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2022 The RSM Classic Round 2 Odds & Picks: Buy Chris Gotterup, Francesco Molinari Heading to Easier Plantation Course

2022 The RSM Classic Round 2 Odds & Picks: Buy Chris Gotterup, Francesco Molinari Heading to Easier Plantation Course article feature image
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Pictured: Chris Gotterup. (Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images)

The final full-field tournament of 2022 kicked off Thursday from Sea Island, Georgia and, as is often the case in the fall swing, a young name sits at the top of the leaderboard after the first round. Cole Hammer took advantage of the typically easier Plantation Course with an 8-under 64. The strange thing is he may be a touch disappointed after a bogey on his 17th, the par-5 8th. Still, he leads Ben Griffin by one and a group of others by two going into the second round.

Hammer will turn around Friday and play the host, Seaside Course, which played more than two strokes tougher in the first round. That makes the 6-under rounds shot by Beau Hossler and Callum Tarren on the Seaside even more impressive with their 64s on the par-70 track.

While Hammer is the leader, it’s fair to see the other two in better position heading to the second round. While it isn’t an edge at the top, we may be able to find some leverage further down the leaderboard. I’ll be looking for some of those players making the transition to the Plantation Course as we look for our buys into Friday.

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 2

I like weeks like this where we get the data from the more difficult course and can look for players to climb the leaderboard in Round 2, in this case, at the Plantation. As you know, I like to shoot down the leaderboard with so much golf left to play and I’ll start that way with Chris Gotterup.

If you’ve followed along here enough, you know I am a bit of a sucker for the next upcoming talent, especially in these types of tournaments. Gotterup has certainly shown that ability in flashes and he posted a 5-under round on the Seaside Course on Thursday. His 3.62 SG: Approach were the best in the field on that course and will carry over well to the easier course on Friday. I actually don’t mind the +2500 numbers posted on multiple sites as this isn’t a field where we can get too caught up in those figures, considering the lack of proven winning ability at the top.

Speaking of proven winning ability, this is where I’d be willing to take a shot on the talent of a guy like Francesco Molinari. He was third in the Seaside field in SG: Tee to Green on Thursday and his 3-under round isn’t as far back as it seems with him heading to the Plantation Course on Friday.

Molinari has been flashing some form at times this fall, even though his final results don’t quite reflect it. I am willing to take a shot at +5500 (BetMGM) on the talent alone, but also on the form as he gained better than four shots with his ball striking in the opening round.

I’ll do the same, though a little more reluctantly, with the home game vibes for Patton Kizzire. He sits at the same +5500 number going into the second round and more importantly, the easier course, on Friday. I really shouldn’t be so hesitant as he has just as much upside to win this event as anyone else in this range, including Molinari, but Kizzire has just been a guy I struggle to get right.

Kizzire showed some form in the opening round, building off his T10 finish at the Mayakoba a couple of weeks ago. He posted plus numbers in all three tee-to-green metrics Thursday and that will carry over well to the Plantation on Friday.

3 Golfers to Fade in Round 2

I never feel very comfortable with Beau Hossler, so seeing him at the top of the leaderboard makes for a pretty easy fade. When I looked closer, that stance grew, even as he heads to the easier course. Hossler shot a nice round of 64 on Thursday, but needed 4.41 strokes gained on the greens to get it done because he was basically field average in both ball-striking metrics. I’ll take the fade on the numbers for Hossler as I will be looking at more traditional stats for the other fades heading to the Seaside Course.

Webb Simpson is the guy who stands out the most for a fade going into the second round. He has really struggled for an extended period of time and while his 5-under round to start this week looks good on paper, it was really held up by a hole-in-one on the par-3 3rd. He otherwise hit just 13-of-18 greens in regulation and was second in the field in putts per green. I certainly don’t take the opening round as a sign of a turnaround for Webb, and that’s the crux of my fade as he goes to the tougher track on Friday.

Stephan Jaeger looks to be the player near the top of the leaderboard who doesn’t have the best stats. He hit just two thirds of his greens over on the Plantation on Thursday and that type of output will spell trouble on the more difficult Seaside Course. He also ranked 10th in putts per green. That all adds up to a player who was really sharp with his short game, but lacking in what we are looking for into Round 2.

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