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BlogRocket Mortgage Preview and Picks

Rocket Mortgage Classic

July 1st – 4th, 2021

Detroit Golf Club

Detroit, MI

Par: 72 / Yardage: 7,370

Purse: $7.5 million

with $1,350,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Bryson DeChambeau

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 34 of the top 100 and 14 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings:#6 Bryson DeChambeau, #9 Patrick Reed, #15 Webb Simpson, #18 Hideki Matsuyama, #24 Jason Kokrak, #26 Sungjae Im, #29 Will Zalatoris, #30 Joaquin Niemann, #31 Phil Mickelson, #32 Matthew Wolff, #39 Garrick Higgo, #42 Max Homa, #48 Kevin Kisner and #50 Siwoo Kim.

Last year the field had 18 of the top-50

The field includes 5 of the top 25 on the FedEx point standings for 2021.  Those players are #4 Bryson DeChambeau, #10 Jason Kokrak, #18 Hideki Matsuyama, #19 Patrick Reed, and #25 Joaquin Niemann.

Both past champions of this event, Bryson Dechambeau (2020) and Nate Lashley (2019) are in the field.

Here is a link to the Performance Chart

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker in Las Vegas.

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the Rocket Mortgage Classic

Player Travelers Champ. U.S. Open Palmetto Champ. Memorial Tournament Charles Schwab PGA Champ. Byron Nelson Wells Fargo Valspar Champ. Zurich Classic RBC Heritage Masters Texas Open
Patrick Reed
(221 pts)
T25
(25)
T19
(62)
DNP 5
(46.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
T17
(44)
DNP T6
(20)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T8
(33.33)
DNP
Hideki Matsuyama
(182.33 pts)
DNP T26
(48)
DNP T62
(0)
DNP T23
(36)
T39
(3.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP Win
(88)
T30
(6.67)
Phil Mickelson
(182 pts)
T61
(0)
T62
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
Win
(176)
DNP 69
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T21
(19.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Bryson DeChambeau
(134 pts)
T19
(31)
T26
(48)
DNP T18
(21.33)
DNP T38
(16)
T55
(0)
T9
(15)
DNP DNP DNP T46
(2.67)
DNP
Doc Redman
(130.33 pts)
T61
(0)
DNP T2
(100)
T42
(5.33)
T59
(0)
DNP T9
(15)
CUT
(-3.33)
T39
(3.67)
T17
(11)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T44
(2)
Will Zalatoris
(123.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-20)
DNP DNP T59
(0)
T8
(66.67)
T17
(11)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T42
(2.67)
2
(66.67)
DNP
Keegan Bradley
(107 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T17
(44)
DNP T18
(10.67)
2
(33.33)
T4
(26.67)
DNP DNP T23
(9)
Joaquin Niemann
(106.67 pts)
T36
(14)
T31
(38)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T50
(0.67)
T30
(26.67)
DNP T18
(10.67)
T8
(16.67)
DNP DNP T40
(6.67)
DNP
Hank Lebioda
(105.67 pts)
T5
(70)
DNP T31
(19)
DNP DNP DNP T17
(11)
T51
(0)
T13
(12.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Kramer Hickok
(104 pts)
2
(100)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T14
(24)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T51
(0)
T57
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Garrick Higgo
(102 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-20)
Win
(132)
DNP DNP T64
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Jason Kokrak
(92 pts)
DNP CUT
(-20)
DNP DNP Win
(88)
T49
(1.33)
DNP DNP T13
(12.33)
T21
(9.67)
DNP 49
(0.67)
DNP
Bo Van Pelt
(89 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T65
(0)
T39
(3.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T34
(5.33)
Rickie Fowler
(87 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T11
(26)
DNP T8
(66.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T17
(11)
Bubba Watson
(85.33 pts)
T19
(31)
T50
(2)
DNP WD
(-3.33)
DNP 80
(0)
DNP T18
(10.67)
T13
(12.33)
T8
(16.67)
DNP T26
(16)
DNP
Chesson Hadley
(82.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T23
(9)
Gary Woodland
(82 pts)
DNP T50
(2)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T14
(24)
T38
(16)
DNP 5
(23.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T40
(6.67)
T6
(20)
Troy Merritt
(81.67 pts)
T36
(14)
T65
(0)
DNP T50
(0.67)
7
(36.67)
DNP T7
(18.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T8
(16.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T34
(5.33)
Sungjae Im
(81.67 pts)
DNP T35
(30)
T35
(15)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
T17
(44)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T29
(7)
CUT
(-3.33)
T13
(12.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Seamus Power
(77 pts)
T19
(31)
DNP T19
(31)
DNP DNP DNP T9
(15)
T54
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Harry Higgs
(76.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP 68
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
T4
(106.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T59
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Patton Kizzire
(75 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-6.67)
T3
(60)
DNP T3
(30)
T58
(0)
T60
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T9
(15)
Emiliano Grillo
(74.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T8
(33.33)
T38
(16)
DNP T14
(12)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T2
(33.33)
DNP DNP
