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Shriners Hospitals for Children Open Round 3 Betting Guide: Finding Value Using Strokes Gained Data

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Matthew Stockman/Getty Images. Pictured: Bryson DeChambeau

  • Bryson DeChambeau heads into Saturday's third round at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open as the tournament favorite.
  • Chris Murphy breaks down the strokes gained data for Round 2 and tells us why he feels its now or never to buy in on the reigning U.S. Open champion.

It was like one of those Oprah holiday episodes on Friday at TPC Summerlin.

The only difference? It wasn’t cars, televisions or European vacations being handed out.

Instead, it was birdie after birdie after birdie being the reward.

Everyone seemed to get in the low-scoring mix, highlighted by Patrick Cantlay, Martin Laird, Austin Cook, Brian Harman and Peter Malnati earning a piece of the lead at 14 under par through 36 holes.

There are 10 others players within two shots of the front-running quintet, including first-round leader Bryson DeChambeau.

The cut ended up climbing all the way to 7 under, which is simply a remarkable number this week in Las Vegas. That puts the entire field that made the weekend within seven shots of the lead, so we’re heading into Moving Day that features a forecast of strong winds to hit for the leaders in the afternoon.

Let’s take a look at the strokes gained data from Round 2, to find the best buys and fades heading into Saturday’s round:

(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 held off on my buy of DeChambeau on Friday, but I think you have to get in now if you are going to get in at all. He started slow Friday and really never got much going throughout the round.

DeChambeau’s second round began with six straight pars before his first eagle of the day on the 7th hole. He would give one of those shots back on the 10th before going birdie-eagle at 15 and 16. Just one birdie for DeChambeau on a course where the field was averaging 5 under tells the story of a player who left a lot of shots out there.

DeChambeau is known for his off-the-tee game, but he is quietly one of the best putters on tour. He lost more than a stroke putting Friday, which tells a good bit of the story for his round. I think we likely just saw his worst round of the event, and there he is just one shot behind. DeChambeau heads into Saturday’s round as the favorite to win this event. Suffice it to say, if we don’t buy now, we are likely to miss it.

Nate Lashley has put together back-to-back solid rounds, following up his 8-under 63 on Thursday with a 4-under 67. Lashley finds himself just two shots back of the lead and is the second best player in the field tee-to-green after two rounds.

Lashley made it happen Friday by gaining more than two strokes on the field with his irons. It could have been a much better round for the University of Arizona alum, as he lost more than a stroke on the greens. Typically strong with his putter who ranked 63rd on tour last season, I am putting a buy in on Lashley’s tee-to-green game and a bounce back on the greens.

As I mentioned at the start, the players who made the cut on the number are only six shots back of the leaders, and have what appears to be a good weather advantage by going out early. I already put a buy in on Webb, but he would be my guy Saturday, too, as I’d simply take the best player in the best conditions.

Looking at it from a strokes-gained perspective, the play at the bottom of the board looks to be Joaquin Niemann. The Chilean gained more than two strokes both tee to green and ball striking in Round 2, en route to a 5-under 66 round.

He lost strokes with his putter, but it’s always about ball striking for Niemann, who appeared to shake off the rust he showed Thursday. I’ll buy him with an early start Saturday and look for him to make a move from six strokes back.

3 Golfers to Fade in Round 2

When you look at the numbers at the top of the board, one of the leaders sticks out and not in a good way.

Austin Cook has managed to put himself into the penultimate group despite striking it Friday to right around field average. He lost strokes off the tee and  gained a half stroke on approach, but still managed one of the lowest rounds.

Cook made it happen by gaining 2.7 strokes on the greens in Round 2, but I don’t see him being able to sustain that good play. He hasn’t had a Top 20 finish since last October, and now has the added pressure. I’ll put my fade in right up top, as I expect Cook to drop down the board.

The Stewart Cink story has been one of the headlines of the new season thus far. He got an improbable win at the Safeway, and has been able to stay hot through two rounds.

I’d love for the run to continue, but the numbers tell the story of a player who is starting to lose his tee-to-green game. Cink gained more than four strokes putting Friday, shooting an 8-under 63 to climb into a tie for seventh.

The 48-year-old lost strokes off the tee and was just above field average on approach, which isn’t sustainable for a player who will need all aspects of his game to stay in contention in this scoring fest.

Andrew Landry rounds out the fade group into the third round. He lost strokes on approach and around the green Friday, but still managed an under-par round to hang inside the Top 20 at 9 under par.

Landry was 157th on tour in putting last season, making the two strokes he gained putting today a big outlier for his game. His numbers are a big red flag as a typically poor putter, losing nearly two strokes tee-to-green, is the recipe we look for in a fade play.

Strokes Gained Data for All Players in Round 2

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