2023 RBC Heritage Final Round Odds and Picks: Sticking with Matt Fitzpatrick at Harbour Town
Pictured: Matt Fitzpatrick. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Matt Fitzpatrick put the move in moving day at Harbour Town as he blitzed the field on his way to the top of the leaderboard with an 8-under 63. He now sits alone at the top with a one-shot lead over Patrick Cantlay. He’s also two shots ahead of Jordan Spieth. The 2022 U.S. Open Champion went bogey-free, including an improbable eagle hole-out from the waste bunker on the par-4 3rd. That shot really propelled him into his round as he went out with a 6-under 30 as he chased down and charged past this elite field.
However, it won’t be an easy close out for the Englishman as he will have a who’s who of golf looking to beat him Sunday. As I noted yesterday, this is also a course where players can come from behind as just four of the past 13 champions held at least a share of the lead through 54 holes. Fitzpatrick will have a lot to sleep on Saturday night as he looks to close out his second win stateside.
There will be plenty of viability to throwing some darts down the leaderboard as it seems likely someone will go low and post a number ahead of the final groups. As Fitzpatrick showed in Round 3, there are some low numbers available and if someone does that in the final round, they could very well steal this thing from behind. Let’s see who stands out as I pick a winner and detail a couple of other betting options.
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 4
My first look last Sunday started with the spotlight on Fitzpatrick and I’m not going away from that now. He has a game that is tailor made for this course and while he hasn’t won here yet, he has had plenty of good showings. I am hopeful this will be the year he closes the door on a win at Harbour Town and that it can serve as a springboard for the rest of his season. I will say, I actually don’t love him carrying the lead into the final round with all that brings and the noted history of winners coming from behind on Sunday. Despite that concern, he’s still my guy and the numbers show he has it all working this week. He’s gaining strokes on the field in every metric and ranks fourth in SG: Tee-to-Green, with his irons being his best category. If he can keep that going for one more day, he will be tough to beat.
I’m sticking with my heart and gut pick in Fitzpatrick, but it is really interesting to me to see our friends at DataGolf making Cantlay the favorite to win in the final round. They give him a 29% win probability, just a few percentage points ahead of Fitzpatrick. The oddsmakers don’t agree though as every major book has the Englishman at the shortest odds, making it appear we are getting some value on the World No. 4. Cantlay has been quite sharp this week, despite taking shots from all angles about his pace of play. Cantlay was the player Spieth beat in a playoff at this event last year and we know he will be looking to get over that hump this week.
The best player on approach and second best in the field tee-to-green this week is Xander Schauffele. He has had everything going with his irons, but, once again, the putter has let him down. He’s four shots short of the lead, but is certainly one of those guys who could go out with a 7 or 8-under round and put up a number everyone else needs to beat.
Schauffele lost 2.78 shots to the field on the greens on Saturday as he struggled to put the ball in the hole. If he can find the stroke with the flat stick in the final round and — for just those 18 holes — get some things going to match the play he’s had tee to green, he could be in contention. I don’t mind a sprinkle on Schauffele at +3200 to see if he can come out and be a real contender for the title down the back stretch of the final round.
Strokes Gained Data for All Players After Round 3
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