Kyle Stanley
(68 pts)
T54
(0)
DNP DNP T42
(5.33)
T8
(33.33)
DNP DNP T26
(8)
T39
(3.67)
T23
(9)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T14
(12)
Brice Garnett
(67.33 pts)
T5
(70)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T56
(0)
DNP T47
(1)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T11
(13)
T52
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Beau Hossler
(64.67 pts)
T10
(40)
DNP T19
(31)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
77
(0)
T39
(3.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T69
(0)
Brandt Snedeker
(64 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T60
(0)
DNP T50
(0.67)
DNP T17
(11)
DNP T11
(13)
T4
(26.67)
T42
(2.67)
DNP T6
(20)
Si Woo Kim
(63.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
T40
(20)
DNP T9
(30)
WD
(-3.33)
CUT
(-13.33)
T55
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T33
(5.67)
T12
(25.33)
T23
(9)
Satoshi Kodaira
(60.33 pts)
T36
(14)
DNP T19
(31)
DNP DNP DNP T13
(12.33)
T11
(13)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Lucas Glover
(58.33 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
T37
(8.67)
T8
(33.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T48
(0.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
T33
(5.67)
DNP 4
(26.67)
Pat Perez
(58.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T10
(40)
DNP T45
(3.33)
DNP T39
(3.67)
T26
(8)
T29
(7)
T21
(9.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T67
(0)
Chez Reavie
(54.33 pts)
T25
(25)
T40
(20)
T14
(36)
DNP DNP CUT
(-13.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Matthew Wolff
(53.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
T15
(70)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DQ
(-3.33)
DNP
Alex Noren
(52 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
T13
(24.67)
DNP T55
(0)
T21
(9.67)
DNP T21
(9.67)
T21
(9.67)
T25
(8.33)
DNP DNP
Chris Baker
(51 pts)
DNP T26
(48)
T60
(0)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP 31
(6.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Webb Simpson
(47 pts)
DNP CUT
(-20)
DNP DNP DNP T30
(26.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T9
(15)
T12
(25.33)
DNP
Maverick McNealy
(46.67 pts)
T30
(20)
DNP DNP DNP T20
(20)
CUT
(-13.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T4
(26.67)
DNP DNP
Ryan Armour
(44.67 pts)
T61
(0)
DNP T8
(50)
DNP DNP DNP T26
(8)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Matt Jones
(44.33 pts)
T36
(14)
T65
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
T30
(26.67)
DNP T37
(4.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T26
(16)
DNP
Mackenzie Hughes
(43.33 pts)
T76
(0)
T15
(70)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-13.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T52
(0)
T40
(6.67)
DNP
Cameron Tringale
(43 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T26
(16)
T32
(12)
CUT
(-13.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T3
(30)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T9
(15)
Kevin Kisner
(36.67 pts)
T5
(70)
T55
(0)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T40
(6.67)
CUT
(-13.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Tain Lee
(36 pts)
DNP DNP T14
(36)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T59
(0)
Adam Hadwin
(35.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
T40
(20)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T8
(33.33)
T64
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T23
(9)
K.H. Lee
(35.67 pts)
T73
(0)
CUT
(-20)
DNP T65
(0)
DNP CUT
(-13.33)
Win
(44)
T58
(0)
T29
(7)
T23
(9)
T56
(0)
DNP T23
(9)
Vincent Whaley
(35.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T20
(20)
DNP T26
(8)
T26
(8)
T29
(7)
T29
(7)
DNP DNP T34
(5.33)
Chris Kirk
(35.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T26
(16)
T69
(0)
CUT
(-13.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
27
(7.67)
T7
(18.33)
DNP T6
(20)
Jason Day
(34.67 pts)
T10
(40)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T44
(8)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Mark Hubbard
(34.33 pts)
T13
(37)
DNP T57
(0)
T42
(5.33)
T69
(0)
DNP T34
(5.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Brendon Todd
(34 pts)
T30
(20)
CUT
(-20)
DNP T53
(0)
T8
(33.33)
CUT
(-13.33)
DNP DNP DNP 27
(7.67)
T39
(3.67)
T46
(2.67)
DNP
Harold Varner III
(31.67 pts)
T47
(3)
DNP CUT
(-10)
T47
(2)
T32
(12)
T49
(1.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T2
(33.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Sepp Straka
(31.67 pts)
T10
(40)
DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T26
(8)
T54
(0)
DNP T29
(7)
T59
(0)
DNP T67
(0)
Doug Ghim
(31.33 pts)
T54
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T14
(24)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T11
(13)
T33
(5.67)
DNP T44
(2)
Jimmy Walker
(30.33 pts)
DNP T70
(0)
DNP T6
(40)
CUT
(-6.67)
T64
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
T72
(0)
T29
(7)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T59
(0)
Danny Willett
(30 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T26
(16)
DNP T64
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T8
(16.67)
T18
(10.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the Rocket Mortgage Classic

