, frankly, we should expect him to stretch the lead even further on Sunday before closing out his potential win. I’m not going to get cute and try to chase with anyone else as Scheffler is positioned to shut the door and there really are no signs of him slowing down in the final round.

It’s likely to feel like a disappointing week for Kevin Na when he settles down to look at the numbers from Colonial Country Club. He is a player who usually just needs some semblance of his game to contend and he has had much more than that this week. He has gained nearly two shots on the field per round this week on approach as his irons have been hot. The issue for Na is that outside of a strong opening round on the greens, he has been merely field average with the flat stick. He is a player mostly known for that putting stroke and walking in putts, but this week has seen him miss some opportunities with his irons that would usually have him in position for a win. He knows this course well and I expect him to make a run toward the top on Sunday and to complete a high finish, especially if he keeps things going tee to green.

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If I am looking for a player to move up the leaderboard and potentially into the top 10, my first look would be toward Sungjae Im. He ranks second this week in SG: Tee-to-Green as he has consistently gained strokes throughout his bag until he gets to the green. If Im can find a bit of his putting stroke on Sunday, he should be able to put together a round to close the three-stroke deficit between him and the top 10. He certainly has the form and talent, which alongside the odds, should present some value for the final round.

3 Golfers to Fade in Round 4

Harold Varner started the week fast as he jumped out to a share of the lead in the opening round behind an iron game gaining 2.66 shots on approach. He hasn’t followed it up since then though as he has lost strokes to the field with his irons in each of the past two rounds. It seems that whatever Varner had going on the first day has certainly faded and for that reason I’ll be out on his ability to stay in the mix for a top finish on Sunday.

The lack of ball striking for Patrick Reed has been a theme throughout this year. He hasn’t been able to put together full weeks of good play, especially tee to green and it has left him without a top 10 finish this season and nothing inside the top 20 since his first tournament at Kapalua in early January.

Reed started well this week, gaining more than two shots on the field on approach in the first round. He has regressed since then and lost 1.80 shots with his irons on Saturday. It would be nice to see him bounce back with a solid Sunday, but the trends seem to be headed the other direction for the former Masters Champion. I’ll continue to fade his ability to find a top finish until he shows some consistency with his ball striking.

It seemed like a matter of time before the play of Beau Hossler caught up with him. He had been the beneficiary of some hole outs that had hidden some of his overall play on approach. He posted a 3-over round of 73 on Saturday when he struggled to find the greens with his irons and even his sharp short game was unable to bail him out. I don’t expect things to bounce back quickly on Sunday for a player who has struggled on approach for an extended stretch and has relied too much on his putter to get him to this point.

StrokesGained Data for All Players in Round 3

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