2022 Masters Odds, Picks, Predictions for Round 3: These Studs Can Pressure Scottie Scheffler
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images. Pictured: Hideki Matsuyama.
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2022 Masters Odds
|Harold Varner III||+4000|
|Si Woo Kim||+20000|
A big statement was made on Friday at the Masters by Scottie Scheffler, who put a stamp on his No. 1 world ranking when he pulled away from the field as part of the more difficult afternoon wave in Round 2. He’s carrying a five-shot lead into the weekend at Augusta National in pursuit of his first major and fourth win of 2022.
Scheffler was the best player on the course on Friday, even as he missed some short putts to improve his round further. He tied Justin Thomas for the best round of the day and will carry a solid lead into the weekend. On Saturday, he’ll tee off with 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel from the final pairing.
The two stroke-play wins we’ve seen from Scheffler this year have come with the comfort of playing from behind. He made the cut just inside the number on both occasions and charged up the leaderboard on Saturday. This time, he’ll have to play from ahead and take on the pressure that comes with being a 36-hole leader at the Masters.
There’s no doubt Scheffler can handle it mentally, but he’s got a different challenge for him going into Moving Day at Augusta National.
I don’t quite know what to make of this scenario heading into the weekend at the Masters, but it’ll definitely be different than anything Scheffler has experienced to date. We don’t know how he will handle it and this course in particular has put players in uncomfortable positions down the stretch of the final rounds.
Strokes Gained Explanation
Strokes Gained can give golf bettors, DFS players and fans way more detail on how a golfer is 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, ball-striking and 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
Hideki Matsuyama (+1200) has seemingly bounced back from his injury struggles after two rounds at Augusta National. He hasn’t been his normally sharp self on approach through the first two days, but his elite play around the green has kept him in the hunt.
The defending champ will go into the weekend just five shots behind Scheffler. If he continues to improve as he did round over round to start the week, he will be there to challenge for the green jacket.
Matsuyama has shown an ability in his career to get hot both tee-to-green and with the flatstick, and it looks like he will need that kind of play to contend with Scheffler this weekend.
The player best positioned to really pressure Scheffler this weekend is Cameron Smith (+1400). THE PLAYERS champion has been the best player in the field across the last two days on approach, as he’s averaging 4.47 strokes gained with his irons across the first two rounds.
Smith has fallen short with his putter the first two rounds, but he’s the most likely to put it all back together and make a run if Scheffler stumbles over the final 36 holes.
The only player that stood alongside Scheffler in the second round on Friday was my pre-tournament pick to win: Justin Thomas (+1400). JT showed off his elite iron play, gaining 5.64 shots on the field on approach. Unfortunately for him, he dug himself quite a hole with an opening-round 76.
Thomas got himself under par on Friday with a 5-under 67, but he’s still seven shots behind Scheffler. Some of his biggest wins on TOUR, including the 2020 PLAYERS Championship, have featured a Saturday move from Thomas. He’ll need to do that once again to put himself in position for the green jacket on Sunday afternoon.
3 Golfers to Fade in Round 3
One of the things that makes the Masters great each and every year is the ability for older players, predominantly former winners, to compete. Charl Schwartzel is that story this year. While I believe in his chance to post a third straight top-26 finish, I can’t put him on the list at the top of the leaderboard.
Charl missed the cut in all six of his PGA tournaments of 2022 coming into Masters week and for that reason is in unfamiliar territory this weekend. He has really played well across the board this week, but my doubt is around his staying power in this elite field at The Masters.
As good as Sungjae Im was in the opening round on Thursday, he was nearly as bad tee-to-green on Friday. He lost strokes to the field in both categories of ball-striking during the second round. Im’s putter allowed him to salvage a 2-over 73 on the day, but it left him a handful of shots back of the lead going into the weekend.
Sungjae will have to find it once again on Saturday in order to be in earshot of the lead this weekend. The up-and-down nature of his season has me doubting his ability to bounce back with his ball-striking in Round 3. I’ll be fading the South Korean and looking for chances to take a shot on matchups with him this weekend.
Danny Willett is another surprising former champion who’s playing great into the weekend at Augusta National. He’s the player that stands out well below the others in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green through the first two rounds, ranking just above field average.
Willett lost 1.41 shots to the field in his second round on Friday. If he can’t find his irons again on Saturday, he will be set to tumble down the leaderboard.
Strokes Gained Data for All Players in Round 2
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