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2022 Sanderson Farms Championship Round 3 Odds and Picks: Sam Burns Lingering Behind Leaders

2022 Sanderson Farms Championship Round 3 Odds and Picks: Sam Burns Lingering Behind Leaders article feature image
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Pictured: Sam Burns. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

The Thursday afternoon, Friday morning wave continued to get the better end of the draw in Round 2 as it saw nearly a full stroke advantage over the first two rounds. Thomas Detry took the better wave and ran with it, getting to 10-under and claiming a solo lead after the morning groups finished on Friday. He would eventually be matched by Canadian MacKenzie Hughes, who had the round of the day with a 9-under 63. Only Sepp Straka got to 9-under and the field bunches up behind him.

We haven’t seen any winners more than six shots back going into the weekend at this tournament over the past eight years, though half of those have been four to six shots behind. I’ll keep that in mind — especially with 45 players falling within those six shots — as I look for golfers to back heading into Round 3. Let’s see who stands out with their play and value going 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 3

While looking through the board, I really didn’t find much value toward the top. I also didn’t see many names to be too scared of, so I’ll back the golfer the leaders will be watching on Moving Day — defending champion Sam Burns. On Friday, Burns started to show some signs of finding the game that led him to the win last year and he is within the number we are looking for heading into the weekend.

Most importantly, Burns gained two and a half shots on the field with his irons on Friday, leading to his 3-under 69. Surprisingly, he has had trouble finding his putter as he has lost nearly two strokes on the greens in the first two rounds. I don’t expect a putter of his caliber, on his preferred Bermuda grass, to continue to struggle with the flat stick over the weekend. If he can put his full game together on Saturday, he’ll put himself right in the mix for a chance to go back-to-back. There’s plenty of value in the +2000 odds on DraftKings.

I decided not to buy in on Taylor Montgomery to start the week as he was at really short odds and after a slow first round, I thought there was some potential that we’d get better value on him during his “home game” next week in Las Vegas. The UNLV alum had other plans though as he put together a strong 4-under round on Friday, really dialing things in on approach with 2.17 shots gained with his irons. I’m interested in him for a dart throw at +6600 to win on BetMGM, but I’d be going harder at the top-10 odds for a guy who was a top 10 machine on the Korn Ferry Tour last season. Montgomery backed that up with a top 5 at the Fortinet and the +330 price is decent on DraftKings for him to finish in the top 10 again. However, I’ll wait to see if other books put a better number out before they tee off on Saturday.

Joel Dahmen has missed the cut in four of his past five tournaments coming into this week. On top of that, he had lost strokes on approach in six straight measured events dating back to the Memorial in May. Needless to say, he has been struggling with his game across the board — especially his irons. It seems Dahmen may have found something this week as he’s gained more than a shot on the field on approach in each of the first two rounds. He’s put up more than three strokes gained in that category this week and that has him within the top 20 going into the weekend. I don’t think we need to go overboard with a bet on him to win heading into Saturday, but a top 10 is certainly in play for Dahmen and the DraftKings odds of +600 are much juicier than what we are seeing for Montgomery, who is a shot behind Dahmen to start Round 3.

3 Golfers to Fade in Round 3

I’m fading MacKenzie Hughes this weekend. It may come back to bite me, but I’ve seen this movie — where he puts it together for a round, then fades back to the player we know — too many times from the Canadian. Hughes is most known to me as a player who has magic on and around the greens, but even that has been a struggle for him over the past year. He had just one top-10 finish dating back to the start of the year and one more top 20. This will be an unfamiliar spot for a player who ranked outside of the top 150 both off the tee and on approach. The putter is vitally important this week, but he’ll have to stay dialed in with his ball striking, especially on approach, as the pressure rises and I’m not a buyer on that happening.

Things were going smoothly for Nick Taylor on Friday as he teed off on the par-4 16th following four birdies in five holes. Unfortunately, he fired his tee shot into the water and would make double bogey to knock him back from the close to the lead. He’d get one of those two shots back on the next hole, but really struggled from there. He lost strokes to the field on nine of his final 11 approach shots and didn’t make a single birdie across his final 10 holes. It seems the tide turned for him on the 16th and he’s spinning in the wrong direction as he heads into Saturday in a tie for 10th.

As we look for players who could move up the board and into the mix, one player who I think will slide the other direction is Callum Tarren. He had a number of troublesome swings on Friday with three approaches that lost more than a quarter of a stroke to the field. One of those swings cost him 1.2 shots to the field, but he was able to hold things together for a 4-under round with some great short-game play. Still, that isn’t a recipe for climbing the leaderboard this weekend. From six shots back, he’ll need to have everything working to climb back into the mix and I just don’t see it with those troublesome swings lingering.

Strokes Gained Data for All Players in Round 2

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