Player Travelers Champ. U.S. Open Palmetto Champ. Memorial Tournament Charles Schwab PGA Champ. Byron Nelson Wells Fargo Valspar Champ. Zurich Classic RBC Heritage Masters Texas Open
Brian Gay
(-50 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
81
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
Peter Malnati
(-48 pts)
T54
(0)
CUT
(-20)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-13.33)
DNP T43
(2.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
31
(6.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Dylan Frittelli
(-38.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
T46
(8)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-13.33)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T56
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
James Hahn
(-36.67 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Martin Trainer
(-34.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T44
(2)
Ryan Brehm
(-33.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Sebastian Cappelen
(-33.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T59
(0)
Jason Dufner
(-32.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
T37
(8.67)
T65
(0)
CUT
(-13.33)
DNP T43
(2.33)
T57
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Hunter Mahan
(-31.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP WD
(-5)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T54
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Scott Brown
(-31 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T34
(5.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T39
(3.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

So what did the Travelers Championship tell us about the future?  If you dig deep, a lot of signs came out, first with Harris English winning.  You also had the resurgence of Marc Leishman, Abraham Ancer, Kevin Kisner, and Brooks Koepka is showing that he is getting ready to go.  Another player to watch in the coming weeks is an Italian, Guido Migliozzi, one of the hottest players in golf.

On the other end of the spectrum, we can see that both Bubba Watson and Jason Day aren’t ready to return to the limelight. Bryson DeChambeau has become the Tour’s most prominent mystery as we can’t seem to predict anything as he is so unpredictable.  Lastly, we have to wonder if Dustin Johnson is more lost than we first thought.

Next week the tour moves to Silvis, Illinois for the John Deere, before the tour moves to England for the British Open.

