PGA Expert Picks: Rocket Mortgage Classic
Congrats to Harris English winning the Travelers last weekend after an exciting eight hole playoff with Kramer Hickock! Playoffs are always fun to watch and even more exciting when it takes multiple holes and guys grinding out difficult shots to keep their winning hopes alive. Hickock will be a tour winner in the next year or so—very talented and has been improving his play.
This week we get a Donald Ross designed golf course this week at the Detroit Golf Club. The Tour has been playing at Pete Dye courses recently so it is a welcomed change. Ross has also designed other courses such as Seminole Golf Club in Florida, Oakland Hills in Michigan, Pinehurst (No. 2) in North Carolina, and Essex County Club in Massachussetts among many others. He is also the designer of this week’s host course, Detroit Golf Club. This course is definitely scoreable as DeChambeau showed us last year. The modern day golfer can make this course play much shorter with the ability to drive the ball long distances. Driving accuracy is not as important this week as the fairways are wider than the Tour average so many shots should be from the short grass. The approach shots will be incoming to larger than Tour average greens as well so GIR is not as important this week. However, because of that, opportunities or birdie or better percentage will be critical and will be heavily factored into my selections and bets this week. If you can’t make a ton of birdies (and a couple of eagles) then you don’t have a chance of posting a good finish here. The course is relatively unchanged so I will also be looking at tournament and course history as well.
Course: Detroit Golf Club—Detroit, Michigan
Length: 7,370 yards
Defending Champion: Bryson DeChambeau
Purse: $7.5 Million
FedEx Cup Points: 500 Points to the Winner
Key Stats: SG OTT, SG Approach, Par 5 Scoring, Opportunities Gained, BoB Percentage
Steven: Jason Kokrak +2500
Sam: Maverick McNealy +8000
Top 10 Finish
Steven: Sebastian Munoz +800
Sam: Gary Woodland +450
Top 20 Finish
Steven: Martin Laird +500
Sam: Joel Dahmen +335
Steven: Lucas Glover +10000
Sam: Cam Davis +15000
Will Zalatoris +2500
Jason Kokrak +2500
Jason Day +3500
Longshot Outright Dart Bets
Maverick McNealy +8000
Matt Jones +10000
Jason Kokrak | Outright +2500 (1 Unit)
I am looking for guys that can drive the ball, stick it close on approach, and that can score. Kokrak has all of that going and then some. He ranks first in my model this week but he was a guy I was already considering before I ran the numbers. He ranks first in SG Par 5 and BoB Gained. He also ranks inside the Top Ten in SG Approach, SG OTT, and Opportunities Gained. He won just a few weeks ago and I like the way that this course sets up for him. 25-1 odds seem like a steal for a guy of his caliber given the strength of the field. He is going to score on the Par 5s this week which will be critical. He is long OTT and will be able to give himself legitimate eagle opportunities inside of twenty feet on these large greens.
Gary Woodland | Top 10 +450 (1 Unit)
Woodland’s performance as of late does not necessarily instill the greatest of confidence in him this week but the numbers and stats do. Gary ranks sixth in my model and is another guy that comes to mind when talking about driving distance and where driving accuracy is not as crucial. He will really be able to let it fly OTT and will have plenty of shots from the fairway where he is an elite ball-striker. I expect his game to start improving and tuning up before The Open that is quickly upcoming and this is the perfect event to do that. He has the distance and approach game to set himself up for numerous birdie and eagle attempts this week.