Shriners Hospitals for Children Open Round 2 Betting Guide: Finding Value Using Strokes Gained Data

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Jamie Squire/Getty Images. Pictured: Zach Johnson

We found out following the start of the Shriners first round that Bryson DeChambeau shot a 59 in the Pro-Am on Wednesday. He kept that same pace on the front nine on Thursday, but DeChambeau “only” shot 61 on his way to the first-round lead as he takes a one-shot advantage over a handful of players.

It was a low scoring day all around, as the cut would currently stand at a strong 3-under. I expect the birdie-fest to continue tomorrow, but it may be a bit tougher as the course dries out and they toughen the pin positions.

The round was stopped short due to darkness, with some good rounds still out on the course. We will run through the data we have at the time of the stoppage, and see who stands out as some of the field finish up and head into Round 2 on Friday morning.

(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 2

I feel like I should be buying Bryson DeChambeau here as it seems like he may just run away with this, but at almost even money to win after only 18 holes, that’s just not something I can suggest.I will instead stick to my thought that the chasers are the ones to target going into Round 2 in a birdie-fest like this. We will just have to hope Bryson doesn’t sustain this all weekend.

There was some chatter around Zach Johnson this week, and he lived up to it with a 6-under 65 on Thursday. He was just about field average off-the-tee, which is pretty solid for one of the shorter players on TOUR. The part that has me excited about ZJ going into the weekend was his strong iron game.

Johnson gained more than two strokes on approach in Round 1 and that type of ball striking will have him set to contend.

Johnson was held back a touch by a balky putter, as he was just field average on the greens. I’m buying in on one of the TOUR’s most consistent putters to pick up that aspect of the game, and paired with hot irons, he will climb near the top of the leaderboard.

Wyndham Clark is the another player that stands out.  He ranked 16th in putting last season, but lost strokes on the greens today.  The positive for Clark is that he gained strokes in all three tee-to-green metrics, and gained more than a stroke on the field ball striking.

Clark’s 4-under 67 has him five shots back of the lead going into Friday. This is a good spot to jump on a normally good putter, who appears in good form with his tee-to-green game.

Webb Simpson is another guy I’m targeting. He shot a 3-under 69 on Thursday gaining strokes in all tee-to-green categories, but he couldn’t get it going on the greens.

I love that Webb has come out dialed in with his ball striking, especially on approach where he gained more than a stroke and a half on the field. He’s had great history at this course, and was the 13th best putter on TOUR last season. I expect he makes a big run up the leaderboard this weekend, and now looks like the best time for that buy.

3 Golfers to Fade in Round 2

Whenever I see Emiliano Grillo near the top of the strokes gained putting stats, he becomes nearly an auto-fade. Credit to Grillo, he had a great round on Thursday with a 7-under 64, and the ball striking was solid as usual. It’s the 2.24 strokes gained putting that has me knowing last season’s 192nd-ranked putter is likely to tumble down the board.

I’m taking the fade early as I think we will see this is far and away the best putting round the Argentinian will post all weekend. I only see him trending one direction tomorrow.

Brian Harman stands out as a fade following the first round. He lost strokes ball striking as he was simply field average on approach, and lost strokes off the tee. The former Georgia Bulldog had to lean heavily on his putter on Thursday as he gained nearly three strokes against the field on the greens in his 6-under 65.

Harman is a pretty solid putter, consistently in the top 50 on TOUR, but he can’t rely solely on the flat stick this weekend. My fade is on his ball striking as players will need a complete game to keep up with such low scores available at TPC Summerlin.

If there is one player you can always expect to be more popular than projected in DFS, it’s Rickie Fowler. Understandably, everyone likes Rickie and wants him to do well. The issue is that his game has simply been off and he acknowledged that in press conferences this week as I noted on Twitter yesterday.

Fowler shot a solid 4-under par in Round 1, but did it while fighting his irons. He has lost 2.62 strokes on approach in his round so far, but made up for it with the best putter in the field on Thursday. Rickie is a fade for me until he shows some consistency tee-to-green, and he was far from that today.

Strokes Gained Data for All Players in Round 1

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