The Rocket Mortgage Classic

This was a tournament that was in the making for over a decade.  Between 1958 and 2009 the Detroit area had the Buick Open, which was played at Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club in Grand Blanc about an hour from Detroit.  It was a great event that was well supported but was in the wrong place at the wrong time with sponsors that had major problems.  With the auto industry caving in with the global financial meltdown in 2008 the area was dying quickly.  Not only was the auto industry in need of a federal bailout, those associated with the auto industry was also struggling and the community was struggling with tens of thousands losing their job.  So corporate dollars disappeared as Michigan was trying to just survive.

So the Buick Open died on the vine, the last one was played in 2009 with Tiger Woods winning but a couple of folks associated with Detroit Golf Club saw the dream of having the PGA Tour return and play at Detroit Golf Club.

Those folks worked hard in not only finding a sponsor but getting the PGA Tour interested in returning to Michigan.  While this was happening Detroit Golf Club went through several renovation projects to modernize the course and make it worthy of hosting the best professionals in golf.  While they were working on the club, the PGA Tour checked in and liked what they were doing and around 2016 said that the course and the area were worthy of a PGA Tour event.  But just getting the PGA Tour to approve it didn’t mean they would get a tournament.  They needed two things, first a heavy-duty sponsor willing to commit over $12 million to the cause and they had to find an open date, which was just as hard to obtain as a sponsor.  The folks from Detroit weren’t the only ones looking for a date, there were groups from Minnesota, St. Louis, Denver, and the Seattle area also looking for the same thing.

What happened was a stroke of luck for the folks at Detroit Golf club.  Quicken Loans was sponsoring Tiger Woods Washington D.C. event but since Quicken Loans was based in Detroit they were looking to move to a tournament into their home base.  So the PGA Tour did some match-making and put the folks of Detroit Golf Club with the folks of Quicken Loans and the decision was made two years ago to utilize the date of the Washington D.C. tournament to Detroit.  When the Woods folks couldn’t secure a sponsor the event was dead in D.C. and basically moved to Detroit.

Now when people think about Detroit, they don’t associate having a golf tournament in a city that has been ravished with problems.  But the area is getting better, more non-auto industry money is moving in and Detroit is getting better.  And they do love their golf, and last year they sold out all days of the Rocket Mortgage and ran a very successful tournament.

Last year all those plans went out the window when the country shut down with COVID-19 in March.  When it looked in May as the tour could get started again in June, the Tour got together with the folks that ran the Rocket Mortgage.  Tournament officials didn’t want to lose the momentum that was built in the first year, but at the same time realized the problems of having a tournament with no fans, which meant less for their charity.  The PGA Tour gave them the choice of holding the tournament or taking the year off and they decided to hold the event.  At the same time, they decided to change the charity structure to one in which Detroit residents gained access to technology, internet, and digital-literacy resources something that the city needed.  With the new plan Rocket Mortgage kicked in more money and they had a worthwhile project.

So even with the pandemic and the event not having any paying customers, the second Rocket Mortgage Classic was able to raise more than $2.7 million for local charities.

Course information:
  • Detroit Golf Club
  • Detroit, Mich.
  • 7,370 yards     Par 36-36–72

The start of the Detroit Golf Club was in 1899 when a six-hole course was built.  In 1914 the club bought a large parcel of land and hired Donald Ross, at the time an up-and-coming golf architect to build two 18-hole courses.  In 1916 the new courses were open for play.  At the time of opening the club hired Albert Kahn to build them a clubhouse and he built one of the grand buildings that opened in 1918 and today is a landmark building.

In the beginning, it was the place to play, Henry Ford became a member in 1915, his son joined and other dignitaries of Detroit joined.  Ross’ brother Alec who won the 1907 U.S. Open was the club’s first head professional and was at the club between 1918 and 1945.  He was replaced by Horton Smith, who won the first two Masters and he was the club’s pro until his death in 1963.  He was replaced by another PGA tour player, Detroit native Walter Burkemo.  After him, George Baker was the pro, in the 50s and 60s Bayer won on the PGA Tour and was considered the longest hitter of the day.

