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Opinion & Analysis

Are Your Approach Shots Holding You Back?

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The GolfWRX editors suggested that I research approach shots, as this is a crucial part of the game, and see if the stats can help golfers improve — or at least gain knowledge of the areas they need to improve.

As I did with my March 10 article: Research Shows Golfers Should Spend More Time Practicing Short Putts, I researched the average 17-handicap golfer from our database of more than 180,000 ShotByShot.com rounds.

I first isolated 3,200 rounds in our database with a 17 Slope Adjusted Differential (SAD). This would represent the average 17-handicap golfer (Mr. 17) when he played to his handicap or the best 10 of his most recent 20 rounds.

Next, I analyzed this large block of rounds just as I would a single player in order to reveal the strengths and weaknesses of his game. The results were interesting, and as you can see from the summary graphic below, his No. 1 Improvement Priority is Approach shot accuracy, specifically in the 150–175-yard range.

Appr. Art. 1

What does this analysis actually mean? Based upon our Strokes Gained model and analysis, in order for Mr. 17 to improve his game to the level of his “Target” Handicap (10 to 14), he would need the most improvement in his approach game and specifically on the 150–175-yard shots.

One might ask: Why not his Chip/Pitch facet? It is also at a relative handicap of 20. Simple, he only has 9.5 Chip/Pitch shots per round vs. 17.6 approach shots each round. The result of the analysis is always a combination of frequency and severity.

Let’s start with the frequency. The chart below displays the number of approach shots from the fairway as they relate to Mr. 17’s TOTAL approach shots (all shot of 50+ yards from Fairway-Tee, Rough or Sand). To be clear, shots from the fairway (and tee) represent 68 percent of ALL of Mr. 17’s approach shots. For perspective, I have included like numbers for the 2016 PGA Tour. Note the obvious spike in the 151-175-yard range. Just over one in every four of Mr. 17’s attempts fall in this range.

Appr. Art. 2

Severity: Not only does this particular distance own the most opportunities, but it is also the most costly. That is, Mr. 17 loses more strokes on average PER SHOT from this range than any other, a negative strokes gained of 0.43 per shot. Why? He only hits the green with 35 percent of his attempts AND makes an error* with 5 percent of his attempts.

*Approach error is a penalty result or a shot hit poorly enough to require a second approach from greater than 50 yards.

Appr. Art. 3I have a theory on why this particular range is so costly. I believe that this distance tends to represent the greatest distance from which MOST of us still hit traditional irons (7, 6 and 5 irons). Outside of 175 yards, we tend to go to hybrids, which are much more forgiving. These longer iron shots require the combination of club head speed and crisp contact in order to carry the distance needed AND hold the green. I personally have resorted to a 5 hybrid for the top end of this critical range.

Conclusions

If your game is like Mr. 17’s, I suggest:

  1. Devote some more range time to the 150-175 distances.
  2. Consider more forgiving irons or hybrids.
  3. Adjust your targets from these longer distances to the middle, even back-middle, of the greens.

For a complete Strokes Gained Analysis of your game, you can visit www.shotbyshot.com.

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In 1989, Peter Sanders founded Golf Research Associates, LP, creating what is now referred to as Strokes Gained Analysis. His goal was to design and market a new standard of statistically based performance analysis programs using proprietary computer models. A departure from “traditional stats,” the program provided analysis with answers, supported by comparative data. In 2006, the company’s website, ShotByShot.com, was launched. It provides interactive, Strokes Gained analysis for individual golfers and more than 150 instructors and coaches that use the program to build and monitor their player groups. Peter has written, or contributed to, more than 60 articles in major golf publications including Golf Digest, Golf Magazine and Golf for Women. From 2007 through 2013, Peter was an exclusive contributor and Professional Advisor to Golf Digest and GolfDigest.com. Peter also works with PGA Tour players and their coaches to interpret the often confusing ShotLink data. Zach Johnson has been a client for nearly five years. More recently, Peter has teamed up with Smylie Kaufman’s swing coach, Tony Ruggiero, to help guide Smylie’s fast-rising career.

25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. Dave R

    May 3, 2017 at 11:54 pm

    Mr. Nicklaus hello where are you. Unbelievable ! Best ever golfer what happened.

  2. Dave

    May 1, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    Leave it golf RX to screw up a link even. I wanted to read about why no one taught Mr. Nicklaus’s swing, and end up reading about some dude needing work on his approach.

