Rocket Mortgage Classic Preview

First of two from Donald Ross to close the regular season and pile up the points for the FedExCup Playoffs!

Rocket Mortgage Classic

Detroit Golf Club

Detroit, Michigan

Weekly Readers:

Horses for Courses – click here

Expert Picks – click here

Pick ‘Em LIVE – click here

PGATOUR Champions – off this week

Korn Ferry Tour Power Rankings – off this week

How to watch – click here

Detroit Golf Club

Yards (per official scorecard):7,370
Par:72 (36-36)
Greens:5,100 square feet; Bentgrass/Poa annua.
Stimpmeter:12 feet.
Rough:Bluegrass mix at 4 inches.
Bunkers/Water Hazards87/1 (in play on 1 hole).
Architects:Donald Ross (1916).
Course Record (last):63; 2021 (not entered); Nate Lashley twice in 2019.
Tournament Scoring Record:263; Nate Lashley (-25; 2019).
Oldest  Winner:36; Lashley
Youngest Winner:26; Cam Davis, Bryson DeChambeau (not entered).
Fact of the Week:Latest the event has ever been played.
Purse:$8.4 million; $1.512 million and 500 FedExCup points to the winner.

Notes:

  • Full field of 156
  • Top 65 and ties play the final 36 holes.
  • Stock Par 72.
  • First of two weeks of Donald Ross courses to end the season.

Previous Winners

Italics – not entered this week

YearPlayerNotes
2021Cam Davis (-18)Defeated Troy Merritt and Joaquin Niemann (not entered) in a playoff for his first TOUR win.
2020  Bryson DeChambeau    (-23)Pretournament favorite won by three shots; not entered this year.
2019Nate Lashley (-25)Set the tournament scoring record, course record and margin of victory (6 shots) benchmark; First TOUR win.

OAD

Spotter’s Game 2022

2022 EventsGolferPlaceTotal $$
    
Sentry Tournament of ChampionsMarc LeishmanT10188,000
Sony Open in HawaiiKeith MitchellT7227,812
The American ExpressSeamus PowerT14119,700
Farmers Insurance OpenJon RahmT3445,200
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-AmMaverick McNealyT3343,548
WM Phoenix OpenHideki MatsuyamaT8248,050
The Genesis InvitationalPatrick CantlayT3364,000
The Honda ClassicSungjae ImMC0
Arnold Palmer InvitationalRory McIlroyT13228,000
THE PLAYERS ChampionshipDaniel BergerT13327,222
Valspar ChampionshipKeegan BradleyMC0
WGC – Dell Match PlayPaul CaseyT6041,000
Corales PuntacanaEmiliano GrilloMC0
Valero Texas OpenCorey ConnersT3541,925
Masters TournamentJordan SpiethMC0
RBC HeritageMatt FitzpatrickMC0
Zurich Classic of New OrleansIan Poulter13th69,803
Mexico Open at VidantaDavis Riley5th299,300
Wells Fargo ChampionshipTony FinauT4133,750
AT&T Byron NelsonWill ZalatorisMC0
PGA ChampionshipScottie SchefflerMC0
Charles Schwab ChallengeMax HomaT2377,700
Memorial TournamentCollin MorikawaMC0
RBC Canadian OpenJhonattan VegasT5320,387
US OpenXander SchauffeleT14241,302
Travelers ChampionshipDenny McCarthyMC0
John Deere ClassicNick HardyT3039,082
Barbasol ChampionshipChesson HadleyT687,548
Scottish OpenTommy FleetwoodT4362,000
The Open ChampionshipShane LowryT21120,286
3M OpenCameron TringaleMC0
    
Total Events: 31Top 10: 6MC: 10      $3,245,615
    

This Week – Rocket Mortgage Classic

Back to Detroit but at different time of year and a much different place on the PGATOUR calendar. Usually played the last week of June or 4th of July weekend, Rocket Mortgage Classic (RMC) is now the penultimate piece of the regular season puzzle.

The NEW PGATOUR playoff eligibility standings are now LIVE – click here to read all about it – and these are the numbers that matter this week and next. The explanation is in the link above so read it to impress your friends and neighbors.