When it was determined in 2006 that the Detroit Golf Club wanted a PGA Tour event, they accessed the course and realized the course needed to be updated to create a challenge for the best players in the world.  So the club approved changes to be made in four stages in 2006, 2010, 2012, and 2014.  They decided not to change the character of the two Donald Ross courses but hired Bruce Hepner to update the course.  At the end of the day very little was needed on the North Course which will use 17 of its holes for the Rocket Mortgage.  The 3rd hole will use the 1st hole of the South course so technically it will be a composite course.

The course is famous for it’s tree-lined fairways but the greens are what gets most of the attention.  They average 5,500 square feet so they are small by PGA Tour standards and have 41 of the courses 87 bunkers protecting them.  What makes the greens hard is the undulations, along with the fact that many of the greens are tiered with different levels making it important the put your shot to the green in the right position.  Another problem for the players, a lot of the greens are raised so if green is missed it means a pitch is in order instead of chipping the ball, again another skill set that isn’t practiced very much.  The course is tree-lined but for the most part, has generous fairways to hit.  The Detroit area has had an abundance of rain in the last month so not only is the course very lush, but the rough has had time to grow and become very lush which will make it hard to get some shots to the green.  The course did go through an upgrade in the last decade to make it harder for PGA Tour caliber players, but with straight holes, most of the long-hitters have a chance to overpower the course.

The course will be in its second year and players now know a lot about it.  Tournament officials for this year decided to make the course tougher by letting the rough grow, hopefully, this will make it tougher.  Still, in the minds of half the field, the course will be fresh and new, this will continue to help those players whose game may not be sharp coming into the tournament

Many wondered after the first year if the course would be perfect for the long hitters, probably since its length at 7,340 is a bit short, but with straight fairways that had limited rough the only true hazard was the 30 fairway bunkers and in most cases, they are shallow and will be easy to get out of.  Still just like last year in looking for a winner it probably will be the player you least expect who are on the cusp of finding their game-winning this week a lot as Nate Lashley did in 2019.

Let’s take a look at vital stats that are important for those playing at Detroit Golf Club.

This is based on the most vital stats from Detroit Golf Club, based on data from last year’s Rocket Mortgage and using data from all the players in the field with stats from 2021.
In both years of the Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club, the PGA Tour has been very careful in setting up the tournament. Both years the course played overly fair, in 2019 it had a scoring average of 70.11 and was the 42nd hardest (out of 49th) course on tour and last year the course played just about identically to a 70.05 average and was the 38th hardest (out of 41 courses). So in some respects, the tour has allowed the scoring, but it’s not like they are ripping up the course, yes in the two years the lowest score is 63 shot twice in 2019 and in 2020 the lowest score was 64. In 902 rounds 65 or less has only been shot 31 times so the course does have some bite to it. The rough was much higher, again for the second year in a row the weather was perfect with high temperatures and low wind. Last year the course played easier because of the lack of no fans and grandstands, the course will be harder as players will hit balls into places that will be tougher to play from this year. This year will produce a bunch of rain that will affect the scoring so look for the scores to be about the same as they have been the first two years. But the big question will be the amount of rain and if there is lightning. But look for delays in the first two rounds.

The big question will there be another birdie fest? In 2019 1,895 birdies were made on the course and last year 1,887 birdies were made. Only two courses saw more birdies produced in 2020, Harbour Town for the RBC Heritage (1,892) and TPC Summerlin for the Shriners (2,010).

