2022 Sony Open Final Round Odds, Buys & Fades: Back Hideki Matsuyama to Win Event in Hawaii
Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images. Pictured: Hideki Matsuyama.
- The 2022 Sony Open finishes up Sunday in Hawaii, with several players in the title hunt
- We saw more low scoring in the third round, including a stellar efforts from Hideki Matsuyama and leader Russell Henley. Matsuyma is definitely someone bettors should target ahead of the final round, but Henley is someone you should be fading down the stretch.
- Get Chris Murphy's full breakdown below heading into the final 18 holes of play.
It was an up-and-down round for Russell Henley on Saturday, allowing some players to cut into the five-shot advantage he took into the round. He will now carry just a two-shot edge into the final round as he struggled to find any consistency in the third round.
Henley will be joined in the final pairing on Sunday by Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama who rolled in nearly every putt he saw on his way to a 6-under 64. As mentioned, he will star the final round two shots back of the lead and is two shots ahead of the rest of the field.
Names like Matt Kuchar and Kevin Kisner lurk in the groups that are four and five shots back of Henley in the final round, but with low scores being put up on this course throughout the week, they are certainly still in play to steal the win.
Let’s take a look at the strokes gained data from the third round to see if Henley can overcome his struggles or if we can find another winner on Sunday at Waialae.
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
There are eight players at 13-under or better, and I am planting my flag that one of those eight will be the winner tomorrow. Outside of a round in the 50s, it’s hard to see anyone contending for the win from further behind as there are just too many players to jump and too many low scores available.
I know I’m not really going out on a limb here, but I will go back to my third-round buy in Hideki Matsuyama and project him to be the Sony Open champion. The 2021 Masters Champion was hot on the greens on Saturday, and while I don’t expect him to repeat his better than three strokes gained putting, we still haven’t seen vintage Hideki ball-striking. He was once again just slightly above field average on approach, and I think he may finally dial things on Sunday to close out this week.
I’m planting my flag with the Japanese superstar and expecting him to erase that lead in a hurry on Sunday. Once he cuts the lead down, we may see the shaky Russell Henley that has shown up in this position in the past.
Adam Svensson is a player that is coming into the TOUR this season by virtue of his success on the Korn Ferry Tour last season, which included two wins. He has carried that confidence into this week at the Sony Open as he sits just four shots back of the lead going into Sunday.
The Canadian has made it to 14-under this week despite not gaining strokes off the tee in any of his first three rounds. He mentioned after the round on Saturday his disappointment in his driving game, and it will be something he will be focused on improving in the final round. He has had no such issues with his irons, ranking third in the field on approach this week.
I am one that believes success will breed more success, and with his play this week coupled alongside two wins last season, and the fact he shot a 61 on this course back in 2019, he is my longshot pick that could come through in the final round. I don’t believe he will be scared of the moment, and I’ll be looking to play him in all markets on Sunday, including a sprinkle at +2600 on FanDuel for him to win.
If it weren’t for an opening-hole double bogey that saw Christiaan Bezuidenhout played army golf across the opening fairway, the South African would be in the hunt to win this week. He has been otherwise pretty solid, but he just can’t seem to shake the silly mistakes. Those mistakes bit him again on Saturday where back-to-back bogeys on the front nine again put him behind the eight ball and required him to go 6-under across his final 10 holes to climb back to T11 on the week.
Bez is a player that can get hot on the greens, and we are still yet to see that this week. If he can find that form on Sunday, he certainly has the ball-striking for a low round to help him climb around the top five. He now has two rounds this week of gaining more than three strokes ball-striking, and a third will certainly put him in the mix for a top placement. He’s a buy for me in all markets, even a sprinkle on +28000 to win on FanDuel, as a 60-type of round would make things interesting.
3 Golfers to Fade in Round 4
Earlier I made the call that I am backing Hideki Matsuyama, and with that comes the fade of Russell Henley. It seems I’ve seen this movie too many times from Henley to be able to erase the image from my mind, as the former Georgia Bulldog seems to struggle in these spots. He did so again for much of the round on Saturday, and even when he seemed to gather himself back together, he would bring a three-putt bogey into play on the next hole or spray it off the tee.
I believe the worst thing that could’ve happened for Henley was having one of the few big names in this field join him in the final pairing, as it will only ramp up that pressure. As I mentioned I am in on Hideki to close the Hawaii swing with the win, leaving me out on Henley on Sunday.
I am a big Kevin Kisner fan, though the media has outplayed the whole “ain’t no hobby” thing, but I don’t see a good Sunday in the cards for him. Some may say my Gamecock bias is getting in the way with these Bulldog fades, but there are plenty of numbers to put behind this one for Kiz.
He was all putter on Saturday as he lost more than a shot to the field on approach and erased the comeback he made with his irons on Friday. That makes two negative rounds on approach for Kisner, who should be hitting from some of his ideal distances into the greens this week. This is a trend for him at this point through 54 holes, and even though he is certainly a player that is likely to step up to the pressure, I just don’t think the game is quite there for him to compete for the win over this final 18.
Ever since that opening round 61, Kevin Na‘s tee-to-green game has gone into a full regression. He has gotten progressively worse with his irons each day this week, losing more than a stroke to the field on approach on Saturday. His putter, as it often does, kept him within the top 15 of the leaderboard, but I think the defending champion will fall further behind on Sunday without the ball-striking necessary to go low again.
Strokes Gained Data for All Players in Round 3
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