    • indyvic

      May 3, 2017 at 2:47 am

      Nicklaus golf swing? ‘Asleep at the wheel?’

  3. Nigel Kent

    May 1, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    I thought this is supposed to be about Chamblee’s take on Nicklaus ???

  4. Shortside

    May 1, 2017 at 11:34 am

    I see realistic room for improvement from 100-150 yards. I am Mr. 17 and that is my window of opportunity. Or should I say lost opportunity. Being Mr. 17 that’s where most of my good tee shots leave me (white tees, where I belong). Most of my range time is devoted to it. Yet when I get on the course I seem to take a stupid pill. Pushed or pulled far too often. My personal analysis is pretty simple. I’m not finishing at my target. Hoping this is the year a little more focus on that gets me to an 8 GIR average. In theory that should get me to Mr. 13-14.

  5. Matto

    Apr 29, 2017 at 6:48 am

    You’re darn tootn. I hit 80%+ of fairways. Getting off the tee is no stress for me. Get a wedge in my hand and I’ll generally hit the green most times under 100. Around the green? No problem….I love the short game. Putting? Not too bad. But I’m an 11hc and that’s ALL thanks to approach shots. Hitting mid to long irons off grass? I basically have NO idea what I’m doing. 30 years of playing and it’s always held me back.

    • IHateLoveGolf

      May 1, 2017 at 1:10 pm

      I’m your exact opposite with weakness. I lose a handful of balls every round from the tee and shoot in the 80s. Irons? Easy peasy. If I (only had a brain) could tee off, I’d be single-digit and maybe even mid single digit.

  6. H

    Apr 29, 2017 at 3:37 am

    I can’t get off the tee, so no, my approach shots don’t hold me back as it takes me about 3 shots to get anywhere near the green, but my short game is deadly

  7. Greg

    Apr 28, 2017 at 9:39 am

    I believe more often then not Mr 17 tees it too far back. Move up one tee box and lower the amount of 150+ yard shots by 4 or 5 and he or she will improve. Also without slowing down the pace of play. Tee it forward.

  8. Parker0065

    Apr 28, 2017 at 9:31 am

    Great article!
    I guess I’ve been preaching this idea for +30 years when people ask how to consistently break 80(or whatever scoring level). I played a lot of golf as a junior, many rounds just me, my bag and the summer sun. By age 13 I was getting so close to breaking 80 and at the end of that season I did a full blown analysis of my game and stats(Crazy, I know, but all I ever thought or cared about as a kid was golf, until girls came along that is), and my conclusion was I just wasn’t hitting enough greens and had to get better with my iron approaches.
    Going into the following season I set out on a mission to do just that and over the first few months I did start to hit more greens. For me it was a combination of taking more conservative lines to the greens, as well as simply continuing to improve my golf swing.
    To me it’s all relative. Just saying “your going to hit more greens” is one thing but without actually “improving your golf swing” makes the idea of hitting more greens just irrelevant words!

    I’ll also add that for me hitting more greens to lower my scores into a competitive zone was a two step process. After my GIR stats started to improve that season many years ago as a junior I quickly realized I had to put in more time with “Lag Putting”. Holes in the past where I may have missed the green I was now faced with 30-40 foot lag putts. Which with a little practice become much easier to two putt versus trying to get up and down from all over the place. Plus it actually takes pressure off your short game(until you start shooting around or under par anyways) because you don’t have to rely on getting up and down 5-7 times a round to break 80.

    By August of that season(1979) I was consistently breaking 80 and never looked back!

  9. Peter Sanders

    Apr 28, 2017 at 8:58 am

    Steve,
    An 8 handicap from the Sand means that the player’s average putting distances following successful sand shots AND his % Errors (shots that do not find the green) match the profile of the average 8 handicap. It is based on Strokes Gained from the sand. While “Saves” are nice and important, they have nothing to do with the assessment of a player’s sand performance – Saves are two facets: Sand and Putting.

  10. WILLIAM MARTELLA

    Apr 28, 2017 at 8:13 am

    Pete, can you do a similar analysis for people in the 10-14 range looking to get to single digits? I’d like to see if this scoring zone shifts at all.

    • Dave

      Apr 28, 2017 at 8:29 am

      I would imagine the chipping and putting would be the focal point then.

    • Peter Sanders

      Apr 28, 2017 at 9:02 am

      Could be a good idea for another article. I will think about it. Thanks!

