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Rocket Mortgage Classic Betting Tips

26 Jul 2022
abbie-watts
Abbie Watts 26 Jul 2022
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Scott Stallings golf
Scott Stallings of the United States plays his shot from the sixth tee during the final round of the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run on July 03, 2022 in Silvis, Illinois
The PGA Tour moves on to Michigan this week for the fourth edition of the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit

  • Tournament History
  • Venue
  • Course Details
  • What Will it Take to Win the Rocket Mortgage Classic?
  • Is There an Angle In?
  • Check out the Bubble Boys again
  • In-Play Tactics
  • Market Leaders
  • Selection


Tournament History

The Rocket Mortgage Classic replaced the National, formerly the Quicken Loans National, on the PGA Tour schedule three years ago.  It was the first PGA Tour event to be staged in Michigan since the final edition of the Buick Open at Warwick Hills back in 2009 and it's the first PGA Tour event to ever be played in Detroit.

Venue

Detroit Golf Club, Detroit, Michigan

Course Details

Par 72, 7,370 yards
Stroke Index in 2021- 70.55

There are two courses at the Detroit Golf Club, the North and the South. Both were designed by Donald Ross and the tournament is predominantly staged at the longer North, although they use the par four first hole of the South Course for the third hole this week.

Detroit's fairways are tree-lined and the small Poa Annua greens that will run at around 12 ½ on the Stimpmeter.

Detroit is not a stern examination and the 2020 scoring average of 70.06 was the lowest among all par 72s in tournaments with only one course hosting during the 2019-20 season. The cut was five-under-par.

What Will it Take to Win the Rocket Mortgage Classic?

With only three editions to evaluate, it's hard to say how much use the stats are but here's the top-five and ties at the first three renewals with all the usual key stats - Driving Distance, Driving Accuracy, Greens In Regulation, Scrambling, Putting Average and Strokes Gained Putting.

2019
1 Nate Lashley -25 DD 43 DA 11 GIR 4 SC 3 PA 2 SGP 2
2 Doc Redman -19 DD 34 DA 47 GIR 18 SC 8 PA 16 SGP 11
T3 Wes Roach -18 DD 30 DA 28 GIR 25 SC 5 PA 13 SGP 31
T3 Rory Sabbatini -18 DD 43 DA 1 GIR 47 SC 25 PA 4 SGP 10
T5 Joaquin Niemann -17 DD 13 DA 5 GIR 2 SC 14 PA 31 SGP 23
T5 Ted Potter Jr -17 DD 65 DA 14 GIR 1 SC 7 PA 38 SGP 6
T5 Patrick Reed -17 DD 35 DA 54 GIR 13 SC 59 PA 5 SGP 30
T5 Brandt Snedeker -17 DD 57 DA 19 GIR 39 SC 4 PA 9 SGP 5
T5 Brian Stuard -17 DD 62 DA 19 GIR 47 SC 47 PA 9 SGP 1
T5 Cameron Tringale -17 DD 27 DA 5 GIR 2 SC 50 PA 31 SGP 35

2020
1 Bryson DeChambeau -23 DD 1 DA 58 GIR 13 SC 29 PA 7 SGP 1
2 Matthew Wolff -20 DD 5 DA 25 GIR 54 SC 61 PA 1 SGP 5
3 Kevin Kisner -18 DD 39 DA 16 GIR 39 SC 13 PA 2 SGP 11
T4 Ryan Armour -16 DD 61 DA 16 GIR 19 SC 39 PA 4 SGP 38
T4 Adam Hadwin -16 DD 56 DA 20 GIR 2 SC 4 PA 44 SGP 25
T4 Tyrrell Hatton -16 DD 54 DA 43 GIR 54 SC 18 PA 5 SGP 6
T4 Danny Willett -16 DD 21 DA 25 GIR 8 SC 15 PA 17 SGP 35

2021
1 Cam Davis -18 DD 7 DA 29 GIR 24 SC 16 PA 15 SGP 22
T2 Troy Merritt -18 DD 48 DA 1 GIR 24 SC 30 PA 2 SGP 2
T2 Joaquin Niemann -18 DD 24 DA 37 GIR 24 SC 1 PA 22 SGP 8
T4 Hank Lebioda -17 DD 35 DA 57 GIR 60 SC 3 PA 4 SGP 4
T4 Alex Noren -17 DD 43 DA 18 GIR 41 SC 4 PA 18 SGP 15

The stats don't tell us an awful lot and the driving metrics are a bit confusing. Length was irrelevant three years ago but the first and second ranked first and fifth for Driving Distance in 2021 and last year's winner, Cam Davis, ranked seventh for DD, narrowly edging out Troy Merritt in a playoff, who ranked 48th for DD.

