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2022 Rocket Mortgage Classic Final Round Odds and Picks: Tony Finau in Position to go Back-to-Back

2022 Rocket Mortgage Classic Final Round Odds and Picks: Tony Finau in Position to go Back-to-Back article feature image
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(Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images) Pictured: Tony Finau.

Many players made runs throughout the day Saturday as they tried to get in the mix with Tony Finau and Taylor Pendrith. However, the leaders were just too much down the stretch as Finau shot a bogey-free round of 65 and Pendrith closed with birdies on four of his final five holes to meet Finau at the top through three rounds. They’ll take a four-shot advantage over Cameron Young into Sunday.

Three of the top five players on the board shot the rounds of the day, including Finau. Pendrith was just one shot behind on the day, which allowed them to remain separated from the pack. It will be interesting to see how the Sunday pressure effects them as Finau had the luxury of playing from behind in his win last week and Pendrith is seeking his first win on TOUR. It’s hard to see them both faltering, especially on such an attackable course with very little real danger. There are also six shots between them and Patrick Cantlay in 5th place, really narrowing down the realistic chasers on Sunday.

Let’s take a look and pick a winner for the final round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic and also make some placement position picks.

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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

Tony Finau played just about flawless golf Saturday, with his only real mistake coming on the final green where he missed a putt inside of six feet for birdie. I am riding with the theme of the season, which has been around the many guys on TOUR who have struggled to close out victories, doing so in style. First it was Matt Fitzpatrick, who captured his first career win in the states at the U.S. Open, then Xander Schauffele, who hadn’t won in more than three years, closing out victories in consecutive starts. Finau ended his winless drought in the playoffs last year, but didn’t really back it up. He was able to get it done last Sunday at the 3M to breakthrough for the third time in his career and I expect he will also go back-to-back tomorrow in Detroit. He’s -145 on BetMGM, which looks like the best number and it’s admittedly long, but that’s the direction I would go on Sunday.

No player has been more consistent in the all important approach aspect this week than Taylor Moore. He has gained at least 1.45 shots in each round this week with two of those rounds at two shots gained or better. He is another player who has put together some great scores when his putter got going and if he can do so again, he could be in line for his best finish of the season. It’s hard to ignore his form and I think his lack of name recognition will have him overlooked in DFS and possibly for matchups in the final round.

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The fact that Russell Henley is nine shots back of the lead after three rounds can be attributed to one factor, his putter. He only gained strokes on the field on the greens in one round and that was on Friday, when he shot a 7-under 65. He is just a combined 5-under in the other two rounds, despite ranking second in the field tee to green — right in between the two leaders — through the first three days. He’s 107th on TOUR in SG: Putting this season which is ultimately middle of the pack and not really indicative of a player who is trending to lose more than four shots on the greens this week if he keeps this pace. I’ll double down on the former Georgia Bulldog to finally find another plus putting day and be a core play for matchups and final round showdown in DFS.

3 Golfers to Fade in Round 4

Taylor Pendrith is a fade for me by virtue of not being the player I am picking to win. He’s been fantastic all week, but the Sunday pressure on TOUR is a different beast and I expect him to be feeling it in the final round. He’s been one of the best tee to green, but also topped the field with his putter. The final round pressure is always an experience and that’s really my only basis for a fade on Sunday.

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I’m doubling down again on the fade side too as Chris Kirk had no business firing a 5-under 67 on Saturday. He once again lost strokes on approach and is trending further in the wrong direction as he has regressed further with his irons each day. Kirk didn’t have any singular bad swings that cost him in the third round, instead it was just consistent poor approach play that left him losing strokes to the field in that category. He’s a player I think may be popular on Sunday and I’ll look to fade him everywhere I can.

Matt Wallace looks like the guy most likely to fall out of the top 20 in the final round. I’ve documented his struggles many times, in part because I was such a buyer on him in prior years. He’s starting to show some semblance of form, but is still wildly inconsistent from round to round. I expect he will struggle to close out the week and I just can’t quite trust his game at this stage.

Strokes Gained Data for All Players in Round 3

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