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Do this golf betting thing long enough and there are bound to be enough close calls and crazy results to leave you in a straightjacket.
I’m not quite there yet, but Sunday afternoon could be the clincher.
Last week, I picked Tony Finau as my outright winner based on his strong course history at Torrey Pines. (Spoiler alert: He didn’t win.)
This week, I picked Bryson DeChambeau as my outright winner based (in part) on the karma play of withdrawing from the European Tour event in Saudi Arabia and competing in the Waste Management Phoenix Open instead—something Finau did, as well.
And now? Wouldn’t you know it, with 18 holes left to play, Finau is your tournament leader.
Consider it the golf betting equivalent of peppering the stick on a couple of par-3 holes, only to three-putt for bogey.
Finau is now +188 (bet $10 to win $18) to claim just the second PGA Tour title of his career, with a bevy of solid options—including Webb Simpson (+225), Xander Schauffele (+600) and J.B. Holmes (+900) close behind.
You know what happens next, right? Either I continue to recommend fading Finau and he posts another 62 to run away with this thing or I recommend the live outright in some sort of double-reverse psychology type of move and that 62 quickly becomes a 72.
It’s impossible for me to jump on—or off, as the case might be—the Finau bandwagon right now, but it’s another one of those names I listed above that perhaps intrigues me the most. Each of Schauffele’s previous four victories have come when trailing by multiple strokes through 54 holes, including the WGC-HSBC Champions two years ago, during which he was three behind Finau entering the final round. In a brief bit of déjà vu, he trails by that same margin right now.
Fresh off a 5-under 66 during which he gained strokes against the field in nearly every major category, it’s impossible to ignore Schauffele—and his relevant record—going into the final round of this one.
Round 4 Matchups
Hideki Matsuyama over Patrick Rodgers and Kevin Tway (-125)
Truth be told, I actually kinda like both Rodgers and Tway for DFS showdown slates on Sunday, but Matsuyama is a final-round superstar.
In fact, while Hadwin leads on that scoring average list I wrote about above, Hideki is just .03 behind him.
Xander Schauffele over J.B. Holmes and Adam Long (-125)
Hey, I couldn’t talk up Schauffele in the section above, then leave him off the list of matchups.
Holmes struggled at times during the third round, while Long conversely might’ve played his best golf. X-man is a big favorite here, but for good reason.