Northern Trust Weekend Picks: Value on Matthew Wolff, Brian Harman & Bubba Watson


Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images. Pictured: Bubba Watson.

We often see players catch a hot putter throughout the first two rounds of a golf tournament. While this can help propel them to the top of the leaderboard, it typically doesn’t indicate a successful weekend. Third- and fourth-round success can often be attributed to who has been gaining strokes in three important categories: Off-the-Tee, Approach and Ball-Striking.

Let’s take a look at who you should play this weekend at the Northern Trust based on these Strokes Gained metrics.

Matthew Wolff

I was high on Wolff going into the tournament, and remain so going into the weekend. The reason he was such a great fit for this course was his off the tee prowess. In the first two rounds he ranks second in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee (+2.8). He is also gaining strokes on the field with his approaches ranking 25th in Strokes Gained: Approach (+2.8). He sits at -10 and is five shots behind the leader. He is ranked 56th in Strokes Gained: Putting (+0.0), so if he can just get a few more putts to fall he should find himself in contention late on Sunday.

Odds after Round 2: +2200 (DraftKings)

Brian Harman

The lefty sits at -9, six shots back of the lead. He has been excellent tee to green so far this week. He ranks sixth in the field in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee (+2.1) and 11th in Strokes Gained: Approach. He has gotten himself in the mix while losing 0.9 strokes putting, which ranks 77th in the field. This is surprising because Harman is typically an excellent putter. Expect him to get the putter rolling more efficiently on the weekend.

Odds after Round 2: +10000 (DraftKings)

Bubba Watson

Bubba has been excellent this week in the predictive statistical categories. He ranks 14th (+4.0) in Strokes Gained: Ball-Striking, 24th (+1.2) in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee, and 20th (+2.9) in Strokes Gained: Approach. He also sits at -9 and in contention for the weekend while ranking 73rd (-0.9) in putting. While he isn’t one of the best putters on tour, he can get it rolling on occasion. Watson has the win equity that many of the players in contention don’t, which makes him worth a look.

Odds after Round 2: +8000 (DraftKings)

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