Sanderson Farms Championship Round 3 Betting Guide: Finding Value Using Strokes Gained Data

Credit:

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images. Pictured: Anirban Lahiri.

  • We come upon Moving Day at the Sanderson Farms Championship, where Chris Murphy is is still buying the guys chasing the leaders.
  • Murphy shares three golfers to buy and three to fade using strokes gained data from Round 2.
  • Check out is full breakdown below.

Keegan Bradley charged up the leaderboard at the Sanderson Farms Championship on Friday, carding a 7-under-par 65 to take the solo lead by two shots over J.T. Poston and Charley Hoffman.

MJ Daffue, a Monday qualifier, sits just three shots back in solo fourth place at 10 under par.

Yesterday, I put a buy in on Sergio Garcia, only to find out shortly into his round he was literally putting with his eyes closed. Somehow, it still worked out as he shot a 4-under 68, leaving him just five shots back going into the weekend.  Hopefully he keeps it up, but let’s take a look at the strokes gained data and see if we can find some guys going into Round 3 who putt with at least one eye open and hit the ball well:

(Click here to skip to the analysis section.)

Strokes Gained Explanation

Strokes Gained can give golf bettors, DFS players and fans way more detail on how a golfer is truly playing 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, ball-striking and 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 just not getting putts to drop. Likewise, players with high SG: Putting numbers may regress moving forward.

Read more about Strokes Gained here.

3 Golfers to Buy in Round 3

It’s been a solid two weeks after a bit of a hiatus for Anirban Lahiri. He finished in a tied for sixth last week at the Corales Championship, and has worked his way into the Top 7 heading into Saturday’s round.

Lahiri ranks fifth in the field tee to green through two rounds. He gained more than two strokes ball striking Friday, but struggled a bit on the greens. If he continues to strike it well and find the putting stroke that led to a 6-under 66 on Thursday, Lahiri could be in contention this weekend. He’s a player with winning experience internationally, where he’s racked up 18 victories, That along makes him very interesting down the stretch at Jackson Country Club.

Aaron Wise nearly made the fade list Thursday after a superb putting performance that wasn’t backed up by much on the ball-striking side. He naturally regressed on the greens, but I was encouraged by the way he turned around his irons, gaining 2.83 strokes on approach en route to a 3-under 69.

Wise will start Saturday in a tie for 12th and has shown me enough to put him in the buy category on moving day. If he can pair the hot putter from Thursday with his strong iron play in Round 2, he could find himself with a late tee time for Sunday’s final round.

Doc Redman was a popular pick heading into the tournament, but has been a little slow out of the gates through two rounds. He’s shot a 2-under 70 both rounds and is nine shots back of the leader, sitting in a tie for 35th place.

The 22-year-old came out a little rusty Thursday after a few weeks off and didn’t have his normally sharp ball striking. Still, Redman salvaged a decent round Friday and found his game a bit. Redman’s putter failed him in Round 2, losing more than a stroke on the greens, but gained nearly three tee to green.

Redman may have dug himself a little too big of a hole to contend for the win, but he looks like a strong play in DFS and matchups as others jump off.

3 Golfers to Fade in Round 3

The first fade for moving day is Charley Hoffman. He did what he often does on Thursdays, storming out to tie for the first-round lead and finding a way to hang around at the top of the leaderboard through Round 2.

My concern with Hoffman is that he did it by gaining more than three strokes with his putter, which balanced out losing a half stroke tee to green. His ball striking showed two aspects of his game going in opposite directions, as he gained nearly two strokes off the tee, but lost 1.46 strokes to the field on approach. It’s good to see Hoffman in contention, but as a player who ranked 111th off the tee and 88th putting last season, all signs point to him tumbling down the leaderboard.

I put in the matchup play before the start of the tournament on Denny McCarthy against Chez Reavie, and will certainly be rooting that home, especially since my outrights both missed the cut. However, I can’t continue to back McCarthy in his current position.

McCarthy is a really good putter, but can’t continue to lose strokes to the field in aspects of his ball striking and expect to stay in the Top 5. He has gained more than five strokes total with his putter, while basically playing to field average in both off the tee and on approach.

That said, I’m putting my fade in on McCarthy before moving day and think he’s relying too much on the flat stick to stay in contention.

I’m going to double down here as well. I already faded Kevin Chappell following his Round 1 lead, but he managed to stay in the picture despite things playing out as we expected with his ball striking.

Chappell lost strokes both tee to green and on approach Friday, but the putter continued to bail him out. He gained another 1.15 strokes on the greens and remains in the Top 7. Stay on the fade and look for matchups to take advantage of Chappell this weekend.

Strokes Gained Data for All Players in Round 2

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