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2022 Travelers Championship Round 2 Odds & Picks: Seamus Power, Joel Dahmen Have Value Entering Friday

2022 Travelers Championship Round 2 Odds & Picks: Seamus Power, Joel Dahmen Have Value Entering Friday article feature image
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(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Pictured: Seamus Power.

The stars came out firing on Thursday at TPC River Highlands as Rory McIlroy set the pace with an 8-under 62, besting Xander Schauffele by one shot. Patrick Cantlay put together a great round of his own in the afternoon with a 6-under 64 and will go into Friday just two shots back. JT Poston had the surprise round of the day as he matched McIlroy’s 62.

I expect we’ll see the course dry out as overnight rain helped contribute to the low scores, providing a soft track entering the opening round. If they can dodge the weather the rest of the way, hot temperatures should bring tougher conditions over the final 54-holes.

We are in a similar scenario to last week. With several of the field’s top players at the top of the leaderboard, we should find some good value going into Round 2. We’ll take a look at the stokes gained data to see who stands out with some value on Friday.

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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

Seamus Power is the player who stands out as a traditional buy for us heading into Round 2. He gained better than a shot on the field in each category tee to green and 4.27 shots on the field total in that metric. Power’s issue came on the greens, where he lost better than a shot with the putter. It was a rare off day with the flatstick for the Irishman as he ranks 32nd on TOUR in SG: Putting this season. His ball striking was good enough to still carve out a 3-under round on Thursday despite the balky putter and I like his chances to bounce back on the greens in his early round on Friday morning. Power is listed at +3500 on DraftKings, which is a nice value for a player in good form and just a handful of shots behind the lead with a long way to go.

One of the more impressive performances of last week at the U.S. Open came from Joel Dahmen. He really showed that the top of his game could compete in an elite field like we saw at The Country Club and it appears he has carried that game with him to Connecticut.

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Dahmen gained 2.67 shots on the field with his irons on Thursday, which contributed heavily to his 2.91 SG: Tee-to-Green. He was also much better off the tee than the numbers show as he lost 1.77 shots when his tee ball went out of bounds off the tee on the par-5 13th. If we take that one errant swing away, he gained 1.45 shots on the field in that category on his 14 other drives. I’ll happily take a shot on him at extended odds, +6600 on BetRivers, to make a move Friday in order to get positioned for another late weekend tee time.

Brian Harman is a name who was popular coming into the week and he sent his gambling fans into a frenzy with an opening double bogey. Harman would eventually gather himself and post three straight birdies on his back nine to get to 2-under for the round. He was really pretty solid on the day outside of that one hole and this is a course where he is comfortable. It’s not out of the realm of possibilities he gets back in the mix to contend at +6600, but my focus would be on short term matchups, DFS and top 10 type of placement odds heading into Round 2.

3 Golfers to Fade in Round 2

Keith Mitchell sticks out in the fade column in part because he has a big negative number on approach, but that is due in large part to his approach at the 17th, which landed in the water. The bigger issue for me is that he lost strokes on approach on 10 holes today, meaning it wasn’t just one swing that was off for him. The former Georgia Bulldog has struggled with his irons this year and he did so again Thursday. I don’t see him being able to maintain his spot within the top 10 this weekend unless he gets his approach play going.

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It’s been quite a while since we’ve seen Harris English on the course, much less near the top of the leaderboard. He’s in the top 10 after the opening round, but he really needed a heavy lean on the short game in order to post his 4-under 66. He gained more than three shots on the field around the green as he holed one shot from off the green for birdie at the 10th. English was merely average with his ball striking in the opening round and I question if he is in form to really compete through the weekend. All of that adds up to a fade for me going into the second round.

Kevin Kisner hasn’t had his best year in 2022 and has really struggled with his game of late as he has five consecutive missed cuts. He’s 2-under going into the second round this week, but the numbers don’t look as though he has necessarily found anything in his game. He gained 3.66 shots on the field with his short game in the opening round and lost shots in both ball striking metrics. Even on some of the holes where Kisner was scoring, he was losing strokes to the field on approach and even as good as his short game can be, it’s just not sustainable for him to stay in the mix without striking the ball well.

Strokes Gained Data for All Players in Round 1

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