In looking at our four categories, we have to think very differently. First, we will use Strokes Gained Off-the-Tee in which it looks at the combination of length of drive off the tee and accuracy. Last year the average drive was 297.6 yards and ranked 24th. As for accuracy off the tee, the course was 31st with 65.22% of the drives in the fairway. Looking at last year’s winner Bryson DeChambeau he ranked 1st in driving distance and T-58th in accuracy and was 1st in Strokes Gained Off-the-Tee. The year before Nate Lashley ranked 44th in Driving Distance and T-11th in Accuracy so he ranked T-29th in Strokes Gained Off-the-Tee.
Our 2nd category is Greens in Regulation. This is a Donald Ross course so we know that Ross greens are always hard to hit. On top of that, the greens are also small at 5,100 and are raised so they are tough to get on. So for last year, Detroit Golf Club was ranked 35th in Greens hit with a 72.43%. As for DeChambeau he hit 56 of the 72 greens and ranked T-13th. In 2019 the course was 40th on tour with 72.52% of the greens hit. The winner Lashley hit 59 of 72 for 84.94% which ranked T-4th. Ted Potter, Jr. hit the most greens, 61 of the 72, and finished T-5th.
Our 3rd category is Strokes Gained Putting which is an important part of the game. Last year the putting average at Detroit Golf Club was 1.631 which ranked 13th. It averaged 29.36 putts per round which ranked 13th and in the important inside ten feet, it ranked 7th. DeChambeau took 111 puts which ranked T-7th and in Strokes Gained Putting he was 1st. In the important putts made inside 10 feet, DeChambeau made 63 of 68 and ranked T-4th. In 2019 the course was 1.629 in putting which ranked T-17th. It averaged 29.33 putts per round which ranked it T-15th and in the important inside ten feet it ranked 17th. Lashley took 106 putts which ranked 2nd and in Strokes Gained Putting he was also 2nd. In the important putts made inside 10 feet, Lashley made 64 of 68 and ranked 4th.
The last category is Par Breakers. As we said earlier in this piece 1,887 birdies were made last year and in 2019 1,895 birdies were made on the course. It had a total of 42 eagles last year and 40 eagles in 2019. So for last year, the course ranked 35th in Par Breakers and 38th in 2019. Last year DeChambeau had 27 birdies the 2nd best of the field and was 2nd in Par Breakers. In 2019 Lashley made the most birdies of anyone in the field, 28 so his Par Breakers rank is 1st. In a way, both DeChambeau and Lashley found a following thanks to their wins in the Rocket Mortgage.

*Strokes Gained Off-the-Tee: Combination of distance off the tee and accuracy.

*Greens in Regulation: Number of greens hit in regulation.

*Strokes Gained Putting: Gives the equivalent to putting based on strokes gained or lost

*Par Breakers: Who makes the most birdies and eagles per round.

Of the 156 players in the field, 137 have stats on the PGA Tour for 2021.

Click any column title in the table header to sort columns.

Here is a link to the 137 players stats for the Rocket Mortgage

DraftKings tips

*Here are the guys that cost the most on DraftKings this week:

  • Bryson DeChambeau – $11,400
  • Patrick Reed – $10,900
  • Webb Simpson – $10,600
  • Hideki Matsuyama – $10,400
  • Will Zalatoris – $10,000
  • Joaquin Niemann – $9,800
  • Jason Kokrak – $9,500
  • Sungjae Im – $9,300
  • Bubba Watson – $9,200
  • Mark Wolff – $9,100
  • Keegan Bradley – $9.000

One thing we have to stress is that it’s going to be a very wet week for the Rocket Mortgage so those “mudders,” players that do best in wet conditions will be important to find this week.

Bryson DeChambeau at $11,400 is a fair price, I just don’t want and will not pay that high figure for Bryson.  It’s not that I don’t think he can win this week, he proved how his game was perfect when he won.  I just don’t think he is in the same frame of mind as he was last year and I am more worried that something could happen to him like what happened at Torrey Pines.  Patrick Reed at $10,900 is another that I think could and should do well, but the price is too high.  You have to remember that he played great in 2019 finishing T-5th, but the next year missed the cut so Reed is not a shoe-in for this week.  Webb Simpson at $10,600 is another problem because of the high cost, yes he finished T-8th but his game hasn’t been buzzing on all cylinders as he missed the cut at the U.S. Open.  Hideki Matsuyama at $10,400 has good news as his price is more reasonable, but his record isn’t that great as he was T-13th in 2019 and T-21st last year.  Will Zalatoris at $10,000 is a complete no for me, he has never played in this event and in his last two starts missed the cut at the U.S. Open and was T-59th at Colonial.  So am I ever going to say yes?  I do like Joaquin Niemann at $9,800, his only start in 2019 he finished T-5th. His game is pretty consistent but I like that he plays well in wet weather. The same with Jason Kokrak at $9,500, he was T-29th in his only start in 2019 but this course is a lot like Colonial which he won on.  Sungjae Im at $9,300 is high for a guy that hasn’t played well in 2021 and hasn’t shown us much finishing T-21st in 2019 and T-53rd last year.  Bubba Watson at $9,200 is a big no for me, he has missed the cut twice in this event and his final nine implosions last week could carry over to this week.  Mark Wolff at $9,100 is a good choice, he came close to winning last year and the course is good for him.  Also, think that he is in a better frame of mind after his break.  Keegan Bradley at $9.000 is a toss-up, he does play well in poor weather.  He has shown some good signs like his runner-up finish at Valspar, but he missed his last two cuts at Memorial and Travelers.

