Valero Texas Open Round 3 Buys & Fades: Look Out for Charley Hoffman to Pass Cameron Tringale
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. Pictured: Charley Hoffman.
The second round of the Valero Texas Open went off with a bang as Cameron Tringale shook off two early bogeys to go on a run of five consecutive birdies in his opening nine holes and stretch his lead to five shots at one point. He slowed during the inward nine, but none of the afternoon players could catch him either.
Tringale will take a two stroke lead into moving day at TPC San Antonio as he seeks his first career TOUR win. He will be chased by local favorite Jordan Spieth who fired another under-par round to put himself in the penultimate pairing, and Englishman Matt Wallace, who will join Tringale in the final pairing on Saturday afternoon. Wallace shot a 4-under 68 on Friday to put himself in contention heading into the weekend.
The threesome of Tringale, Wallace and Spieth have separated themselves from the field through 36 holes, but all three have warts when it comes to winning. I am not writing off anyone further down the board just yet, and the strokes gained data should point us to some players poised to make a run on moving day.
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.
3 Golfers to Buy in Round 3
The leader in strokes gained tee to green through two rounds is not the leader, it’s actually Matt Wallace. He has shown great ball striking through 36 holes, gaining more than three strokes in that category.
We know that the talent is in there for the Englishman, but he hasn’t quite put it all together on this side of the pond. I am a believer in his game, and I love the consistency he has shown through two rounds as he’s gaining strokes across the board this week. We still get a decent number on him as he’s two shots back and just level with betting favorite Jordan Spieth, so I don’t mind grabbing +850 on FanDuel for a guy that is well positioned to be in contention throughout the weekend.
One player that has quietly put together two solid rounds to start the Valero Texas Open is Doc Redman. There has been a lot of chatter around the former U.S. Amateur champion, but he has yet to live up to those expectations in his young career.
Redman had things going in the wrong direction coming into this week as he missed the cut in four of his last five events. Despite that, it’s been really encouraging to see him put together back-to-back solid rounds, especially with his irons. He was able to couple more than three strokes gained on approach on Friday with a solid turnaround off the tee and position himself inside the top 10 heading to the weekend. He’s another player that has worlds of talent, making him an attractive buy at +4100 on FanDuel going into the third round.
The biggest turnaround of the day from the strokes gained perspective had to have Charley Hoffman in the conversation. He was simply terrible in most parts of his game on Thursday, but did a full 180 on Friday.
Hoffman gained 4.22 strokes tee to green in the second round, with nearly two and a half of those coming with his irons. He gained strokes on the field in all categories on Thursday as he vaulted up the leaderboard with the best round of the day at a 6-under 66. He will start the day on Saturday six shots back of the lead, but he clearly found some form, and he has had a ton of success in his career on the course. The +3000 available at BetMGM feels a bit short, but I think it’s more indicative of his potential to make a run this weekend.
3 Golfers to Fade in Round 3
The easiest fade for me going into the weekend is with Kyle Stanley. It’s not just that he’s a Clemson Tiger, but from a less biased standpoint, he’s a poor putter who gained 3.77 strokes with the flat stick on Friday.
Honestly, I’m being kind saying he’s simply a poor putter as Stanley ranks 207th on TOUR this season, losing .805 strokes per round. He certainly had it going in the second round, but I won’t expect that continue this weekend. Stanley is normally a strong ball striker, and he did gain about a half a stroke in each of those metrics on Friday, but he’s not doing enough to sustain a spot on the first page of the leaderboard the rest of the way.
Anirban Lahiri is a player that has come out of nowhere to put his name in the top 10 of the leaderboard through two days at TPC San Antonio. He finds himself just a handful of shots behind the lead, but I expect him to fall off as play goes into the weekend.
Lahiri has lost nearly a full stroke to the field in each of the first two rounds on approach. It’s no surprise with those poor iron numbers that he’s hitting just 55% of his greens through 36 holes, and if that continues, he simply doesn’t have the sustainability near the top of the leaderboard. I’ll put my fade in early on a player that’s struggling in the most important category at this course.
My last fade going into Saturday falls in a similar realm to the first two, as Rory Sabbantini is in the top 15 by virtue of a hot putter that is unlikely to stay hot the rest of the way. He ranks third in the field with more than five strokes gained on the greens through two rounds, which leaves him with just one direction to go with the putter this weekend.
Sabbatini lost strokes both ball striking and tee to green on Thursday, and still struggled to find his irons in the second round. It was a second consecutive day of losing strokes to the field on approach, as he ranks 131st in the category thus far. If he can’t find better iron pay this weekend, the other Rory will be dropping down the leaderboard.