2024 Memorial Tournament Data-Driven Pick: Bet Eckroat Over Detry in Sunday Matchup Bet

2024 Memorial Tournament Data-Driven Pick: Bet Eckroat Over Detry in Sunday Matchup Bet article feature image

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) Pictured: Austin Eckroat.

Part of me wanted to run the gamut of Will Zalatoris fades by opposing the American one last time in round four after the onslaught of wagers we have unsuccessfully placed against him this week.

I am always going to be someone who believes in my math, even when it reaches the point of sociopathic tendencies of refusing to deviate away from the script. However, there are two main reasons I have decided to veer away from a -120 price of Byeong Hun An over Zalatoris at DraftKings, a total that is 20 points lower than the rest of the market.

First, Zalatoris' profile isn't quite as bad inside my sheet after two consecutive ball-striking performances where he earned just under one shot per round. The outputs haven't been overly encouraging for a golfer who landed third-to-last in my sheet for projected performance when taking actual ball-striking and comparing it to baseline short-game metrics.

Still, a wonky Thursday result is hurting the profile more than it should be for the event now that we have gotten all golfers into round four.

Second, some of my model's fast Bentgrass short-game totals are better than the baseline expectations elsewhere for Zalatoris. I still envision a potential implosion on Sunday, but placing this large of my exposure against one golfer seemed counterintuitive when he has been trending up my model nicely over the last 36 holes.

If you want to continue fading Zalatoris, DraftKings is borderline out of control themselves after making Hun An -120 for the second straight day. We saw that price jump into the -140s at all shops when we placed the wager for round three, which adds to the narrative after opening in the -140s at some shops for the final day. 

I do believe that shows we have been on the right side, but I will give Zalatoris the benefit of the doubt since he doesn't need to fully decide our outcome after we enter round four 2-2-1 on matchups this week, with a Sungjae Im over Jason Day full event wager pending. 

Let's highlight a different wager for Sunday since I don't necessarily trust Hun An in this spot.

If you haven't already, you can find me on Twitter (@TeeOffSports). There, I provide a link to my pre-tournament model, a powerful and interactive data spreadsheet that allows user input 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.

2024 Memorial Tournament Sunday Matchup Pick

Austin Eckroat -110 over Thomas Detry (DraftKings)

We got the best out of Thomas Detry on Saturday after the 31-year-old gained across the board in all critical Strokes Gained metrics. That is an excellent sign that his game is trending in a positive direction after a subpar start to the week where he lost 3.13 shots ball-striking over the opening 36 holes.

Those two examples obviously have generated outlandishly different performances. It is not uncommon for that narrative to play out between days in professional golf since we are dealing with a highly volatile sport, but the real question becomes:

Will the real Tom Detry please stand up?

My model has been much lower than the consensus on Detry throughout the week, ranking him 67th out of 73 players pre-event for Projected Proximity + Around the Green aggregated totals.

The lack of intrigue didn't stop there when he graded an expected 47th in the field for Total Driving, 47th for GIR percentage and 52nd for Weighted Scoring, which has consistently pushed me in the direction of Detry being one of the top fade candidates to consider.

We have mostly gotten those returns when you remove his Saturday metrics and instead highlight a player who failed to crack the top-50 ball-strikers for the day on Thursday and Friday. The round three data will make the profile look cleaner than it is when we dive into his 38th-place projection when taking his actual ball-striking totals and merging that with his baseline short-game returns.

Nonetheless, it is a nice spot where my model believes Eckroat should be 4.17 shots better than Detry if both were getting a "fair" expectation with their short game totals.

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