*Players in that $7,500 to $8,900 price range, which ones are worth the money?:

Since we didn’t like many players in the high price category, we will have to make the bulk of our picks in this price range.  I like Rickie Fowler at $8,700, yes he missed the cut at the Travelers but think it will be better for him at the Rocket Mortgage where he finished T-12th last year.  I like Kevin Kisner at $8,500 a lot, he played great at Travelers and was 3rd last year in this event.  Also, like Garrick Higgo at $8,300.  Yes, he has no record for this course but feel his game suits the place and he does play well in poor weather.  Cameron Tringale at $8,100 is also a good bet, he was T-5th in 2019 and T-30th last year.  Doc Redman at $7,900 is another good pick, he was runner-up in 2019 and T-21st in 2020 at Rocket Mortgage.  Also, have to remember he was T-2nd at Palmetto and T-61st at the Travelers. Looking for a good “mudder,” Maverick McNealy at $7,700 is good, he was T-8th last year and he is playing better now.  The best pick of all is Sepp Straka at $7,700.   He has played well in this event finishing T-11th in 2019 and T-8th last year.  Also, like that he was T-10th last week at the Travelers.

Some of the “bargains” this week at the Travelers

Adam Hadwin at $7,500 is good, he was T-4th at Rocket Mortgage last year. Look at Mark Hubbard at $7,300, he was T-12th last year and has played consistently of late.  the same with Tom Lewis at $7,200, he also was T-12th last year but hasn’t been as consistent so beware of him missing the cut.  Mackenzie Hughes is at the unbelievable low price of $7,200 when you consider his only start at the Rocket Mortgage was T-21st in 2019 but he has played well lately including a T-15th at the U.S. Open.  Troy Merritt at $7,100 is also a good pick, he was T-8th last year, plays well in poor weather, and has played well lately.

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at the Rocket Mortgage:

The key stat for the winner:
  • Like every other Donald Ross course, a shotmaker will rule.  Those that hit it long and straight will have an advantage, but for a player to win he has to have pinpoint accuracy in shots to the green to put the ball in the right place for that right putt.
Here are some more key stats to look to for this week:
  • To find that hidden gem, look at those that have played well in the three events since the break and also did well last year at the Rocket Mortgage.
  • The player with the least amount of putts in the 3 to 12-foot range will win.  So look for those who are the best on tour making putts inside ten feet.
  • In most cases, it will be hard to hit all of the greens so scrambling will come into play and could save those that aren’t that precise with shots to the green.
  • Don’t automatically pick one of the marquee names like Bryce DeChambeau, Rickie Fowler or Webb Simpson, look for those players whose games have improved the last couple of weeks just like Doc Redman or Viktor Hovland.
  • The four par 5s are between 552 and 635 yards in length, but only one of the greens is guarded by a lake (14), and since all of them are straightaway, I can see players doing well on them.  Last year’s winner Bryson DeChambeau was 11 under on them as 8 players were in double digits as the field played the par 5s in 4.64.  In 2019 Nate Lashley was 10 under on them as 15 players were in double digits as the field was 4.61 on the par 5s, which ranked 26th on tour
  • Weather is going to be a problem with rain just about every day.

