2023 Honda Classic Final Round Picks: Target Webb Simpson on Sunday
Pictured: Webb Simpson. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
Having not won on the PGA TOUR since 2015, Chris Kirk will look to end his drought Sunday at the Honda Classic. The American has put together an incredibly consistent start to the event, grading inside the top-20 for ball striking in each of the first three rounds. That output ranks fourth for the tournament, and it has been aided even further by a hot putter that places him 11th after he gained 3.92 shots with that facet of his game.
While the 37-year-old is in the driver’s seat, let’s not discount the credible leaderboard surrounding him. The 10 names directly behind Kirk ranked inside the top 40 of my pre-tournament model and carried those totals into Sunday after grading inside the first 40 golfers in head-to-head power weights.
If you haven’t already, you can find me on Twitter @TeeOffSports. There, I will provide a link to my pre-tournament model, a powerful and interactive data spreadsheet that allows user inputs to create custom golf rankings. That sheet is released every Monday, so be sure to check it out and construct your own numbers from my database of information.
Webb Simpson (+115) over Garrick Higgo (Bet365) – 0.96 to win 1.10
Webb Simpson/Garrick Higgo Tie (Bet365) – 0.12 to win 0.90
I am not a big three-way market fan. I prefer to bet these head-to-head wagers in two-way positions when possible. However, there is enough of an opening from our friends at Bet365 to play this in multiple iterations, including hedging with a tie.
Webb Simpson and Garrick Higgo are paired in round four, suggesting other legal books should deliver this matchup when more shops open if you want to wait and shop around.
I had this priced closer to -150 when looking at ties creating a push. I think that is important to note since a Webb win will essentially equate to 1.08 units to win 0.98 when all is said and done, making this a mispricing we should consider taking advantage of Sunday.
I know I have been harping on this Higgo fade route the entire week and have encountered some losing tickets by continuing this trend after watching him shoot eight-under over the past two rounds. Regardless, my model has very little optimism with the production output we have gotten throughout the event.
The first problem with that chart above is that Higgo has gained 152% of his strokes with his short game. That includes an off-the-tee return that ranks 73rd out of 80 players who made the cut and an equally disappointing approach retrieval of data that places outside the top 50 of this field.
None of that means he can’t continue this trend on Sunday since he has been one of the best players in this field around the green and putting. However, round four pin locations should emphasize the errors when water is waiting for all these tucked locations that may not allow him to scramble out of trouble.
We see the UNLV product placing 2.91 shots below Simpson when we only consider baseline putting for the week over his actual performance on the greens and then a shocking 8.04 less when adding his baseline around the green numbers to the mix.
As I always say, matchups are more about taking on the right opponent than they will ever be about finding the ideal golfer to back. So, let’s keep that idea in mind when we oppose one of the most overrated players in my model entering round four.
If Higgo continues his short-game expertise, we can only tip our caps to him. Although I like our position to get a Sunday implosion that hopefully will not be duplicated by Webb. He owes me that much after backing him all these times over the past six months.
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