2022 Sentry Tournament of Champions Final Round Odds, Buys & Fades: Back Cameron Smith Over Jon Rahm
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images. Pictured: Cameron Smith.
- The 2022 Sentry Tournament of Champions finishes up Sunday in Hawaii, with several players in the title hunt. Low scoring continued in the third round, including a solid effort from co-leaders Cameron Smith and Jon Rahm.
- Smith and Marc Leishman are players bettors should target ahead of the final 18 holes, but Patrick Cantlay is someone worth fading down the stretch.
- Get Chris Murphy's full breakdown below heading into the fourth round of play.
We thought we saw some great golf on Friday, but it turned out to be nothing compared to Saturday’s third round at The Plantation Course. Three players had rounds that were double-digits under par and the overnight leader — Cameron Smith — was just one shot short of joining them.
The problem for Smith is that his playing partner, Jon Rahm, was one of the two players that shot a 12-under 61 to set a new course record at Kapalua. Rahm was able to erase Smith’s three-shot lead with that round, and the two will now head into the final round tied at the top.
They have separated from the rest of the field, as they will take a five-shot advantage into Sunday over Daniel Berger who sits along in third at 21-under for the week. A group of three are tied for fourth at 20-under, before things fall off down the rest of the leaderboard.
It appears to be a two-man race as Berger and the others may not be able to go low enough to get in contention without a lot of help. I’m going to approach it that way personally and won’t be throwing any darts for a winner outside of the leads in the final pairing. Let’s find our first winner for 2022 and a couple of other plays for what will be an exciting final round on Sunday in Hawaii.
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 4
Jon Rahm played much better today, especially on the greens where he gained 3.53 shots on the field, but Cameron Smith kept playing well too. Smith has really been the most consistent player in the field this week, as he hasn’t shot worse than an 8-under 65 in any of the first three rounds. He now has back-to-back 64s and will essentially be playing a match against World No. 1 Jon Rahm on Sunday.
I’m going to close my eyes and take a chance on Smith continuing his sharp play and closing his great week out with a win. He’s a strong player, and doesn’t seem to get rattled by the moment, and the odds seem just a bit too strong in the favor of Rahm for the final 18 holes. It looks like the best number available for now is +165 on FanDuel and that is enough for me in a spot where we can expect some putting regression from the Spaniard.
I begrudgingly faded Marc Leishman yesterday, and maybe I should keep him in that category as he shot an 8-under round to give my top-five bet a shot going into Sunday. Instead, I’ll highlight the good he did on Saturday and look for him to pair the great putting from the first two rounds with his sharp ball-striking in round three during the final round.
Leishman gained more than three shots on the field with his irons on Saturday, ranking third in the field in that metric. He also gained better than a half-stroke off the tee, which is a plus with that being the weakest part of his game. Unfortunately, he gave that half-stroke back on the greens after having gained 2.37 strokes putting during the first two rounds. I’m looking for him to put the two together in the final round, making him a buy for DFS Showdown and worth a look to climb into the top five.
I’ll go three for three in the buy column with Australians for Sunday’s final round. Cameron Davis will be the final Aussie for me as he has played really well this week and finds himself in a tie for 10th going into the fourth round.
Davis has improved his ball-striking across each round this week and will really have nothing to lose in the final round. I will target him in matchups mainly on Sunday, as he is likely too far behind to get in the mix for a top five, but he also makes a lot of sense in DFS where his ability to score will be really valuable.
3 Golfers to Fade in Round 4
I’ll be honest with you, I’m not even sure what is considered a successful fade with the way the course has played this week. The past two days have seen average scores better than 5-under par, so I guess we can celebrate anything short of that number. I don’t expect to see much change with the scoring on Sunday, so we will look to find some players that are missing some form in the final round.
I know I bought Smith, but that is more about the number than anything related to a fade for Rahm. I’ll instead start my fades a little further down with Patrick Cantlay. The 2021 Player of the Year has been great this week, there is no doubt about it, but he just hasn’t quite been as sharp as we have come to expect. He’s missed a number of short putts that would have him in shouting distance of the leaders, and on Saturday he started to lose his approach play a bit.
Cantlay was open before the week about the fact he had taken quite a bit of time away from the game, and this was really his first week focused back. He may be starting to show signs of that as he got loose with a few aspects of his game in the third round, and for that reason he fits in the fade category for me on Sunday.
My next fade is going to play on the old adage that it’s hard to follow up a great round with another good one. Matt Jones will have to try to do that tomorrow after he shot an 11-under 62, where he gained more than six strokes tee to green on this elite field. The only data I have to show that he may head the other direction tomorrow is the fact that despite that round, he is still losing strokes to the field on approach this week. He also gained more than half of his tee-to-green strokes around the green today, which paired with what have been some shaky irons at times, could lead to struggles in the final round.
Kevin Kisner is never a player that we expect to gain strokes off the tee in a field like this, and it is his main shortcoming this week. However, he isn’t doing enough in the other categories to make up for his off-the-tee game, as despite being in the top 10, he is losing strokes to the field tee to green for the tournament.
Kiz finally did some of what we expect from him on approach on Saturday as he gained 2.93 strokes on the field with his irons, but he lost strokes in every other category. It seems clear that the former Georgia Bulldog isn’t quite hitting on all cylinders yet, and I think he will have trouble maintaining his position in the top 10 on Sunday.