  11. Simms

    Apr 27, 2017 at 11:52 pm

    I find this idea completely correct….even pros end up missing cuts/or finishing low in the money because of this, and they are hitting 8,9 irons from 170. John Daly would be a prime example I would think..

  12. mikee

    Apr 27, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    My instructor wants to see only two stats on my scorecard …..GIR and distance from the pin after the approach shot. She wants 12 to 14 GIR (I am a 7 hcp) and as close as possible to the pin. Tiger dominated for years because he was first in both those stats.

    • Peter Sanders

      Apr 28, 2017 at 9:12 am

      mikee,
      12 – 14 GIR’s? A lofty goal! PGA Tour average is 12.5 and the Winner’s on Tour average 13. The average 7 handicap hits 8 GIR’s. Where are you now?

      • mikee

        Apr 28, 2017 at 9:26 am

        I’m at 10 GIR……but I putt terribly ….about 33 to 35 per round

  13. Matt

    Apr 27, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    Yep, fairway approach shots and pitching / chipping

  14. Mark

    Apr 27, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    Good article. I am struggling at the moment and hitting greens, never mind hitting it close is my weak area. The range beckons…

  15. Chris Bunting

    Apr 27, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    Maybe Mr.17 needs to move up a T box? I do not consider 175 yards an approach shot if I got off the T properly. Its more of a try to limit the damage shot since I barfed all over the T shot and now need a good recovery or else a big number looms.

    I do practice my approach shots quite a bit, but thats with a 7i-54* wedge.

    • george

      Apr 27, 2017 at 3:58 pm

      If you’re playing in the States you have the possibility to ease out and move up a tee, sure. But if you’re playing anywhere else in the world, the men’s tees are the men’s tees regardless of your driving distance or your hcp. The mens tees are rated and your hcp is based on the men’s tees. So you play the men’s tees and not some kind of colour code. And that, my friend, means that real golfers in the UK, anywhere else in Europe or Africa play from 6300-6700yds. If your Par4s are 410+yds you better learn how to hit those approaches from 170 or pitch it close with your 3rd.

    • WILLIAM MARTELLA

      Apr 28, 2017 at 8:10 am

      Also doesn’t take in to account the intentional play from the tee. 175 yards in is a 7 iron for me. Normally I would say I am closer, but my expectation is to be on or near the green with 6 iron or shorter, aka 185 and in.

      Moving up or back should be decided by your ability to hit for distance/accuracy

  16. Steve

    Apr 27, 2017 at 11:43 am

    I wonder what an 8 handicap out of the sand really means. My guess is gets out of the sand most of the time, but rarely gets a sandie.

  17. golfraven

    Apr 27, 2017 at 11:10 am

    Nice breakdown and analysis. Good to know the trouble zone (150-175 – 7,6,5 iron) so I will look out what mine is and work on it. Are my approaches holding my game back? Heck yeah – last round was 80% FIR but only 33% GIR – sucker.

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Opinion & Analysis

The Wedge Guy: What really makes a wedge work? Part 1

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Of all the clubs in our bags, wedges are almost always the simplest in construction and, therefore, the easiest to analyze what might make one work differently from another if you know what to look for.

Wedges are a lot less mysterious than drivers, of course, as the major brands are working with a lot of “pixie dust” inside these modern marvels. That’s carrying over more to irons now, with so many new models featuring internal multi-material technologies, and almost all of them having a “badge” or insert in the back to allow more complex graphics while hiding the actual distribution of mass.

But when it comes to wedges, most on the market today are still single pieces of molded steel, either cast or forged into that shape. So, if you look closely at where the mass is distributed, it’s pretty clear how that wedge is going to perform.

To start, because of their wider soles, the majority of the mass of almost any wedge is along the bottom third of the clubhead. So, the best wedge shots are always those hit between the 2nd and 5th grooves so that more mass is directly behind that impact. Elite tour professionals practice incessantly to learn to do that consistently, wearing out a spot about the size of a penny right there. If impact moves higher than that, the face is dramatically thinner, so smash factor is compromised significantly, which reduces the overall distance the ball will fly.

Every one of us, tour players included, knows that maddening shot that we feel a bit high on the face and it doesn’t go anywhere, it’s not your fault.

If your wedges show a wear pattern the size of a silver dollar, and centered above the 3rd or 4th groove, you are not getting anywhere near the same performance from shot to shot. Robot testing proves impact even two to three grooves higher in the face can cause distance loss of up to 35 to 55 feet with modern ‘tour design’ wedges.

