2022 Mexico Open Round 4 Buys & Fades: Buy Jon Rahm to Win

2022 Mexico Open Round 4 Buys & Fades: Buy Jon Rahm to Win article feature image

John David Mercer, USA Today Sports. Pictured: John Rahm

Most of the day Saturday looked like it was going to end with Jon Rahm losing his lead to the chasers as Cameron Champ and Kurt Kitayama charged up the leaderboard. Champ in particular held a lead as he and Rahm were through 14 holes on the day, but consecutive bogeys on the 15th and 16th dropped him back while Rahm closed with a birdie to finish his round with the same two-shot lead he started with on Saturday.

Rahm will sleep on the 54-hole lead, just as he has done after each of the first two rounds, as he looks to close out his first win of the season. He hasn't been totally dominant in his play just yet, but it wouldn't be surprising to see him separate from the field on Sunday as he plays in the final group alongside Kitayama and Champ.

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The weather should be a non-factor as it is set for nice, but hot conditions and light winds. In order for anyone else to take home the inaugural Mexico Open Championship, they are going to have to take it from the World No. 2 and beat him in the final round. Let's see if there is anyone who sticks out with an opportunity to challenge the Spaniard going into Sunday.

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, 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 4

This thing is Rahm's to lose and really has been since his good start on Thursday morning. I have been treading lightly in this space for outrights this week for that reason and now I not only feel good about the buy for him to win, but also see some surprisingly fair odds. We often see a star player like Rahm with heavily inflated odds going into a final round where he has a two-shot lead over weak fields. FanDuel is offering Rahm at -150 going into Sunday, which is right in line with the win probability percentage of 59.7% from our friends at DataGolf. That percentage converts to odds of -148.

Saturday was Rahm's worst round of the week as he played just below field average on approach and really had to pick things up off the tee and around the green to score. He did just that and perhaps the most encouraging part is that he maintained his lead and shot 3-under with his worst stuff of the week. I expect he will go out and close the door in the final round. It may not be particularly close, which makes me like his odds on FanDuel even more.

Bet the Mexico Open, Win $200 (No Matter What!)

I'm going to stick with my Round 3 buy on Tony Finau going into the final round. He played just as I hoped on Saturday with a 5-under 66 that allowed him to climb inside the Top 20. He will go into Sunday just two shots short of the Top 10 and continues to stand near the top, now second, in Strokes Gained Tee to Green this week. Finau is positioning himself to be a player to watch going into the summer and certainly in a few weeks at the PGA Championship, where he'll look to capture his first major. I expect him to continue to make positive steps in that direction in the final round.

One of my pre-tournament bets was on Aaron Wise, who was a popular pick for this event. He started well Thursday, but a lackluster Friday round had him starting the weekend from near the back of the pack. Wise found what was missing on moving day as he gained better than two shots on the field both off the tee and on approach. Those four plus strokes gained ball striking carried him to one of the best rounds of the day with a 5-under 66. I am buying him in matchups, DFS and for some value with a Top 20 finish as I think we will find Friday to be an anomaly for his play this week.

3 Golfers to Fade in Round 4

The 7-under round from Nate Lashley on Saturday was the best one put together of anyone in the field. His 65 was impressive and, as is normally the case in low rounds, he had a few things break his way. The part that has me leading him off in the fade category is how much he relied on the short game to get it done. Lashley gained 5.1 shots on the field on and around the greens as he holed short shots from off the green at the Par 4 7th and Par 3 17th. He also made nearly 100′ of putts on the other 16 holes. I just don't see him following that round with another strong one as he hasn't gained even a half shot on the field on approach in any of his first three rounds and that short game magic, certainly around the greens, just isn't sustainable — especially as the pressure mounts on Sunday afternoon.

His score keeps getting better with every round, but Hank Lebioda's play and underlying numbers are going in the wrong direction. He gained .87 shots on approach on Thursday, lost .89 Friday, then lost 1.5 with his irons on Saturday. His problems are growing worse with the most important part of his game and for that reason I am going fade him and his spot currently at T8. I think we will see him struggle to stay in the Top 10 when everything settles in on Sunday as the pressure of a potential high finish may add to his issues down the stretch.

The story for Adam Long is very similar to Lebioda as the former has also been trending in the wrong direction through each round this week. He started on Thursday gaining on approach and off the tee, then he lost the approach a bit on Friday. On Saturday, both of aspects of his ball striking fell off even further. He was in the final threesome during the third round, but an even-par round will leave him with an earlier tee time on Sunday. It's hard to see things getting better for him in the final round as the trends have his play and position on the leaderboard continuing to head south.

StrokesGained Data for All Players in Round 3

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