Having spent lockdown bulking up, the story of the 2021 renewal was how far the winner, Bryson DeChambeau, hit it off the tee. He averaged an incredible 329.8 yards off the tee but found only 33 of 56 fairways. He still managed to rank 13th for Greens In Regulation and he won the tournament on the greens with the flatstick.

Greens In Regulation hasn't been an especially key stat in any of the three renewals and although Scrambling wasn't a key stat two years ago, with the first two home ranking 29th and 61st, it has been in each of the other two renewals.

Essentially though, this is a straightforward low scoring birdie-fest and putting has been key.
The first two winners ranked first and second for Strokes Gained Putting and four of the top-five in the Putting Average rankings finished inside the top-five and ties at both of the first two renewals. Merritt ranked second for both SGP and PA when finishing second 12 months ago.


Is There an Angle In?

Form at Donald Ross courses often transfers well so check out results at East Lake, home of the Tour Championship, Sedgefield Country Club, which hosts the Wyndham Championship, and Aronimink, which staged the BMW Championship in 2018, won by Keegan Bradley, as well as the National way back in 2010 and 2011.

Of those events listed, the Wyndham is the most useful. Sedgefield specialist, Webb Simpson, led here at halfway in 2020, last year's Wyndham winner, Kevin Kisner, clearly loves it here and one of the Tour's lesser lights, Doc Redman, has form at both venues.

The Country Club of Jackson - home to the Sanderson Farm Championship may also be worth a close look.  Although they fell away a bit over the weekend, three SFC winners were in the top-ten at the halfway stage in the first edition of this event - Cameron Champ, Ryan Armour and Peter Malnati - and the runner-up at the SFC back in October, Nick Watney, who very rarely contends nowadays, sat second after round one here in 2019.

The composite used at Jackson for the SFC was designed by Dick Wilson so it didn't come up in my initial research three years ago (looking at other Donald Ross courses) but it was extensively remodelled in 2008 by John Fought - a designer described as being heavily influenced by Ross - so form there might be worthy of close inspection.

Check out the Bubble Boys again

With just two events to go before the FedEx Cup Series kicks off with the FedEx St Jude Championship in a couple of weeks' time, those in and around the top-125 on the Fed-Ex Cup standings may find a bit extra over the next fortnight.

Scott Piercy sat at 138th in the standings prior to last week's 3M Open and after finishing tied for fourth, he's now up to 112th.

Although Piercy capitulated on the back-nine on Sunday, he traded at long odds-on having been a huge outsider before the off and it would be no surprise to see someone bobbing around that all important 125 mark to contend again here.

Winner's Position and Exchange Price Pre-Round Four
2020 - Nate Lashley - Led by six 1.22
2020 - Bryson DeChambeau - T2 and three off the lead 3.5
2021 - Cam Davis - T3, trailing by a stroke 8.0


In-Play Tactics

This will be a low scoring event and making up lots of ground will be tough. Lashley won the first edition wire-to-wire and DeChambeau and Cam Davies were never far away.

DeChambeau sat tied for fourth and one off the lead after round one, tied third and still just one back after round two and he sat tied for second with a round to go. Davies trailed by five in a tie for 21st after round one but he sat sixth and two back at halfway and he just one off the lead with a round to go.

The two players that Davis beat in extra time - Niemann and Merritt - were always in the van too. Niemann was tied for the lead after rounds two and three and Merritt was tied third and one back at halfway and tied with Nieman after 54 holes.

Market Leaders


With the season drawing to a close, and with the final major of the year completed just over a week ago, I'm quite surprised to see a fairly strong line-up here.

Patrick Cantlay heads the market following his fourth at the Scottish Open and his eighth in the Open Championship but the reigning FedEx Cup champion has never played here before and is probably in the field with the upcoming Playoff Series firmly in mind.

Last week's winner, Tony Finau, is a surprising entrant. He's been here only once before (53rd in 2020) and it's never easy to win back-to-back so he makes little appeal.

The Open runner-up, Cameron Young, and the major specialist, Will Zalatoris, are undoubtedly the two best players yet to win on the PGA Tour and of the two I prefer the first named, who finished tied for second at the aforementioned SFC, but I'm more than happy to leave both out before the off.

Selection

I really like Kevin Kisner and last week's fancy, Cameron Champ, here but both have been very well backed. I'll check out the market again tomorrow to see if they've drifted enough to get them onside and I'll also have a couple of picks for the Find Me a 100 Winner column tomorrow but for now my sole selection is Scott Stallings at 80.0, who's playing too well to ignore at that price.

With improving course form reading 64-39-25, Stallings has finished eighth at the Travelers Championship and fourth in the John Deere Classic in each of his last two starts.

Selection:
Scott Stallings @ 80.0 at Stake