 

 

Who to watch for at the Rocket Mortgage Classic

Best Bets:

Bryson DeChambeau

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
Win

Defending champion, he dominated the week with his good play. The big question was that something that will be the norm or was he in the groove when he played last year, Has made his mark on a lot of different events the last couple of months, was great in winning the Palmer but had last round stumbles at the PGA Championship and U.S. Open. You just never know from event to event, but he will have a one-shot a round advantage over 98% of the field this week.

Hideki Matsuyama

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T21 T13

Course is perfect for his game and style of attack. He may have only finished T-21st last year and T-13th in 2019, but in those two events, he is 28 under and hasn’t shot a round over 71. Hasn’t come close to winning as he did at the Masters, but he hasn’t played that bad, just hasn’t put four great rounds together. Best finish since Masters win, T-23rd at PGA Championship.

Jason Kokrak

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T29

Was T-29th when he played in the first Rocket Mortgage in 2019. Won at Colonial last month, like that he has done well playing in wet conditions.

Best of the rest:

Matthew Wolff

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
2 CUT

Was runner-up last year in Detroit missed the cut in 2019. Since his return, was T-15th at U.S. Open, missed the cut at Travelers. Have to think the course is great for him.

Webb Simpson

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T8

Was T-8th at Rocket Mortgage last year. His game has been listless since he missed the cut at the Players, but he was T-12th at the Masters and has to think that he is ready to go for this week.

Patrick Reed

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
CUT T5

Yes he may have missed the cut last year at Rocket Mortgage but like that he was T-5th in 2019. His game has been very consistent all year long, won at the Farmers, was T-8th at the Masters, T-6th at Wells Fargo, and 5th at Memorial, all similar courses to Detroit Golf Club.

Solid contenders

Joaquin Niemann

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T5

Was T-5th at Detroit in his only start in 2019. His game has been up and down since his runner-up finishes in Hawaii. But he was T-31st at U.S. Open and T-36th at Travelers. Still like his chances this week.

Sepp Straka

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T8 T11

Was T-11th at Rocket Mortgage in 2019, T-8th last year. After missing three straight cuts, was T-10th at Travelers shooting 66 in the final round. Could be ready to go this week.

Doc Redman

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T21 2

Loves this course, was 2nd in 2019 and T-21st last year, and is 32 under in his eight rounds playing all of them under par. His game is on an uptick, was T-2nd at Palmetto Championship, despite finishing T-61st at Travelers finished 73-71.

Kevin Kisner

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
3 T46

Was T-46th at Detroit in 2019 but 3rd last year. His game has been in flux since he was runner-up at RSM Classic. But showing signs of a comeback at Travelers, shooting two rounds of 63.

Long shots that could come through:

Rickie Fowler

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T12 T46

Was T-46th at Detroit in 2019, T-12th last year. Though he was on the round of a comeback but was derailed missing the cut at Travelers. Again there is not much time left for him to get into the FedExCup playoffs as he is 118th.

Maverick McNealy

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T8

Was T-8th last year in Detroit. Love the fact that he is a mudder, grew up playing in the rain, and good in rain. His game has been on an upswing, was T-20th at Charles Schwab and T-30th at Travelers

Will Zalatoris

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
First time playing in this event

Playing for the first time at Rocket Mortgage, the big question does he have the game to play well at Detroit Golf Club. His game has slowed down since his T-8th at the PGA Championship, missing cut at U.S. Open showed that year he is human.

Comments

  1. davcnels@gmail.com says

    Hi Sal, I’m tempted to give Phil a shot at $8,000. What are your thoughts on that risk/reward on this course?

  2. Think on this course Phil is a safe bet to make the cut. He has completely shifted his game plan, after the Masters he was talking about playing in the Bridgestone Senior PGA and the U.S. Senior Open, now seeing he has taken on more PGA Tour events. Guess he thinks that if he can win a PGA Championship, he can win a regular PGA Tour event. We will see how long this happens.

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