2022 John Deere Classic Round 2 Odds & Picks: Charles Howell III and Adam Svensson in Position to Move on Friday

2022 John Deere Classic Round 2 Odds & Picks: Charles Howell III and Adam Svensson in Position to Move on Friday article feature image

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images). Pictured: Charles Howell III.

The first round of the John Deere Classic belonged to J.T. Poston, who came in hot off of his T2 finish at the Travelers Championship last week. He continued that good play Thursday as he was on 59-watch and got to 8-under through his first 13 holes. He would slow down a bit coming in, but grabbed another birdie to get to 9-under and take a two-shot lead into Round 2.

While Poston was great, Michael Gligic posted an equally impressive opening round as he got to 7-under from the more difficult afternoon wave. Higher winds had the afternoon group average .65 shots over par, while the morning wave shot .06 strokes under par. The Canadian actually bested Poston with his ball striking on the day and he'll get the advantage of getting to wake up Friday and get right back to it.

As is usually the case at the John Deere, there were plenty of low scores Thursday and more will be available the rest of the way. There are 18 players within five shots of the lead and many beyond who can certainly get in the mix with a strong round on Friday. We'll look to see who stands out in the strokes gained metrics and is ready to make a move into the weekend.

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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 2

Charles Howell III has grown on me throughout this week as he has been playing better golf than his results portray. Howell bounced back from some poor play over the weekend at the Travelers where he simply lost his irons and gained better than two shots on approach on Thursday. He paired it with a hot game off the tee to gain 3.47 shots ball striking and that is the momentum I want to get behind heading into Round 2. The issue is that it appears the odds makers expect him to be a factor, too. He's listed around +2500 on most books despite his six-shot deficit. I'm going to buy into that as a good sign for Friday and look to hammer him in the short-term markets, though I don't think I can buy all the way in for a potential win at that price.

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I'm going to say much of the same things about Adam Svensson that I said about Howell above. He is playing some really good golf and what is possibly most encouraging has been his consistent play on the greens over the past two weeks. He gained strokes putting in three of his rounds last week and did so again Thursday at the John Deere. The Canadian is a guy who I can generally get behind with his ball striking, but the putter often lets him down. If he can keep the flat stick going he can put a score together for a late tee time on Saturday. However, similar to Howell, it's hard to buy in around the +2500 price tag from six shots back.

The player down low at 2-under who I want to buy in on for Friday is Stephan Jaeger. He is a prototypical buy as he was the second best player in the field tee to green on Thursday, gaining 6.32 shots in that category. He gained better than a stroke and a half in each metric, but unfortunately gave more than four of them back on the greens. Jaeger was the third worst putter in the entire field in the opening round. He ranks 85th on TOUR in SG: Putting this season and his splits show him as a pretty good Bentgrass putter, too. If he can keep his ball striking going in the right direction on Friday, he will have a chance to move well up the leaderboard before the weekend.

3 Golfers to Fade in Round 2

If you have to find one guy by the numbers to fade going into Friday it has to be former John Deere Classic Champion Dylan Frittelli. His numbers stick out amongst the players near the top as he is the lowest in SG: Tee-to-Green and gained a hefty four shots on the greens. My hesitation with the former Texas grad is that he is one of the more talented players in this field and he made everything he looked at en route to his victory in 2019. He's still a fade for me, but I am not beaming with confidence in this one.

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Doc Redman is a guy many have been waiting to see put his game together on TOUR. He's shown flashes of form over time, but hasn't reached his potential since his strong showing at Clemson. Redman comes into this week off of four straight missed cuts and while his 4-under opening round looks nice on paper, the underlying numbers are concerning. He gained 4.81 shots on and around the greens Thursday, but lost on approach. It also wasn't just a bad swing or two as he consistently struggled with the irons throughout the day, leading me to question if he can sustain his position when the short game and putter aren't holding him together.

Another player in the same mold as Redman going into the second round is Seth Reeves. He has missed six of his past eight cuts and doesn't have a finish better than 62nd in the two events he finished. He finds himself inside of the top 20 after the first round, but it was all reliant on the short game. Reeves gained 2.40 strokes on the field with his putter, but less than a stroke tee to green. He is another guy set to tumble down the board when the flat stick starts to falter.

StrokesGained Data for All Players in Round 1

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