In addition, as impact moves above the center of mass, the golf club principle of gear effect causes the ball to fly higher with less spin. Think of modern drivers for a minute. The “holy grail” of driving is high launch and low spin, and the driver engineers are pulling out all stops to get the mass as low in the clubhead as possible to optimize this combination.

Where is all the mass in your wedges? Low. So, disregarding the higher lofts, wedges “want” to launch the ball high with low spin – exactly the opposite of what good wedge play requires penetrating ball flight with high spin.

While almost all major brand wedges have begun putting a tiny bit more thickness in the top portion of the clubhead, conventional and modern ‘tour design’ wedges perform pretty much like they always have. Elite players learn to hit those crisp, spinny penetrating wedge shots by spending lots of practice time learning to consistently make contact low in the face.

So, what about grooves and face texture?

Grooves on any club can only do so much, and no one has any material advantage here. The USGA tightly defines what we manufacturers can do with grooves and face texture, and modern manufacturing techniques allow all of us to push those limits ever closer. And we all do. End of story.

Then there’s the topic of bounce and grinds, the most complex and confusing part of the wedge formula. Many top brands offer a complex array of sole configurations, all of them admittedly specialized to a particular kind of lie or turf conditions, and/or a particular divot pattern.

But if you don’t play the same turf all the time, and make the same size divot on every swing, how would you ever figure this out?

The only way is to take any wedge you are considering and play it a few rounds, hitting all the shots you face and observing the results. There’s simply no other way.

So, hopefully this will inspire a lively conversation in our comments section, and I’ll chime in to answer any questions you might have.

And next week, I’ll dive into the rest of the wedge formula. Yes, shafts, grips and specifications are essential, too.

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Golf's Perfect Imperfections

Golf’s Perfect Imperfections: Amazing Session with Performance Coach Savannah Meyer-Clement

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In this week’s episode, we spent some time with performance coach Savannah Meyer-Clement who provides many useful insights that you’ll be able to implement on the golf course.

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19th Hole

Vincenzi’s 2024 RBC Heritage betting preview: Patrick Cantlay ready to get back inside winner’s circle

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Just a two-hour drive from Augusta National, the PGA TOUR heads to Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head Island, S.C. Hilton Head Island is a golfer’s paradise and Harbour Town is one of the most beautiful and scenic courses on the PGA TOUR.

Harbour Town Golf Links is a par-71 that measures 7,121 yards and features Bermuda grass greens. A Pete Dye design, the course is heavily tree lined and features small greens and many dog legs, protecting it from “bomb-and-gauge” type golfers.

The field is loaded this week with 69 golfers with no cut. Last year was quite possibly the best field in RBC Heritage history and the event this week is yet another designated event, meaning there is a $20 million prize pool.

Most of the big names on the PGA Tour will be in attendance this week with the exceptions of Hideki Matsuyama and Viktor Hovland. Additionally, Webb Simpson, Shane Lowry, Gary Woodland and Kevin Kisner have been granted sponsors exemptions. 

Past Winners at Harbour Town

  • 2023: Matt Fitzpatrick (-17)
  • 2022: Jordan Spieth (-13)
  • 2021: Stewart Cink (-19)
  • 2020: Webb Simpson (-22)
  • 2019: CT Pan (-12)
  • 2018: Sotoshi Kodaira (-12)
  • 2017: Wesley Bryan (-13)
  • 2016: Branden Grace (-9)
  • 2015: Jim Furyk (-18)

In this article and going forward, I’ll be using the Rabbit Hole by Betsperts Golf data engine to develop my custom model. If you want to build your own model or check out all of the detailed stats, you can sign up using promo code: MATTVIN for 25% off any subscription package (yearly is best value).

Key Stats For Harbour Town

Let’s take a look at key metrics for Harbour Town Golf Links to determine which golfers boast top marks in each category over their past 24 rounds.

Strokes Gained: Approach

Strokes Gained: Approach is exceedingly important this week. The greens at Harbour Town are about half the size of PGA TOUR average and feature the second-smallest greens on the tour. Typical of a Pete Dye design, golfers will pay the price for missed greens.

Total SG: Approach Over Past 24 Rounds

  1. Scottie Scheffler (+1.27)
  2. Tom Hoge (+1.27)
  3. Corey Conners (+1.16)
  4. Austin Eckroat (+0.95)
  5. Cameron Young (+0.93)

Good Drive %

The fairways at Harbour Town are tree lined and feature many dog legs. Bombers tend to struggle at the course because it forces layups and doesn’t allow long drivers to overpower it. Accuracy is far more important than power.

