2023 Farmers Insurance Open Final Round Odds & Picks: Jon Rahm the Rightful Favorite
Picutred: Jon Rahm. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
As we noted yesterday, the elite players seem to always find their way to the top at the Farmers Insurance Open. That played out to be true again during a rare Friday Moving Day as Jon Rahm and Tony Finau climbed their way into the last group for Saturday’s final round. They’ll play alongside Sam Ryder, who held steady in his third round with an even-par 72 that maintained his two-shot advantage.
Rahm and Finau aren’t the only elite players at the top though as three more players in the top 20 of the Official World Golf Rankings are inside the top five. Max Homa, Sungjae Im and Collin Morikawa are all at 7-under, five shots back of Ryder’s lead and joined by rising star, Sahith Theegala. Ryder has a little bit of a cushion as he has a two-shot edge over Rahm and is two more shots clear of Finau.
However, all of that can be erased in a hurry on the South Course at Torrey Pines and the odds make it clear that Rahm is the player to beat Saturday.
Luke List erased a five-shot lead to win last year in this event and I think we will see someone go low enough to contend from well behind Saturday. I tend to believe Ryder may stumble in pressure of the final group. It’s a lot for a player to overcome when trying to track down their first win and I tend to agree that Rahm is a rightful favorite in this position. Hopefully the Strokes Gained data can tell us a story as we look to track down the winner.
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.
Golfers to Buy in Round 4
I’m not going to be the guy trying to be smarter than everyone else by taking a stand against Rahm. Could someone else win? Sure. Is Rahm the most likely champion all things considered? Also yes.
I’ll ride Rahm from our buy on him yesterday and the odds going into Round 4 are quite fair across the books. Our friends at DataGolf give him a 43.3% chance to win, which would be about +130 odds. Rahm is listed at +120 across nearly all of the books, implying a 45% win probability. If you just want some action, that’s good enough for me on the guy I think most everyone expects to get it done in the final round.
When we look at the third round data, the numbers back up that feeling. Rahm was the second best in the field on approach (behind one Rickie Fowler) and gained more than four shots on the field with his ball striking. We really don’t have any reason to expect that to slow down on Saturday and for that reason, Rahm’s my pick to win and close out a perfect 3-for-3 start to his 2023 golf year.
If I’m going to take one of the guys at 7-under to win, I would look to Homa or Theegala. I may be a bit biased as I have them on my card already, but my thought really centers around their ability to go low when their game is on. Theegala would actually be my preference here — purely from an odds perspective — as I think the +3500 number on him at PointsBet is more appropriate of the situation than the +1800 being hung on Homa, Morikawa and Im.
We saw Theegala close a large lead in the final round last year at the Travelers, where he chased down and passed Xander Schauffele on the back nine. Theegala ultimately built some sand castles in the fairway bunker on the last hole that led to his demise, but he showed he has the guts to push the envelope and go for the win.
Theegala started fast Friday going three-under in his opening two holes. It was really a grind for him from there and a bit of a miracle that he got in under par on the day. His 1.55 SG: Approach for the round is a bit of a mirage, but I expect him to bounce back Saturday. This is a course he won on as a junior and he’s going to be willing to take on the shots that can either put him in position to win or end his chances, which is what we want in a longshot pick like this.
Round 3 Strokes Gained Data
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