Detroit Rock City has seen three different kinds of winners over the first three editions and that’s what happens when a shootout breaks out. If you check Horses for Courses you’ll notice that the number of players 10-under or better each season is quite ridiculous so that’s an angle this week. Rounds in the 70s probably aren’t going to help either so find guys who like to get hot and make birdies.

Unlike last week at TPC Twin Cities, there’s only ONE water hazard on the property this week and it is only on play on ONE hole. Decision making is simple: Swing hard and get as close to the hole as possible and wedge it tight. The greens on Donald Ross courses are usually the defense and four inches of Bluegrass won’t hurt either. Check the Scoring Average here over the last three years and it’s easily under par. Remember shootouts open the door to all as there is nothing more natural to these guys than racking up birdies. Free the mind, free the swing and add chaos to the leaderboard! Just how we like it!

For new gamers I write this every year. Just because there are two events left guys on the bubble will not automatically play well because it’s “time”. They wouldn’t have put themselves in this position prior if that was the case. There are always exceptions to the rules (see: Simpson, Webb this week) but just because it’s late doesn’t mean there’s a switch to flip. Sure, there’s annually a guy or two who do, good luck picking which one(s) it will be!

THE CHOICE: Cameron Young (+1800)

Let the big dog eat. Smash it, find it and makes a bushel of birdies! He sits top 10 in Driving Distance and Birdie Average and that’s a solid combo this week. Some will argue he’s playing with house money at this point of the season. While that’s true he still hasn’t won so that fire will continue to burn until it’s extinguished with that first TOUR victory. He has no problem going low as he torches Par-4 holes and the easy Par-5 holes this week will just add circles to the card.

Warm Blankets: The guys who should. Safe selections that will help maintain leads. Opinions on why or why not for this event or save for later.

Patrick Cantlay (+1100): He’ll defend at the BMW Championship but it moves to Wilmington Country Club this season so keep that in mind. Keep in mind he won at Caves Valley last year sight unseen as well. The only thing he hasn’t done this season is winning on his own ball. Everyone is playing for something, right?

Tony Finau (+1600):  A tiny (by his standards) track with four Par-5 holes? Coming off a win in front of his whole family last week? Boom or bust. Hope you get it right! If he’s not worn out from last week he might just pick up another trophy.

Will Zalatoris (+1600): Absolutely. Do it if you haven’t. Should destroy this place tee to green and is still looking for the first win. THAT BEING SAID, if he’s in the field next week in Greensboro the Wake Forest alum will be a big favorite. IF.

Max Homa (+2500): If this reminds anyone of Fortinet, Homa was the champ there to kick off the season. I prefer him on difficult tracks but he destroys Par-5 holes and is elite tee to green. Should be ready to play golf again after two days of fawning over Tiger Woods at St Andrews. Right, I am jealous. #TeamHoma.

Spicy: This might be a week for sending out an “unknown” and saving a start. You just might get lucky. Or MC.

Cam Davis (+3300): I’m not a big fan of first-time defending champs but his record entering the week is making me do a double-take. I would expect a spirited defense.

Adam Scott (+3500): I found this interesting. He never plays TOUR events this time of the season so he’s either in the mood or desperately trying to find something before the FedExCup Playoffs. His last two events have been The Open (T15) and US Open (T14) so he’s not exactly chopping it around. Last STROKE PLAY top 10 was Riviera in February so there’s that. Interesting to say the least. Sitting at No. 73 he’s hardly on the outside looking in but only the top 30 get to East Lake.

Davis Riley (+4000): First week back last week after a decent layoff so the rust should be gone. Should be back to normal this time around.

Kevin Kisner (+4000): Some places fit guy’s eyes. This qualifies. Never MC in three tries and owns a pair of Top 10s. Interesting as well as it’s not his preferred surface on the greens either. Another Donald Ross clue…

Webb Simpson (+4500): Save it for next week. One top 10 on the season is very strange to type.

Denny McCarthy (+4500): Three weeks since his last start at JDC where he picked up his fifth top 10 of the season and third in his last four events. That’s it. That’s the Tweet.

Chris Kirk (+5000): T12 and T21 over the last two seasons here so he flies under the radar. Five straight entering and is hitting it great.

Scott Stallings (+5000): Toasty!

Mark Hubbard (+5500): No value here but he’s playing great.