Good Drive % Over Past 24 Rounds

  1. Brice Garnett (88.8%)
  2. Shane Lowry (+87.2%)
  3. Akshay Bhatia (+86.0%)
  4. Si Woo Kim (+85.8%)
  5. Sepp Straka (+85.1%)

Strokes Gained: Total at Pete Dye Designs

Pete Dye specialists tend to play very well at Harbour Town. Si Woo Kim, Matt Kuchar, Jim Furyk and Webb Simpson are all Pete Dye specialists who have had great success here. It is likely we see some more specialists near the top of the leaderboard this week.

SG: TOT Pete Dye per round over past 36 rounds:

  1. Xander Schauffele (+2.27)
  2. Scottie Scheffler (+2.24)
  3. Ludvig Aberg (+2.11)
  4. Brian Harman (+1.89)
  5. Sungjae Im (+1.58)

4. Strokes Gained: Short Game (Bermuda)

Strokes Gained: Short Game factors in both around the green and putting. With many green-side bunkers and tricky green complexes, both statistics will be important. Past winners — such as Jim Furyk, Wes Bryan and Webb Simpson — highlight how crucial the short game skill set is around Harbour Town.

SG: SG Over Past 24 Rounds

  1. Jordan Spieth (+1.11)
  2. Taylor Moore (+1.02)
  3. Wyndham Clark (+0.98)
  4. Mackenzie Hughes (+0.86)
  5. Andrew Putnam (+0.83)

5. Greens in Regulation %

The recipe for success at Harbour Town Golf Links is hitting fairways and greens. Missing either will prove to be consequential — golfers must be in total control of the ball to win.

Greens in Regulation % over past 24 rounds:

  1. Brice Garnett (+75.0%)
  2. Scottie Scheffler (+69.9%)
  3. Corey Conners (+69.0%)
  4. Shane Lowry (+68.3%)
  5. Patrick Rodgers (+67.6%)

6. Course History

Harbour Town is a course where players who have strong past results at the course always tend to pop up. 

Course History over past 24 rounds:

  1. Patrick Cantlay (+2.34)
  2. Cam Davis (+2.05)
  3. J.T. Poston (+1.69)
  4. Justin Rose (+1.68)
  5. Tommy Fleetwood (+1.59)

The RBC Heritage Model Rankings

Below, I’ve compiled overall model rankings using a combination of the five key statistical categories previously discussed — SG: Approach (24%), Good Drives (20%), SG: SG (14%), SG: Pete Dye (14%), GIR (14%), and Course History (14%)

  1. Shane Lowry
  2. Russell Henley
  3. Scottie Scheffler
  4. Xander Schauffele
  5. Corey Conners 
  6. Wyndham Clark
  7. Christiaan Bezuidenhout
  8. Matt Fitzpatrick
  9. Cameron Young
  10. Ludvig Aberg 

2024 RBC Heritage Picks

Patrick Cantlay +2000 (FanDuel)

With the exception of Scottie Scheffler, the PGA Tour has yet to have any of their star players show peak form during the 2024 season. Last week, Patrick Cantlay, who I believe is a top-5 players on the PGA Tour, took one step closer to regaining the form that’s helped him win eight events on Tour since 2017.

Cantlay limped into the Masters in poor form, but figured it out at Augusta National, finishing in a tie for 20th and ranking 17th for the week in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking. The former FedEx Cup champion will now head to one of his favorite golf courses in Harbour Town, where he’s had immaculate results over the years. In his six trips to the course, he’s only finished worse than 7th one time. The other finishes include three third places (2017, 2019, 2023) and one runner-up finish (2022). In his past 36 rounds at Harbour Town, Cantlay ranks 1st in Strokes Gained: Total per round at the course by a wide margin (+2.36).

Cantlay is winless since the 2022 BMW Championship, which is far too long for a player of his caliber. With signs pointing to the 32-year-old returning to form, a “signature event” at Harbour Town is just what he needs to get back on the winning track.

Tommy Fleetwood +3000 (FanDuel)

I truly believe Tommy Fleetwood will figure out a way to win on American soil in 2024. It’s certainly been a bugaboo for him throughout his career, but he is simply too talented to go another season without winning a PGA Tour event.

