16/1 Branden Grace can do us a favour in final round of Wyndham Championship

Russell Henley still leads the way after day three at Sedgefield Country Club but the South African looks the value play in the pre-R4 betting.

There's some good news to be found for Russell Henley when perusing past winners of the Wyndham Championship.

Seven of the last 11 third-round leaders have gone on to win so, as well as a very handy three-shot lead, Henley also has history on his side.

He's a very clear favourite to convert.

And yet there are some red flags Henley backers must also be aware of when scanning past editions of this event.

While seven out of 11 sounds a healthy ratio, four of those came between 2010 and 2013.

A more recent thermometer check shows that four of the last seven Wyndham winners were three or more shots back after Saturday's play. That includes each of the last two.

Jim Herman was four adrift after 54 holes in 2020 before getting the job done while J.T. Poston came from three back to triumph in 2019. Both started round four in fifth spot.

Suddenly, a bet on someone in the chasing pack makes far more appeal.

There are a couple of other reasons why punters may want to oppose Henley.

First, despite staying out in front on Saturday, he did so via a modest 1-under 69.

His round scores are getting worse: 62, 64 and now 69. Is he running out of gas at the wrong time or starting to think a little defensively?

He acknowledged that after walking off the course on Saturday. "I think I was just a little bit tentative, maybe a little bit nervous. I've never had a four-shot lead, so just kind of dealing with all the thoughts that are not wanted in my head and just trying to focus on what I want to do."

Second, there are three instances of players leading after each of the first three rounds this season. They include Henley at June's US Open.

None of that trio went on to win.

Third, this is the fifth time he's held a 54-hole lead on the PGA TOUR. He's converted just one and that was eight years ago (the 2013 Sony Open).

So, if not Henley, where should our money be going?

Chasers can thrive at Sedgefield

For some reason, being four shots back seems to be a sweet spot in this event: the winner came from there in 2014, 2015 and 2020.

Fortunately, there are six players in that very position with 18 holes to play so there's a decent chance it could happen again.

They are: Branden Grace, Roger Sloan, Kevin Kisner, Kevin Na, Scott Piercy and Rory Sabbatini.

Let's start by looking at where they rank in the Sunday scoring charts.

Final-round scoring average

Grace - 28th

Sloan - 119th

Kisner - 43rd

Na - 124th

Piercy - 169th

Sabbatini - 181st

Now, let's look at how they performed in round three: 'Moving Day'.

Who has the momentum?

Grace - 64

Sloan - 64

Kisner - 66

Na - 67

Piercy - 69

Sabbatini - 69

How about some history...

Winning from behind

Grace's last six wins on the PGA/European Tour have all come when trailing. In three of the last four he was three back after 54 holes.

Sloan has never won at this level.

Kisner has two strokeplay wins on the PGA TOUR. In the most recent, the Dean & Deluca Invitational, he was three off the pace with a lap to go.

Na has five PGA TOUR wins. He trailed after three rounds in two of those, coming from one back to win at the Greenbrier in 2018 and from two behind in this year's Sony Open.

Piercy had a piece of the lead in two of his three solo PGA TOUR successes. He was two back in the other, the 2012 Canadian Open.

Sabbatini was leader/joint-leader in all four of his PGA TOUR wins. That said, he did shoot a blistering final-round 61 to win the silver medal at the Olympics a couple of weeks ago.

As for McCumber (three back), he's also never won on the PGA TOUR. His last three wins came on the Canadian Tour and he was in front after three rounds in all of them.

The selection

Looking at the above, there's an obvious name that jumps out - Branden Grace.

The South African is a strong final-round scorer, has momentum after a Saturday 64 and historically wins from behind.

Looking a little closer at his stats, Grace recorded his best numbers for the week on Saturday for Strokes Gained: Off The Tee, Around The Green, Putting, and Tee to Green.

Overall, he ranks third in SG: Putting and it's the flatstick which could make the difference in round four.

Before this week, Grace's best score at Sedgefield had come in round four so that also bodes well.

With 1/3 the odds at Planet Sport Bet for the first two home, he has to rank as a good each-way bet at 16/1 and hopefully his status as a proven winner can shine through in round four.

The final piece of the jigsaw is that Grace is in the final group so can look leader Henley in the eye. He also ranks as a good bet to win that three-ball against Henley and McCumber.

READ MORE: Halfway Hut at the Wyndham Championship

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