2022 Shriners Children’s Open Round 3 Buys & Fades: Homa and Im Look Ready for Moving Day
Pictured: Max Homa. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Mito Pereira was the one to make a charge up the leaderboard on Friday in Las Vegas, as he fired an 8-under 64 to take a lead into the weekend. Mito is one of seven players from the recent Presidents Cup inside the top 10 through the first thirty-six holes. Two of his international teammates are in the group at 10-under, just two shots back of him.
Another player in the group at 10-under is Maverick McNealy. We often see McNealy pop on the West Coast, and he is doing it here again in Vegas. His 7-under round to start the week immediately put him in contention, and he followed it up with a 3-under 68 to settle in just a couple of shots short of the Chilean. The lead pair is alone at the top, but there are twenty-four players within five shots of them, making for an exciting weekend on a course that can yield low scores.
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 3
Keith Mitchell is a streaky player who tends to either run really sharp or pretty poor with his game. There isn't a whole lot of in-between for the former Georgia Bulldog, but he seems to have brought the good game with him this week. He's at 8-under through two rounds, just four shots back and he has gained shots with his ball striking on each of those days.
Mitchell made one big mistake on the par 4 11th today that cost him two shots as he struggled to get to the green after an errant drive on his second hole of the day. I really like that the sometimes heated Mitchell was able to keep things together and bounce back with four birdies and no bogeys from there. It wasn't a perfect round, but he's showing form this week, and he is one player that we know can go really low if he gets it all clicking at the same time.
If you're looking for a big name to add, my play for a combination of skill and relative value would be on Max Homa. He has won already to start this season, and he rolled through the Presidents Cup with another great week. Homa's typically strong ball striking hasn't quite been there yet this week, but that's where the upside is, as I expect he will put that together very soon. If he can get his irons up to his standard, he's rolling it well, and even without his best tee to green, he's still inside the top 10 and just a touch above his original odds at +1800 on DraftKings.
Actually, I'll stay in the upper tier of players and put Sungjae Im in the buy column as well. He came charging out of the gates on Thursday, but it was a much more sluggish start for him in the second round. He didn't find his first birdie until his final hole going out and dropped two shots during that stretch. He seemingly found the magic again down the final four holes of his back nine as he birdied three of those last four to get in at 7-under before Moving Day. I don't mind a +2200 on the South Korean before the start of Round 3, as he is another player that can go really low and put himself in one of the final groups on Sunday.
3 Golfers to Fade in Round 3
I talked about Maverick McNealy in the lead in, and I'll go a little more in depth here as I look to fade him into Saturday. He was really good on Thursday as I mentioned, but part of that was with him gaining more than four shots on the field with his putter. That is certainly the best club in his bag, and he would need it again on Friday as his ball striking started to fade.
McNealy lost strokes to the field both off the tee and on approach in the second round and really started to lose it down the home stretch. He lost more than two shots to the field with his irons over his final five holes alone and my concern is that it will carry into his third round, especially as the pressure ramps up in his late tee time.
It's been a strong start to the week for Chad Ramey, who has been completely boom or bust early in his career on TOUR. Maybe that's a sign that we should expect him to stick around this weekend, but I can't quite get there when I see that he's missed seven straight cuts at this level and only gained strokes on approach in one tournament since June. I'm going to trust the long term numbers over the small two round sample on Ramey this week and let him try to beat me.
S.H. Kim is a name to watch this season. He has made it to the weekend in each of his first three starts this year, including a T13 result last week at the Sanderson Farms. The 24 year-old South Korean has a lot of talent and has shown that he belongs on this level, but I'm just not sure he has it this week. He started to show it down the back nine on Friday, and it could simply be a bit of fatigue or something else with the game, but he lost strokes on approach in eight of his final nine holes. One of those swings cost him nearly two shots to the field and resulted in a bogey on the par 5 15th. The sell point is a little flimsy here, but if he doesn't tighten things ups on Saturday, he'll have trouble posting another top 20 type of result.