2023 Mexico Open Round 3: Keep an Eye on Wyndham Clark and Patrick Rodgers

2023 Mexico Open Round 3: Keep an Eye on Wyndham Clark and Patrick Rodgers article feature image

Pictured: Wyndham Clark. (Photo by Orlando Ramirez/Getty Images)

We are through 36 holes at the Mexico Open and Tony Finau has catapulted to the top of the leaderboard at 13-under par.

If you follow my work here at Action Network, you know I have been calling for this Finau victory for the past month because the stats have outweighed the results. None of that suggests a jam-packed leaderboard won't be able to keep him out of the winner's circle, but the American is the betting favorite for a reason.

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.

Mexico Open Round 3

I ran a model for Saturday to try and uncover some of the biggest underachievers in the field when comparing their expected baseline short-game totals versus their actual production. The chart below is the projected top of the board when recalculating the metrics to only include my model's estimates over two rounds for putting and around-the-green totals, while adding back in the actual performances off-the-tee and approach.

The reason I do that is to get a better understanding of who is striking the ball well, but might be failing to produce the way they should be in the more volatile areas of the game.

I disregarded some of the options outside my model's top 40 since it is counterintuitive to talk about golfers I don't have interest in backing. However, the list above generated an intriguing onslaught of talent to consider since no one overachieved their projection by more than five spots, including a few names massively playing below their baseline over the opening two rounds.

I will chop this down to a few headline notes for Saturday, but do tend to think all the players on the list above should be under consideration in various contests/bets because of their overall profiles for this track.

The first name I want to dive into deeper is Wyndham Clark, who my model believes should be in seventh place after two rounds, but finds himself sitting in 62nd. The 4.81-shot deviation between his baseline and actual output was the most significant discrepancy on my sheet when looking at the top-40 candidates who made the cut. That makes Clark a prime bounce-back candidate if he can figure out how to turn around a typically sound putter. 

Clark imploded with that facet of his game on Thursday and Friday to the tune of negative-4.02 shots, but I am more focused on the 2.37 strokes he gained ball-striking on Friday.

If he can clean up the 2.85-shot difference with the flat stick he experienced in round two, the sky is the limit for Saturday. 

The other golfer I wanted to highlight was Patrick Rodgers. The difference isn't as much on paper since he has mixed in some high-end production around the green, but the negative-2.88 shots with the flat stick still landed 3.4 strokes below his baseline expectation. 

Rodgers was a top-five win equity option for me pre-event, which might be going marginally under the radar through two rounds. His distance + long iron play can come center stage before this event ends on Sunday, and I don't mind trying to find areas to back him in this market.

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