2023 AT&T Byron Nelson Final Round Odds and Picks: Scottie Scheffler Lurking
Pictured: Scottie Scheffler. (Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images)
I was one of the many who thought we would see a Saturday at the AT&T Byron Nelson where the best player in the field, Scottie Scheffler, would take control of this tournament. However, that wasn’t the case as the World No. 2 posted the worst score of anyone on the first page of the leaderboard as his even-par round was three shots worse than everyone around him. It was certainly uncharacteristic and although he was the only player near the top to not break par, he didn’t shoot himself out of a win at this event.
Scheffler will enter Sunday just two shots back of the three leaders. Austin Eckroat and Marty Dou Zecheng will eath be seeking their first win at this level, while TOUR veteran Ryan Palmer, who is seeking his fifth career win, will be the favorite of that threesome. They will also dodge the added pressure of having to share the tee box with Scheffler in the final round as he will play a couple of groups in front of them.
Despite the deficit, Scheffler remains the favorite on the odds board. We know his strokes gained data isn’t likely to be pretty from Round 3, but let’s see where things went wrong and predict how he’ll bounce back in his final round before the second major of the year — next week’s PGA Championship.
Strokes Gained Explanation
- 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)
3 Golfers to Buy for Round 4 of the Byron Nelson
If you go back to the very start of the season, at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, you will find the only two instances where Scheffler lost strokes to the field on approach in consecutive rounds. Saturday at TPC Craig Ranch marked just the third time since that tournament that he lost strokes to the field with his irons and one was the third round at the Genesis, where he gained 1.3 on approach the following day. The other was the final round at the Arnold Palmer, and he went on to boat race the field the following week at The Players Championship.
While Scheffler had a bad day, by his standards, Saturday, we have no reason to think he will do anything other than bounce back in a big way on Sunday. In my eyes, he is the rightful favorite, even from two shots down, as these other players likely had their chance to put him away, but failed to do so. Scheffler is my pick to win and even though it’s boring, at least it’s still basically the same odds as where he started the week.
One of the most impressive rounds of the day came before the leaders really got going as Patton Kizzire put together a really strong bogey-free, seven-under (64) round. The two-time TOUR winner had things going in all aspects of his game, but the key for him is always his ball striking, especially off the tee. When Kizzire can keep his tee ball in the right spots, he can often find success and it seems he has found that part of his game this week. He gained more than two shots with his ball striking Friday, then gained 3.34 more Saturday.
The thing that really caught my eye in his round was that he didn’t even putt it that great, leaving me to believe he could continue to build off of this on Sunday. He put himself in a spot to have a good chance at a top-5 type of finish. DraftKings makes him +450 for that result, which is a nice number compared to the 23% top-5 probability he’s being given at DataGolf. I am certainly interested, but will wait to see if BetMGM rolls out that market as I think getting ties paid in full will be important with such a packed leaderboard.
Sam Stevens is another name that fits in the mold of players who are striking the ball well, but can’t seem to find the hole on the greens. The rookie has gained better than two shots with his ball striking in all three rounds this week, but gave them all back with the flatstick on Saturday. His 2.17 shots lost on the greens was one of the worst in the field for Round 3 and unfortunately it’s been a steady regression in that metric this week. It’s certainly concerning to see that trend and maybe it’s one that should get me off of him, but with DraftKings giving us a +330 for a top 10, I still see enough value to take on that risk. That number appears off to me and I’ll always lean to the player going well tee-to-green and hope he can hole some putts to erase the two-shot deficit between him and that result.
Strokes Gained Data for All Players After Round 3
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