2022 Sentry Tournament of Champions Round 3 Odds, Buys & Fades: Back Hideki Matsuyama & Sungjae Im to Contend
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images. Pictured: Hidecki Matsuyama.
- The 2022 Sentry Tournament of Champions rolls on Saturday afternoon from Hawaii. The first two rounds have featured historically-low scoring for this event.
- Sungjae Im and Hideki Matsuyama are two players for bettors to target entering the weekend, as they've struck the ball well and sit a few shots back of the lead.
- Get Chris Murphy's full breakdown entering the weekend below.
Light winds and soft conditions led to some really low scores around The Plantation Course at Kapalua on Friday. Even as some of the leaders struggled out of the gates in the second round, they charged back as the field played the Sentry TOC track to an average of more than five shots under par.
It looked like the best rounds of the day would come early as Patrick Reed and Sam Burns charged to nine-under rounds, but they would eventually be matched by first-round leader Cameron Smith.
It was even more impressive that he got to that number as he started his second 18 with back-to-back bogeys. He would close the final 16 holes with nine birdies and an eagle on his way to a 64. Amazingly, he was able to stretch his lead to three shots and will go into the weekend at 17-under in what is setting up to be a shootout through Sunday evening.
I wrote yesterday about how being in the top five was important and only Hideki Matsuyama wiggled his way into that group heading into the weekend.
This has historically been a course that is difficult to make up shots, and even in benign conditions, that appears to be the case once again. Still, we will look to soak up some value before we head to the weekend, as anything can happy with two rounds left to play.
Strokes Gained Explanation
Strokes Gained can give golf bettors, DFS players and fans way more detail on how a golfer is 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, ball-striking and 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 just not getting putts to drop. Likewise, players with high SG: Putting numbers may regress moving forward.
3 Golfers to Buy in Round 3
The way this leaderboard is stacked up, there simply is no real outright value going into the weekend at Kapalua. You’ve got a strong player with a three-shot lead over the co-players of the year last season, meaning that they all have really short odds heading into the third round. The first spot where we get a number of interest would be with Sungjae Im and Hideki Matsuyama in a tie for fifth. They are five shots back, but that is far from insurmountable with two rounds left to play.
Matsuyama was strong for a second consecutive round on approach, as he has now gained 3.69 strokes on the field across the first two rounds. It’s a bit baffling that he has lost strokes to the field off the tee each of the first two days, but he can certainly improve on that across the next two days.
The 2021 Masters champion is just five shots back, and as the pressure begins to rise, he is a player that can go low to get in the mix on moving day. Matsuyama is certainly the first player with real value at +2000 on Caesars going into the third round.
I’ll go back to the well early here with Sungjae Im as his play has been impressive to start the week. He rates out as the fifth best player in the field in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green through two rounds, and he has gained strokes in both ball-striking metrics in both rounds.
Once again, if Sungjae can find a bit better play with his short game this weekend, he can get himself in the mix for a shot to win come Sunday. He certainly has the ability, being known as a player that does well on Bermuda grass, and ranking 50th on TOUR in Strokes Gained: Putting last season. He, too, is listed at +2000 over on DraftKings, and that presents some viable value going into Saturday.
There are only a few players that are gaining strokes on the field in all three Tee to Green metrics heading to the weekend. Two of them are in the final pairing, and the third is Joel Dahmen. He has been solid throughout the bag in getting to the green, even though the putter has let him down at times. In fact, the flat stick let him down quite a bit on Friday as he lost 1.84 shots on the greens, which limited him to a 4-under 69.
Dahmen is still in position to contend for a nice finish heading into the third round, but the markets have him well down the board. Odds aren’t quite available just yet for finishing positions, but my first look will be for a Joel Dahmen top 10, as his play certainly merits that type of finish to open the year.
3 Golfers to Fade in Round 3
It’s all relative when it comes to making fades in a field that averaged more than five strokes under par on the day, but I will try to find some guys that scored a little better than their play on Friday. The first player that jumps out in that category is once again Brooks Koepka. I hate to double down, but I can only call it like I see it.
Brooks appeared to be headed towards a nice round on Friday when the 14th hole jumped up to bite him once again. He dropped another shot at the short Par 4 in the second round after a double-bogey at that same hole on Thursday.
It wasn’t just that hole though for Brooks, as he has struggled in two rounds to find the fairway at a course that is known to have some of, if not the widest fairways on TOUR.Koepka has missed five fairways in each round, and once again until I see him show me differently across multiple rounds, he will continue to fall in my fade column.
I was able to play a little personal bias and ignore the struggles of Marc Leishman on Thursday, but when he showed the same issues in the second round, I had no choice but to put him here. Leish has lost strokes to the field on approach in back-to-back rounds, and he lost strokes off the tee on Friday. He was able to put it all back together on the back nine as he birdied six of his final seven holes to salvage the round, but overall he has all of the characteristics of a fade this weekend.
When I look further down the leaderboard, the player that stands out as a potential target in matchups this weekend is Max Homa. There just isn’t anything in his play tee to green that can be looked at as a plus. He lost strokes in each metric in the second round, and he has nearly lost strokes in every tee-to-green category across the week.
The saving grace for Homa has been a white-hot flat stick that allowed him to fire a six-under round, despite losing 2.21 shots to the field tee to green. It simply isn’t sustainable, and there are no signs that Homa will put it together anytime soon, so I will be looking to go after him in matchups this weekend.
StrokesGained Data for All Players in Round 2
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