At last week’s Masters Tournament, Fleetwood made a Sunday charge and ended up finishing T3 in the event, which was his best ever finish at The Masters. For the week, the Englishman ranked 8th in the field in Strokes Gained: Approach, 10th in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking and 16th in Strokes Gained: Putting.

Harbour Town is a perfect layout for Fleetwood, and he’s had relative success at this Pete Dye design in the past.  In his four trips to the course, he’s finished inside of the top 25 three times, with his best finish, T10, coming in 2022. The course is pretty short and can’t be overpowered, which gives an advantage to more accurate players such as Fleetwood. Tommy ranks 8th in the field in Good Drive % and should be able to plot his way along this golf course.

The win is coming for Tommy lad. I believe there’s a chance this treasure of a golf course may be the perfect one for him to finally break through on Tour.

Cameron Young +3300 (FanDuel)

Cameron Young had a solid Masters Tournament last week, which is exactly what I’m looking for in players who I anticipate playing well this week at the RBC Heritage. He finished in a tie for 9th, but never felt the pressure of contending in the event. For the week, Young ranked 6th in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee and 6th in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking.

Despite being one of the longest players off the tee on the PGA Tour, Young has actually played some really good golf on shorter tracks. He finished T3 at Harbour Town in 2023 and ranks 20th in the field in Good Drive% and 16th in Greens in Regulation in his past 24 rounds. He also has strong finishes at other shorter courses that can take driver out of a players hand such as Copperhead and PGA National.

Young is simply one of the best players on the PGA Tour in 2024, and I strongly believe has what it takes to win a PGA Tour event in the very near future.

Corey Conners +5500 (FanDuel)

Corey Conners has had a disappointing year thus far on the PGA Tour, but absolutely loves Harbour Town.

At last week’s Masters Tournament, the Canadian finished T30 but ranked 20th in the field in Strokes Gained: Approach. In his past 24 rounds, Conners ranks 3rd in the field in Strokes Gained: Approach, 3rd in Greens in Regulation % and 24th in Good Drive %.

In Conners’ last four trips to Harbour Town, his worst finish was T31, last season. He finished T4 in 2021, T12 in 2022 and ranks 8th in Strokes Gained: Total at the course over his past 36 rounds.

Conners hasn’t been contending, but his recent finishes have been encouraging as he has finished in the top-25 in each of his past three starts prior to The Masters, including an impressive T13 at The PLAYERS. His recent improvement in ball striking as well as his suitability for Harbour Town makes Conners a high upside bet this week.

Shane Lowry (+7500) (FanDuel)

When these odds were posted after Lowry was announced in the field, I have to admit I was pretty stunned. Despite not offering much win equity on the PGA Tour over the last handful of years, Shane Lowry is still a top caliber player who has the ability to rise to the top of a signature event.

Lowry struggled to score at The Masters last week, but he actually hit the ball really well. The Irishman ranked 1st for Strokes Gained: Approach on the week and 7th in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking. As usual, it was the putter that let him down, as he ranked 60th in the field in Strokes Gained: Putting.

Harbour Town is most definitely one of Lowry’s favorite courses on the PGA Tour. In his six starts there, he’s finished in the top 10 three times, including third twice. Lowry is sensational at Pete Dye designs and ranks 7th in Strokes Gained: Total in his past 36 rounds on Dye tracks. 

Lowry is perfect for Harbour Town. In his past 24 rounds, he ranks 5th in Strokes Gained: Approach, 2nd in Good Drive% and 5th in Green in Regulation %. If he figures it out on the greens, Shane could have his first win in America since 2015.

Lucas Glover +12000 (FanDuel)

This is one of my weekly “bet the number” plays as I strongly believe the odds are just too long for a player of Glover’s caliber. The odds have been too long on Glover for a few weeks now, but this is the first event that I can get behind the veteran being able to actually contend at. 

Glover is quietly playing good golf and returning to the form he had after the understandable regression after his two massive victories at the end of 2023. He finished T20 at The Masters, which was his best ever finish at Augusta National. For the week, Lucas ranked 18th for Strokes Gained: Approach and 20th in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking.

Over his past 24 rounds, Glover ranks 9th in Strokes Gained: Approach and 13th in Good Drive %. Harbour Town is a short course that the 44-year-old will be able to keep up with the top players on Tour off the tee. He’s played the course more than 20 times, with mixed results. His best finishes at Harbour Town include a T7 in 2008, but recently has a finish of T21 in 2020.

Glover has proven he can contend with the stars of the Tour on any given week, and this number is flat out disrespectful.

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