The U.S. Open got off to a slow start at Torrey Pines on Thursday as the marine layer caused a 90-minute fog delay of the beginning of the tournament. Once it finally cleared and players hit the course, it was exactly what we would expect out of this event.
There are big numbers available around every turn of the course, and some of those came solely on the firm and fast greens. Max Homa was a glaring testament to that as he four-putted his third hole of the day, included three putts from inside of four feet. Others found trouble with the deep rough that left them just trying to get the ball back into play.
While many struggled, as the field played to nearly three strokes over par on the round, others found some success. Russell Henley had the best round of the morning wave as he holed a ten-foot birdie on his final hole of the day to post a 4-under 71. He would be matched by Louis Oosthuizen through 16 holes of his afternoon round, before the horn would blow stopping play due to darkness. In total, 21 players were under par when play stopped on Thursday evening, with some still needing to finish as many a six holes. Unfortunately, the morning fog delay could be an issue nearly every day of this tournament, which could lead to playing catch up every round.
There are nearly forty players within just five shots of the lead going into the second day at Torrey Pines, making for a solid overnight betting market. Let’s take a look at the data from the opening round to see who stands out.
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 2
As is often the case at the U.S. Open, many of the superstars of the game are positioned to be a factor after the opening round. There are many big names lurking just behind the leaders, and they will be looking to get themselves a late afternoon tee time going into the weekend. I will be looking to add some of those names to my card, and it will start with Tyrrell Hatton on Friday.
He took the momentum of his great play at the Palmetto straight into the first round at Torrey Pines on Thursday as he gained more than two shots on the field tee to green. While it was a solid day tee to green, it wasn’t quite up to the standards we expect from the Englishman, but it was really encouraging to see him find something with his short game after making nothing on the greens last week. I would expect that we see Hatton put it all together as we go forward through this tournament, and that will be a dangerous combination down the stretch of this U.S. Open. I’m officially a buyer on Hatton at +2900 on FanDuel heading into day two.