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The Players Championship Round 4

DeepDiveGolf gives his Round 4 Best Bets at The Players Championship

Before getting into The Players Championship Round 4 Best Bets, I recommend going back to read my tournament preview article hereThis provides context behind The Players Championship Round 4 betting tips and 2 Balls below. You can catch up on all my deep-dive golf course analysis of TPC Sawgrass and important course comps for the tournament.

It was a mixed bag for our golfers in the 3rd round, as the volatile TPC Sawgrass always tends to produce. Tom Hoge (80/1) was playing brilliantly and sitting in the Top 10, before the dreaded 18th swallowed two of his golf balls in the water. The subsequent quadruple bogey dropped him all the way to 35th and an outside chance on our Top 20 bet at +300.

Likewise, Nick Taylor (175/1) has been sitting 2nd for the first two days of play. He completely lost his swing over the first 10 holes, including a 135 yard shank driving on the 10th hole finding water. He was mildly better over the final 8 holes, sitting 22nd. Still, he is a chance for a Top 20 at +450 and a Top 40 at +200.

In better news, Brian Harman (80/1) is right in contention. He completed the lowest 2nd and 3rd round total at The Players Championship, following up his 65 with a 64 on Saturday. Harman sits in 3rd just two shots off the lead.

Our favourite of the week, Hideki Matsuyama (35/1), sits in 9th. He leads the field in ball-striking this week and remains towards the top of the leaderboard despite sitting 65th for SG: PUTT. Although he is likely too far back to chase a win at 7 shots off the lead, he is a chance for a place payout at +700.

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The Players Championship Round 4 Best Bets

Putnam over Molinari -130

Andrew Putnam ranks 23rd in this field for SG: PUTT over the past 12 months, yet is 68/73 putting of those who made the cut. That included losing -2.01 SG: PUTT in the 3rd round, with missed birdie chances at the 1st, 9th, and 12th holes as well as a bogey on 6th after missing a 7 footer.

Meanwhile, Molinari is exceeding his typical putting baseline, sitting 25th for putting this week whilst only ranking 126th in this field for SG: PUTT over the past 12 months. Molinari also ranks as one of the worst in the filed for SG: APP over the last 12 months under 150 yards. This represents the highest number of approach shots at TPC Sawgrass.

This is the one of the strengths of Putnam’s game. His approach numbers are a little hidden, given he found the water on 18 Saturday costing him -1.42 SG: APP on that hole alone. Combined with expected regression in putting metrics, it sees Putnam as value at this number.

Hubbard over English +130

Much as we stated in our Round 2 Best Bets article, Hubbard continues to display excellent ball-striking this week. He is 3rd for driving accuracy and 7th for SG: APP, sitting 4th for SG: BS.

The problem really has been the putter. There has actually been much improvement in this aspect of his game of late, ranking 24th in this field putting over the past 3 months. Additionally, he has tended to putt well at TPC Sawgrass. He has been at or above field average in all appearances at The Players Championship bar on debut.

Of some concern is that English lost -3.01 SG: Putt in the 3rd round, well below his baseline. However, the far better ball-striking numbers from Hubbard suggest he should be much closer to even money than an outsider in this matchup.

Lowry over McCarthy -110

Lowry has been in fabulous form of late, finishing 3rd at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and 4th at the Cognizant Classic the week prior. He also holds a strong record at The Players Championship where has finished 8th, 13th, and 16th before. Correlated courses of Sedgefield and Wentworth also see Lowry hold good finishes.

Outside a 13th placed finish in 2023, McCarthy has finished no better than 41st at The Players Championship in his other three starts here. Currently, he is really struggling with driver and on approach. It has been more of the same this week, finding only 23 fairways over the first 3 rounds and 48th on approach despite not finding the water.

Lowry let birdie putts go on holes 1, 9, 12, 14, 16, and 17 on Saturday. Additionally, he missed a 3ft 4in par putt on the 5th hole. That is well below average even for Lowry’s standards, on a golf course he has been a net gainer when putting.

Rai over Knapp -115

Aaron Rai finally found his approach in the 3rd round, gaining +3.55 SG: APP on Saturday. Although holing out for eagle on the 14th certainly helped, he was still +1.51 on approach for the other 17 holes.

Rai also ranks 1st in the field for driving accuracy this week, the most predictive factor for success at TPC Sawgrass. He has missed only 7 fairways all week. On the other hand, Knapp typically struggles with driving accuracy. The same can be said this week. He is sitting just 50th for driving accuracy, including finding only 6 fairways on Saturday.

Sitting 63/73 for SG: BS and 71/73 for SG: OTT doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence for Knapp. Certainly, a final round appearance for the rookie is an achievement in itself. However, it is a challenge he may find difficult on debut.

Matsuyama over Montgomery -143
The Players Round 4 Favourite Bet

As in the introduction, Matsuyama is really in an excellent vein of form with the ball-striking. He leads the field in that metric this week. The putter continues to be a struggle for Matsuyama this week. However, that is the most volatile club in the bag and one that we so often see regress towards a golfer’s baseline over a much shorter timespan.

Montgomery is one of the most inaccurate drivers in this field, ranking 139th in this field over the past 12 months. Although a superb putter in general, there is only so long around TPC Sawgrass that you can avoid the dangers of water at nearly every turn. The odds at Bet365 are also generous. Matsuyama is a -220 or shorter favourite at most other books.

Harman over McNealy -125

As fun as McNealy 3rd round was to watch, that fairytale can only last so long. Chip-ins on holes 3, 14 and 15 (after putting off the green) are unlikely to occur again.

McNealy ranks just 60th in the tournament for SG: APP. He has carried heavily by his fortunate wedge play and putter to find himself in contention. Really, it is quite an unsustainable way to build a scorecard.

Meanwhile, Harman has looked truly excellent thus far. He is 3rd for SG: APP, 5th for SG : BS, and 4th for SG: PUTT. When you account for the fact he actually lost on approach in his opening round, he has gained +6.35 SG: APP for Friday and Saturday. Those numbers should carry him over McNealy. It may even see him lift the trophy on Sunday.

Lashley over Scheffler +400 Singles Only

Rounding out our selections are a couple of speculative outsiders. Therefore, these are included as singles only.

Taking on Scheffler in most circumstances seems absurd. Undisputedly, he should be the favourite in this 2 Ball. The issue comes more with the number.

The fact is, the general public are going to jump on Scheffler no matter what the odds are in this matchup. Obviously, the books need to cover this. Hence, he is a -450 favourite when he should be closer to -200. Add in the additional wrinkle of the Scheffler neck injury, it seems worth taking a contrarian stance here.

For the record, my numbers produced a similar story for C.T. Pan at +250 over McIlroy over at Fanduel. I wasn’t quite brave enough to pull that trigger on that one. However, I’ll note that the model did like that play for Round 4 of The Players Championship.

Schenk over Burns +180 Singles Only

Again, I won’t deny the fact that Burns should be the favourite in this 2 Ball. However, the number has slipped a little too far in his favour when he should be more fairly priced at -100.

Schenk has been the much better ball-striker of these two over the first three rounds. He ranks 11th for SG: BS and 7th for SG: T2G. This includes ranking 7th for driving accuracy, 12th for SG: OTT, 21st for SG: APP, and 16th for SG: ATG. He has missed just 10 fairways thus far. Meanwhile, Burns is 61/73 for driving accuracy having found just 23 fairways so far this week.