2022 RBC Heritage Round 3 Buys & Fades: It’s Now or Never on Cantlay

2022 RBC Heritage Round 3 Buys & Fades: It’s Now or Never on Cantlay article feature image

Steph Chambers/Getty Images. Pictured: Patrick Cantlay

Harbour Town showed its teeth on Friday of the RBC Heritage as the course played better than two strokes tougher in Round 2 than it did on the opening day. The winds were a big factor as they often are at this coastal track, and they wreaked havoc on a majority of the field throughout the day.

Patrick Cantlay was one of the few players who was able to put together a solid round, especially from the afternoon wave, and it will carry him into the weekend with a two-shot advantage over the rest of the field. His 4-under 67 tied for the best round of the day alongside a handful of others. He is seeking his first win of the season and will pair up with Robert Streb in the final group on Saturday.

Streb is the lone player at 7-under, while first round leader Cameron Young leads a handful of guys at 6-under through two rounds. Overall, everyone is within just nine shots of the lead going into the weekend, and with the winds expected to lay back down, conditions should be prime for a lot of action on 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, 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

I've been pretty vocal this week in my belief that Patrick Cantlay was starting to turn things around. I am fully committed now after he navigated the tough conditions on Friday to take hold of this tournament. I truly believe we likely see a runaway win for the defending Player of the Year, and for that reason, I am making the rare call that if you want plus money on Patrick Cantlay, you had better get it now.

Cantlay is leading the field in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green on the week, ranks third on SG: Approach, and is pairing it all with a strong putter. He will only grow his lead this weekend as the pressure mounts if he continues to play this way, and those odds will quickly flip if he starts well on Saturday afternoon.

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Mito Pereira is a name whom many have been clamoring for since he made his debut on TOUR after the three-win Korn Ferry Tour promotion back last season. He hasn't yet broken through for a win or really had his name in the mix over the weekend, but he may be positioned to do that this week in Hilton Head.

The Chilean opened his week with a 5-under 66 where he went bogey-free. He didn't have a clean card on Friday in an even par second round, and some silly mistakes left him scrambling for that score.

Pereira's mistakes this week have come on some of the most crucial scoring holes as he has played his six Par 5s in even par, with one birdie and one bogey. It could've easily been worse when he dunked his layup on the Par 5 15th on Friday in the water, but he was able to save par. I like him in a lot of formats going into the third round, though admittedly the +3000 seems a bit short.

I'm reluctantly turning to Adam Hadwin here, not because I have anything against the Canadian, but because I made a failed stand against his popularity this week in DFS.

He has struggled at times, mostly off the tee in the first two rounds, but once he straightened that out on Friday, the rest of his game followed with scoring. He is positioned to continue to move up the leaderboard this weekend, and he will certainly be a name I'll be investing some money in for placement markets over the next 36 holes.

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3 Golfers to Fade in Round 3

Aaron Wise checks in as the first fade for the weekend. He is someone whom I was really high on in the fall, and he has started to put together some results here in the new year as well. My issue with him heading into the third round is that he continues to struggle on approach, and while the 4-under round was nice, he did it heavily with the putter.

Wise switched during the fall to the Adam Scott-like broomstick putter, and that has done a lot for his game on the greens. His putting still isn't a strength, and the 3.48 shots he's gained on the greens can't be relied on to continue the rest of the way. I'll put the fade in on the former Oregon Duck as I just don't see him sustaining his position near the top of the leaderboard with the way he's put his first two rounds together.

I'm still not sure I understand how Billy Horschel put together an under-par round with the way he was striking the ball on Friday. He couldn't find anything with his game on approach as he lost 2.84 shots to the field. Luckily, his short game was there to bail him out time and again on his way to a 2-under 69. The bail out came to the tune of better than five shots gained on and around the greens on Friday as he had his touch game working.

His round tomorrow is likely to go one of two ways as he could simply find the irons and play more like he has over the last few months, or if he continues to struggle on approach, he will tumble down the board as those short game numbers simply aren't sustainable.

Yesterday, I wrote Patton Kizzire as a buy, and just a day later, he finds himself in the fade category. It wasn't a bad round from Kizzire on Friday as he escaped at even par, which was a shot and a half better than the rest of the field. My concern with the Georgia Bulldog is that his irons fell off a cliff during his second round.

Kizzire lost strokes on approach in 10 of his final 12 iron shots. He seemed to lose it and just couldn't get it back on track again. He is a player who gets out of sorts at times with his ball striking, and on a tight course like Harbour Town, that can certainly get him in trouble. I'll flip my stance going into Saturday as his sustained trend of approach issues have me concerned for his sustainability inside the top 15.

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