Wyndham Championship Round 2 Betting Tips Using Strokes Gained

Credit:

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images. Pictured: Roger Sloan.

Round 1 of the Wyndham Championship isn’t even in the books yet, as play was suspended Thursday afternoon at Sedgefield Country Club in North Carolina due to weather. The tournament resumes at 7:30 a.m. ET Friday morning, but let’s go ahead and dive into the leaderboard now.

There’s currently a three-way tie at the top between Harold Varner III, Tom Hoge and Roger Sloan, all of whom finished their rounds. Harris English is solo in fourth place at 6-under, and lurking behind him are a couple big names like Patrick Reed and Webb Simpson.

What should we expect for the rest of the tournament? Let’s dive into Thursday’s data and take a look.

But first, a quick note on Strokes Gained, which I’ll mention frequently in this article.

(Click here to skip to the analysis section.)

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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

English actually came into this tournament with the best Recent Adjusted Round Score in the field. He missed his first cut after the COVID-19 layoff at the Charles Schwab, but since then he’s been in the top-20 in four straight tournaments, including last week’s star-studded PGA Championship.

And he hasn’t lost a step apparently: He dominated the field in Strokes Gained: Approach on Thursday. If the rest of his game hadn’t been merely average, he would probably have the lead at this point. Given his ball-striking numbers and general form over the last month, he should be one of the frontrunners here.

Mark Hubbard and Chris Kirk, meanwhile, are two guys worth buying in matchups or DFS tournaments: They played very well in the important Strokes Gained metrics, particularly approach and ball-striking.

Hubbard was especially awesome with his approach game, which is a nice change of pace from his recent performances. He was solid at the PGA Championship, but in his two prior events he struggled with his accuracy. He’s typically a ball-striker rather than a distance guy, so maybe today’s performance portends better things in the future. He’s one of the best putters in the field, so if his approach game is on, that’s a great sign.

And Kirk has been very solid lately as well: He hit over 70% of his greens at both the 3M Open and Workday Charity, and Thursday he was near the top of the field in SG: Approach. He finished the day negative with his putter, but he’s about average in the field so that could positively regress.

3 Golfers to Fade in Round 2

There hasn’t been an easier fade in recent memory than Roger Sloan, who gained an absurd 6.11 strokes putting Thursday. For context, Billy Horschel was second in that metric in Round 1 with a +3.75 mark. Sloan nearly doubled any other player in the field.

To be fair, he’s usually an awesome putter; in fact, he’s probably one of the better ones in the field. But you’d have to be a Jedi Master to put up those numbers twice in a tournament. And unfortunately for him, that’s what he’ll need to do to stay in contention if the rest of his game stays the same.

Sung Kang and Scott Brown are both players technically still in contention after shooting rounds of 4-under, but they mostly did it with their putters. The rest of their games was neutral to negative, and importantly their SG: Approach numbers were poor compared to the field.

As I usually write after the first round of any tournament, it’s important to still hold your priors after Thursday, as one round can be quite random. Kang and Brown just aren’t exquisite putters long-term, which makes me feel more comfortable fading that aspect of their games moving forward.

Alright, enough talk. Here’s the data for all players for Thursday.

Strokes Gained Data for Every Player in Round 1

(Note: The graph below is interactive. Click/hover to see data.)

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