Rocket Mortgage Classic
July 2-5, 2020 at Detroit Golf Club, Michigan
Par 72, 7294 yards
Last year the inaugural Rocket Mortgage Classic was won by Nate Lashley. This was an emotional culmination of a long journey for Lashley after losing his parents and girlfriend who were tragically killed in an air crash after they had been to see him compete in the NCAA West Regional, Nebraska fifteen years earlier. Understandably after the tragedy, it took him a few years to refocus his attention to golf after University and his win was amongst the most popular on tour.
The Detroit Golf Club played easily with a winning score of twenty-five under par on the Donald Ross-designed track. After three previous weeks were the sport’s leading players have all entered, this week’s Rocket Mortgage Classic field reverts to nearer the normal as many players skip this event now they’ve sharpened their game’s for the upcoming major championships.
Looks Like Two Strong Favorites
Impressive Heritage winner, Webb Simpson withdrew from last week’s Travelers Championship as a precaution after a family member had contracted Coronavirus. He went home and took a Covid-19 test with his family and happily everyone else tested negative. Early in 2020, Simpson served notice how well he was playing by winning the Phoenix Open and he appears to have jumped a level particularly with his short game.
The former US Open and Players Championship winner was someone highly respected on difficult intricate tracks but that assessment needs re-evaluating after a record winning score of 22 under par at the Heritage Classic two weeks ago. Simpson is always a player that handles Donald Ross design courses well similar to Patrick Reed who is also respected high in the betting market after a progressive week in Hartford last and 5th here last season. Reed would never win a popularity contest but no one can deny what a tough hard-working competitor he is.
Will It Be Just What the Doc Ordered This Week in Detroit?
Doc Redman has been in eye-catching form on the PGA Tour resumption with a tee-to-green game that few could match. As soon as a few putts start to drop Redman will be winning on the PGA Tour and this looks the perfect opportunity having chased Lashley home in 2019 eventually finishing runner up to guarantee his playing privileges on the PGA Tour. His previous two weeks form has been achieved from off the pace and has affected his price but twenty-two years old Redman from North Carolina has immense promise and I believe he will be winning soon.
PGA Golf Predictions
Local man Brian Stuard enjoyed the advantages home comforts could offer twelve months ago when he finished 5th. Born and raised in Jackson, Michigan, Stuard has been grinding a living for just over a decade on the PGA Tour with winning the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in 2017 the highlight. Last year spectators attended and Stuard’s girlfriend put in an order for 450 and such is his popularity in the area that they were all claimed.
This year there will be no crowds due to the Coronavirus but he has local knowledge in abundance to call on and his own bed to sleep in. When you add into the equation how solidly he played at the Colonial, Heritage, and Travelers on the PGA Tour resumption he looks a solid bet in the place markets while being a longshot to consider for what would be another emotional Rocket Mortgage Classic win.
Donald Ross designed courses often produce result correlations or players that fit their eye. One such player is Brandt Snedeker who has won the Wyndham Championship at the Ross Course at the Sedgefield Country Club. Last week at the Travelers Championship he put together a solid tournament and the confidence gained can only be viewed as a plus on a track where he came 5th on course debut last year.
While thinking about that form line it seems only right to discuss last year’s Wyndham Championship winner, J T Poston who missed the cut at last week’s Travelers Championship. The week before at Heritage, we tipped Poston and he returned top 10 money when finishing 8th. Last week’s missed cut is easy to forgive given the context that he missed the three previous cuts at TPC River Highlands where Brendan Todd and Kevin Streelman proved that currently missed cuts mean little, in fact, it probably allows the player more time to work on their game and prepare. Last season he finished 11th in Detroit with a poor final round of 73 cost him a winning opportunity.
Sungjae Im also had a poor final round last year and like Poston, his 73 cost him the chance to win. He has gone onto better things however, winning this season’s Honda Classic and interestingly in the fall came 6th at the Wyndham Championship to Poston. He started the PGA Tour brightly on resumption at Colonial and last week finished the Travelers Championship strongly.
PGA Golf Picks
Extra PGA Golf Picks
- Brandt Snedeker – Win @ +5000
- J T Poston – Top 10 @ +400
- Brandt Snedeker – Top 10 @ +450
PGA Golf Longshot
For this week’s longshot, I considered several with Korean Si Woo Kim leading the way. He won the Players Championship in 2017 after previously landing the Wyndham Championship the season before. He appeared to be close to catching fire last week with an under the radar 11th at the Travelers Championship. Patton Kizzire also completed his first top 10 finish of 2020 at River Highlands in Connecticut and he, like Kim, is a player who knows how to win when finding form.
Recent Korn Ferry Tour winner at the King and Bear Classic, Chris Kirk should be considered having missed much of 2019 due to needing treatment for alcoholism and depression. He openly admits that he had fallen out of love with the game and didn’t want to play prior. Now back with his mindset on an even keel we can expect multiple winner Kirk to make up lost ground soon.
Another idea for this week’s long shot is Wes Roach who produced a career-best effort last year on the PGA Tour when he finished 3rd. Just before the Covid-19 break, he managed another top 10 on the PGA Tour at the Puerto Rico Open. On the resumption he has had to ply his trade on the Korn Ferry Tour with the sport’s superstars changing their schedules however, he has already shown that he is in good form again with a 5th place finish at the King and Bear Classic in Florida.
PGA Longshot Picks
- Si Woo Kim – Win @ +8000
- Patton Kizzire – Win @ +12500
PGA Golf Banker
Slovakian, Rory Sabbatini is the selection this week after a season’s best third position here last season displayed a liking for this easy layout. In his later career has become one of the most reliable players on tour and the resumption has been no different with top 21 finishes at the Colonial and Heritage Classic. An easy but solid-looking selection as this week’s banker selection in Detroit.
Ryan Armour finished last week strongly in Connecticut, charging throughout the field for 6th place. Last year at the Rockets Mortgage Classic he started brightly with an opening round of 64 but sadly fell away over the final two rounds. Like others in this article, he has some of his most consistent form at the Wyndham Championship and looks the next best bet for the place markets this week, via BetOnline.
A noticeable performance last week from Canadian Roger Sloan caught my eye having been hopelessly out of form since the fall. The 21st position at the Rocket Mortgage Classic of 2019 launched Sloan on a run of form that protected his playing privileges for the year having been runner up in the Puerto Rico Open at the start of 2019. That run of form saw 15th at the 3M Open, 10th at the John Deere Classic and 7th at the Barracuda Championship. When analyzing Sloan’s form he appears a confidence player who plays in streaks of good and bad form so with confidence restored last week at the Travelers this week should be a natural progression for Sloan.
PGA Golf Banker Picks
- Rory Sabbatini – Top 20 @ +275