Wild. That’s the only word I have to describe what happened at The Country Club on Saturday during the third round of the 2022 US Open.
Every time we thought we’d see someone dominating the third major tournament of the season, they quickly let them slip away and put the field back in the championship. This is all without mentioning the two-time main winner and the 36-hole co-leader who had nothing on his game.
It all really started with a fifth-ranked eagle holeshot by Scotty Scheffler. He also jumped to 6 under two bullets. He barely missed a chance for a nine-year-old bird and he seemed to be in cruise control. However, seemingly out of nowhere, he went by five points in the four 11-14 slot and fell off the lead.
Will Zalatores and Matt Fitzpatrick then took the lead before surprising Fitzpatrick with the last hole to drop to a 4-under tie with Zalatores.
Finally it was John Ram’s turn as he took the lead at 5-under-17 and looked ready to take on that lead in the final round as he looked for back-to-back wins at the US Open. Instead, he left a second shot in the fairway bunker on the 18th, then buried his next shot in the green bunker. He would have finished with a double and dropped in a shootout from the leaders entering the final round on Sunday.
I’d be lying if I said I had any inclination on who would win this thing on Father’s Day, but we’ll dive into it and see what players have left to buy before the final round.
Strokes gained explanation
Strokes Gained Can Give Golfers, DFS Players, and Fans More Details About How a Golfer Really Plays Scales each shot relative to the rest of the field.
Using the millions of data points you collect, the round calculates how many shots a player would need on average to get the ball into the hole from every distance and position. If a player beats these averages, he gains hits on the field.
Every situation in golf is different. Strokes earned measure how players perform in relation to a situation.
In this piece, we’ll look at a variety of measures of earned strokes:
- Strokes gained: off the tee
- Acquisition of strokes: the approach
- Gaining Strokes: Around the Green
- Acquisition of strokes: mode
- Hits earned: Hitting the ball (which is off the tee + style)
- Strokes gained: tee to green (hit the ball + around the green)
In general, SG: Ball-Striking and SG: Tee-to-Green are the most stable in the long run, while the situation is more prone to fluctuations.
You can often find the advantages of live betting by identifying golfers who hit the ball well, but don’t drop the ball. Likewise, high-performing players may fall back: putting numbers may fall back moving forward.
3 golf players to buy in the fourth round
There are very few occasions where I sit down on a Saturday night and stare at the blank screen trying to find my purchases and they fade away. This is definitely one of those times where this tournament can go in different directions and frankly, I’m not sure who’s going to step up and take it.
How many times can Zalatores Got too close and didn’t get a profit? Looks like it’s time and he definitely has the ability to shoot the ball to put himself in a position to take enough shots to win this event. It’s listed right after Fitzpatrick on the odds board and I’ll take my chances there. Zalatoris was at this place last month and it looks like this might be the time it finally closes.
However, my first inclination was that she is Rory McIlroythe time. He’s had some really tough times during this tournament and somehow stays there – just three shots on the lead. He also scored the Final 62 last Sunday, and will have those good vibes to lean on as he looks to grab his first major in eight years.
I’m buying him the ability to do more and collect his best run of the week because he simply hasn’t had his best since Thursday. McIlroy has made enough super hits to keep him in this tournament and I have a deep feeling he’s coming out at his best on Sunday at The Country Club.
Another player who proved to be the clutch on Sunday is Sam Burns. He has consistently put in strong final runs, as evidenced by his three wins this season. I will double as a young LSU alumnus as he held his run together on Saturday despite not getting his best close.
Burns had just over half a stroke on the court with his iron in the third round, but it was a hot racket that put him in contention. The difference with Burns and some of the other names at the top is that he truly is an elite racket, ranking 16th on that metric this season. He also ranks fourth in approaching, and if he puts those two things together in the last round, he can definitely get his first major.
3 golfers fade into the fourth round
I’m the weakest Matt Fitzpatrick. It hasn’t bothered me yet, and until he gets it done the first time, I’ll continue to stay on the other side.
The Englishman started his third round with a bogey and had more trouble to start his last nine games, but three birds on four holes returning home allowed him to beat the latter and still retain a share of the lead. As I’ve heard one or more than fifty times this week, Fitzpatrick won the U.S. Amateur at this particular course in 2013. He will be looking to match Jack Nicklaus as the only player to win both the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Open at the same time on the track. I think this will only add to the pressure on the guy who honestly didn’t handle the matter well when he was in this position in the past.
Above are some of the players who played really well on a late Sunday. Joel Dahmin fits the other end of this spectrum. He’s been one of the worst players in SG: Total in the last round over the past several events. Dahmen had trouble closing in on a strong weekend especially in the fourth round.
His slide began on Saturday when he scored 4-over 74, but the ball’s striking numbers were still going strong. His problems were mostly about his game in and around the Greens. If he can keep shooting the ball tomorrow, he can stay near the top 10, but history says he might have some Sunday terrors playing his part in the final round.
Aaron Wise was a player that I really loved coming into this week as the ball was shot together and he seems to have peaked. He was certainly in the mix starting Saturday, but posted a second round where he lost hits on the field on approach. He’s not a player who will compete much when he’s just relying on the short game and that’s where he’s heading at this point. Sure, Wise could find it again in the last round, but with multiple rounds showing hit-and-ball struggles, that’s enough for me to fade on Sunday.