Taylor Pendrith (+6600): Hurt. Covid. Great results. Lovely long shot.

Troy Merritt (+8000): Everyone loved the Minnesota growing up angle last week. I love two top 10s including a five hole playoff loss last year.

3 AM at the Blackjack Table: Caution is thrown to the wind. Maybe not the best for this format but what the hell, right? Might throw these in if you’re in need of a miracle.

Doug Ghim (+10000): Had it rolling last week before he blew a tire on Sunday.

Callum Tarren (+10000): Three top 25s, including two top 10s, in his last four.

Chesson Hadley (+12500): Top 10 machine with three in his last five.

Harris English (+11000): No question about the talent here as he tries to play himself back into shape after surgery. Lovely value for a nibble.

Funny Money Long Shots:

Check PGATOUR Pick ‘Em for deeper plays as well

Michael Thompson (+15000)

Michael Gligic (+15000)

Anybody who is currently 26 years old

JJ Spaun (+20000)

Paul Barjon (+40000)

Jared Wolfe (+60000) for a top 30 or top 40. Interested to see how he bounces from his final round last week after sitting T8 heading into Sunday.

Last Time – 3M Open

THE CHOICE: Cameron Tringale (+2900)

Didn’t break par over two days.

Closed bogey-double to MC.

Yeah.

Warm Blankets: The guys who should. Safe selections that will help maintain leads. Opinions on why or why not for this event or save for later.

Hideki Matsuyama (+1600): International player finishing up the string before the playoffs start. Pass. One round of 77 and then WD.

Tony Finau (+1600): With 11 of 12 here in the red, I would expect another weekend with him hanging around. Sticks out. I’d say he stuck out. Come from behind WIN, third on TOUR and second in 11 months.

Sungjae Im (+1900): Addressed him in the Pick ‘Em game above. Should be the tonic to what ails him recently. Once he sees a few go in, watch out. Nailed him for First Round Leader and he went on to T2.

Davis Riley (+2200): Only question will be how much rust has gathered and how long does it take for him to knock it off. Hasn’t played since Travelers (T64)-US Open (T31) back-to-back. I’m guessing the break was much needed! 73-71 MC so rusty.

Adam Hadwin (+2200): Interesting duck. One top 10 since Valero and it was the US Open! His record here isn’t in question but every time I hitch MY WAGON we get the smallpox and our party dies on the Oregon Trail.  Trust the course form if anything! T38. Sigh.

Maverick McNealy (+2200): Knock, knock, knock as he’s rattled off T9-T16-T8 in his last three. It also includes a plane ride from the Quad Cities to Edinboro to SFO. If jet lag hasn’t slowed him down… Only one round under par for T49. Lagged from jets?

Sahith Theegala (+2200): Eight straight and 11 of 12. Bad break late at Travelers hasn’t slowed him down. Proper spirit and really gets it. Impossible to root against. Played the back nine in 38 both days for MC.

Spicy: This might be a week for sending out an “unknown” and saving a start. You just might get lucky. Or MC.

Cam Davis (+2500): I like him more than the books so maybe that’s a bad thing? I don’t think so. Rolls in on back to back top 10 paydays and will defend next week in Detroit. You don’t think he’s inspired by his countryman from last week? Get down. Four rounds of 70 or better for T16. Not bad.

Tom Kim (+3000): Meteoric rise and now has no worries as he’s in this week and the next two on STM. Should free him up a bit as he won’t have to worry about his “what’s next”. I like it. T26 as the train keeps rollin’ down the track.

Brendan Steele (+3300): T25-T10-T9 in his last three and three top 10s if you go back to Zurich in his last five. Lightly raced veteran makes his second start here and first start in a month. MC as he didn’t touch par or break it.

Adam Svensson (+3500) – MC

Adam Long (+3500) – T16

Nick Hardy (+4000) – T58

3 AM at the Blackjack Table: Caution is thrown to the wind. Maybe not the best for this format but what the hell, right? Might throw these in if you’re in need of a miracle.

Matthew NeSmith – T72

Dylan Frittelli – MC

Brandon Matthews – MC

Ryan Armour – MC

Funny Money Long Shots:


Check PGATOUR Pick ‘Em for deeper plays.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s