2022 Sanderson Farms Final Round Odds & Picks: Mark Hubbard Primed for First Win
Pictured: Mark Hubbard. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
The best scoring of the week was available on Saturday at the Country Club of Jackson as overall scores were nearly a full stroke better than Friday. Many players made a move up the leaderboard and Keegan Bradley led that charge with the round of the day, an 8-under 64.
Mark Hubbard would finish Saturday just one shot short of Bradley on the round, but passed him on the overall leaderboard. In fact, Hubbard passed everyone and takes a one-shot lead into Sunday as he seeks his first TOUR win. Overnight leader MacKenzie Hughes is just one shot back of Hubbard after a 4-under round of his own. Those two will pair up in the final tee time with their chasers two shots further back of Hughes. However, 10 players are within five of the lead.
If scores continue to be easy to come by in the final round, there will be pressure on that final group. They certainly aren't established winners or players used to being in this position as Hughes is seeking his first win since 2016 and Hubbard is looking for his first victory. We'll see if there is anyone who sticks out to chase them down in the final round.
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
I am kicking myself for overlooking Hubbard prior to the third round. He was right there, just a couple of shots back and his data was exactly what I look for with buys between rounds. Hubbard was striking it well, but the putter was failing him and he's a player who ranked 50th in SG: Putting last season. We knew the putting would come around and with him leading the field on approach, I do think he closes out his first win tomorrow. He has everything going this week and I believe he'll be tough to track down on Sunday.
The stumbles coming in really put a damper on the run Nick Hardy had put together to get in the mix for one of the final tee times going into Sunday. He came out with birdies in four of his first five holes, but gave three of them back on his closing nine. Hardy is still just four shots back and will have a chance to capture his first win if he can go low and keep the dropped shots off his card in the final round. He's the best buy we have from earlier in the week with a chance to make some noise before the Sanderson Farms trophy is handed out and I still love the ball striking he has shown throughout the tournament.
Another player who sticks out with some staying power throughout the final round is S.H. Kim. The young Korean has improved his iron play throughout every round this week, peaking with 2.36 strokes gained on approach on Saturday. He has also gained strokes on the field with his putting in each round, which will be an important combination on Sunday. I don't really expect Kim to compete for the win, but I do like his chances and odds to claim a top-5 type of finish.
3 Golfers to Fade in Round 4
I'm running it back on MacKenzie Hughes for all of the same reasons as yesterday. He really made my call come true with his ball striking as he lost strokes to the field in that metric, but his magic around the greens kept him right in it. As the pressure rises and this tournament gets to the point of being decided, I want a guy I can trust tee to green and that's not Hughes' strength.
We talked above about how Kim has his iron play trending in the right direction, well it is going the opposite way for Dean Burmester. He has gotten progressively worse on approach with each passing round and that may catch up with him on Sunday. I simply don't want to take a chance on a guy who has been relying on his short game to stay in the top 10 in the final round.
Another South African who is struggling with his ball striking this week is Dylan Frittelli. He hasn't gained even a quarter of a stroke on the field with his approach play in any of the three rounds, but his short game has bailed him out both on and around the greens. As noted on my other fades above, this is a recipe for trouble down the stretch and I'll take my chances that he drops out of the top 20 rather than climbs his way up.