2022 Scottish Open Final Round Odds & Picks: Xander Schauffele Positioned for Second Consecutive Win
(Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images) Pictured: Xander Schauffele.
The final pairing was unable to find a birdie until the 16th hole on Saturday and a few big names made charges up the leaderboard. Xander Schauffele was the biggest mover near the top as he got to 9-under at one point during the round, but dropped a couple of shots on the way home. He will carry a two-shot lead into the final round as he looks to capture victories in back-to-back starts.
Schauffele tied for the lowest round of the day as he fired a 4-under 66. The Olympic Gold Medalist and recent champion at the Travelers Championship will look to close out another win on Sunday from Scotland. He will be paired alongside Rafa Cabrera Bello, who shot a 67 to get to 5-under for the week. Just ahead of them in the penultimate pairing will be Jordan Spieth, who had two eagles on Saturday to put him in the mix.
Winds look to be the quietest of the week on Sunday afternoon, making for the potential to see low scores available in the final round. It’ll also provide the opportunity for a come-from-behind victory, but with the way Schauffele has played, that may be a tough task. Let’s see who stands out to challenge for the win at The Renaissance Club.
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
Winning always seems to bring more winning and that certainly appears to be the case for Xander Schauffele. He won his first TOUR event in over three years just a few weeks ago at the Travelers Championship and already backed it up with a win in the stout field at the JP McManus Pro-Am. Now, he will look to close out another win on Sunday in Scotland and I believe he’ll get it done.
Since an opening round 72, Schauffele has put up rounds of 65 and 66 to jump out to a two-shot lead. He has gained strokes on the field in every metric across those past two rounds and has shown he has everything going in his bag. That is a combination that will prove tough to beat Sunday.
One of my top three picks before the week was with Jordan Spieth and with his pedigree on links courses, we have to give him a look going into Sunday. He didn’t have a great third round Saturday, but two big eagles kept him in the hunt for the win. The biggest was a hole out from 108 yards at the par-4 15th and he’ll go into the final round just three shots short of the lead. He ranks third this week in SG: Tee-to-Green and is gaining strokes in every category, including with his putter. If Spieth can eliminate some of the mistakes that led to a couple of poor bogeys on Saturday, he could put together a Sunday similar to what led to his win a few months back at the RBC Heritage.
If you’re looking for a longer shot ahead of the leaders who may be able to post a low number and see what happens, I’d look first to Alex Smalley. He ranks second in the field to Schauffele in SG: Tee-to-Green and is listed at +5000 on FanDuel going into the final round. While he hasn’t won on TOUR yet, the Duke grad has been in contention in recent weeks at the RBC Canadian Open. He’s clearly in some really good form and it may help that he’ll be a couple groups ahead of the leader and able to focus on his game rather than the leaderboard.
3 Golfers to Fade in Round 4
Rafa Cabrera-Bello’s performance, which has him playing in the final pairing on Sunday, has come out of nowhere. He has missed the cut in seven of the past eight events he has played Worldwide and really struggled to find his game. Sunday won’t be unfamiliar territory for a guy who was once a top 20 player in the world, but it certainly will be new for him of late.
His numbers this week show another concern as he has relied almost entirely on his short game to put himself in this position. Cabrera-Bello has gained more than eight shots against the field on and around the greens this week. He will be in a tough spot to keep that up on Sunday, especially if conditions are better and he needs to go low to contend for the win.
Speaking of guys who were reliant on the short game, Cameron Tringale had it all crash back to Earth on Saturday. He had gained 8.69 shots with his putter through the first two rounds and when that fell apart, the 36-hole leader tumbled down the leaderboard. He would eventually finish with a 4-over round and is now T6 on the week. I expect we will see him fall even further on Sunday as the disappointment of where he stands sets in going into the final round. He’s regressed in every category the past two days and lost strokes to the field in every metric tee to green. All of this points to Tringale tumbling further on Sunday.
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Joohyung Kim is a player I’ve been tracking over the past year when I first heard the story of how he began being called Tom due to his love for Thomas the Train. He showed up for a good week last month with a T23 finish at the U.S. Open and now finds himself inside the top 10 going into Sunday at the Scottish Open.
My fade on Kim is based solely on the numbers as he has spent the past two days searching for his game with his ball striking. He opened the week strong in that category, but it has faded over the past two days. He lost strokes on approach on Friday, then in both ball striking metrics on Saturday. Similar to those above, I think low scores will be required for a strong finish on Sunday and for me that will start with the best ball strikers.