2022 Sanderson Farms Round 2 Odds & Pick: Nick Hardy, Lee Hodges Have Longshot Value

2022 Sanderson Farms Round 2 Odds & Pick: Nick Hardy, Lee Hodges Have Longshot Value article feature image

Pictured: Nick Hardy. (Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The first round of the Sanderson Farms Championship kicked off Thursday from the Country Club of Jackson and it was a rare opening round that saw the afternoon wave with nearly a full stroke advantage over the morning tee times. There was some wind in the morning, but it seemed like the cool conditions to start the day were more of a factor.

Andrew Putnam was the first to get in at 5-under in the morning portion of the day, but was later matched by two Korn Ferry graduates in Kevin Yu and Brandon Matthews. They would later be matched by four afternoon tee times and passed by both Davis Riley and Will Gordon. The latter two would get in at 6-under and will take a one-shot lead into their Friday morning tee times.

Overall, the leaderboard is packed with 67 players within five shots of the lead going into Round 2. There will be a lot of movement heading into the weekend and it should present us with plenty of betting value before they tee it up on Friday.

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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 2

If I were going to the top of the board, names like Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Mark Hubbard would be on the short list, but I'm not taking a shot on numbers that short this early in the week. Instead, I'll drop down to the value on Nick Hardy, who is 2-under after the first round.

Hardy gained more than four shots on the field with his ball striking on Thursday, including 2.65 on approach. He was sharp in both aspects of his game and was really only held back by his play on and around the greens. The 26-year-old out of Illinois has one career top 10 at this level and had three top-25 finishes in five starts on the Korn Ferry Tour last season. Hardy has the talent to compete and win in a field like this and at +9000 on DraftKings, he has some value going into Round 2.

I could nearly copy and paste everything from Hardy for my next buy with Lee Hodges. Though Hodges was even better on approach, ranking second in the field with his irons. Hodges has a little more experience in contention on Tour than Hardy as he contended to the end at the American Express in January and was able to add another top 10 last season. He has shown an ability to compete on courses like this one, where he gets a lot of opportunities with his wedges. He's also listed at +9000, so Hodges has some value to be there through the weekend.

If we want to go really deep, I'll drop down just one shot, but to +20000 on Austin Eckroat, who shot a one-under 71 on Thursday. My sell on Eckroat is that he started really poorly with bogeys on both of his first two holes and another following two birdies at the 6th. He would eventually get the ship headed in the right direction, gaining 1.24 shots on approach across his back nine after losing more than half a shot with his irons on the front. These odds, going into Friday, are simply too long in my view and he seems to have some momentum going.

3 Golfers to Fade in Round 2

The easiest fade from a numbers perspective going into Friday is with S.H. Kim. He lost more than a shot to the field with his irons in the opening round and made up for it with a great short game. He gained 1.57 shots around the green, which is a category most contenders won't need this week. I feel good that if he keeps struggling on approach, he will have a tough time maintaining his current spot in the top 10.

Speaking of gaining shots around the green, I present you Brandon Wu. He gained 3.35 shots on the field in that metric on Thursday as he holed out from off the green not once or twice, but three times. When we add in a hole-in-one, it becomes quite a wild ride during the round from the former Stanford Cardinal. Unfortunately, even with gaining more than two shots on approach with his ace, he still lost shots to the field in that category overall. That really highlights his struggles with his irons and ball striking, which leads me to fade him heading into Friday.

When I think of Martin Laird, I think of a player who is usually strong with his ball striking and you just hope he can do enough on the greens to contend. Thursday was the opposite as he lost strokes to the field on approach and gained more than three shots on the greens. I wouldn't be surprised to see him quickly turn his ball striking in the right direction on Friday, but the 129th ranked player in SG: Putting last season is also due for some serious regression on the greens.

StrokesGained Data for All Players in Round 1

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